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Music, Media, and Subjectivity: On The Limits of Determinism

  • Author / Creator
    Vallee, Mickey
  • This thesis explores the limitations of determinism in regards to music, media, and the constitution of subjectivity. Its methodological resource is derived from a synthesis between media ecology, social psychoanalysis, and music semiotics. The case studies describe the incorporation of nostalgia into popular music ballads, the domestication of the phonograph, the contemporary trend of mashups, and the studio technique of backmasking. The conclusion asks that we readjust our approach to music, media, and subjectivity to account for the possibility of creative acts that are bound within a network of determinants. I use, finally, the writings of Maurice Merleau-Ponty to explore the body as a primary site of indeterminate mediation, which renders possible for the subject a potential of creative embodied expression.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    2010-06
  • Type of Item
    Thesis
  • Degree
    Doctor of Philosophy
  • DOI
    https://doi.org/10.7939/R3102X
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
  • Language
    English
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
    Doctoral
  • Department
    • Department of Music and Department of Sociology
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
    • Henry Klumpenhouwer (Music)
    • Rob Shields (Sociology)
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Jan Jagodzinsky (Secondary Education)
    • Doug Aoki (Sociology)
    • Leo Mos (Psychology)
    • Will Straw (Art History & Communication, McGill)