“Deeper Than Even the Grain Goes”: Attending to Sound as Pedagogical Practice in Alphonso Lingis’s The Murmur of the World

  • Patrick Howard Cape Breton University
Keywords: phenomenology


This article uses Alphonso Lingis’s essay The Murmur of the World as a catalyst for a phenomenological inquiry into the experience of making room for an articulate world; a world that speaks. A great deal has been written about vision as our primary source of insight and understanding. Visual perception dwarfs the other modalities by which we know the world. In The Murmur of the World, Lingis calls us into the realm of background noise where things hum with
activity, but are rarely noticed. I propose that the soundscape can be lifted out and re-animated, and so, too, our world, with deeper awareness and innovative listening. Drawing on the work of
Jane Bennett and Theodor Adorno, I suggest a creative, pedagogical practice may bring forth for us the community of vital, expressive presences in which we are immersed.