Dorottya Mózes, Assistant Professor of American Studies, North American Department, University of Debrecen, teaches and writes about African American and Anglophone African Diaspora literature. She received her Ph.D. in Intercultural Linguistics from Eötvös Loránd University, MA in English Duke University, and BA in English and Philosophy from Wellesley College. She is the author of Identity, Style and Performance in the Postcolonial Novel (University of Debrecen Press, 2019) and the co-author of The Applied Linguistics Dictionary (ELTE Eötvös Press, 2019). Her essays have appeared in University of Bucharest Review (2014), Filológiai Közlöny (2019), Language, Communication, Information (2018) and Magyar Nyelvőr (2019), and book chapters in Signs, Pictures and Spaces of Power (Szeged University Press–Gyula Juhász Press, 2016) and The Semiotics of Group Identity (Szeged University Press–Gyula Juhász Press, 2015). Her new book project examines the nexus of styling, vernacularity, and aurality in Afrodiasporic fiction.
This essay develops an alternative notion of Black flânerie, one that foregrounds the flâneur’s auditory experiences and practices in the city, explaining how sound patterns work as indexes of historical traumas such as slavery, colonialism, and indigenous dispossession. More specifically, it investigates how sound and space are connected and what these connections may reveal about acoustical and historical conditions of urban sites. Analyses advance readings of spaces as shadowed by sonic traces, echoes, afterlives, and memories, which point to the sedimentation of sound in geographic as well as psychic structures and ruptures and hence show how different soundscapes suggest different forms of relationality: alienation, rupture, intersection, connection, and transformation. Finally, it demonstrates how sound imagery—including music, dialects, noise, voices, and silence—functions to signal fantastic spaces and places, fantastic or speculative linkages in particular, and produces a version of the non-White fantastic. (DKM)