University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota

Music and Sound Studies: The Sonic Boom, with David Suisman, March 14, 2014

Sonic Boom: The 1964 Oklahoma City Experiment and the Politics of the Cold War Soundscape

The IAS Music and Sound Studies Collaborative presents Dr. David Suisman, History, University of Delaware

Download as: audio, podcast video, or original.


Download as: audio, podcast video, or original.

This talk will consider the history of sonic booms with a special focus on the now-forgotten 1964 Oklahoma City Experiment, when the people of a medium-size American city were bombarded by eight sonic booms a day, every day for six months. In the context of the Cold War, these sonic booms were touted as the “sound of freedom” and represented a new acoustic form of state power. In retrospect, they presaged the increasing use of sound for military purposes in the twenty-first century.


Suisman’s scholarly interests include the political economy of music and sound; history of the senses; media studies; and the history of capitalism. He is the author of Selling Sounds: The Commercial Revolution in American Music (2009) and co-editor of Sound in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction (2010).

March 14, 2014, at 4:30pm
Ferguson Hall, Room 280

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