Sunday, January 15, 2012

Listening and Longing Giveaway

I'm delighted to announce that my new book, Listening and Longing: Music Lovers in the Age of Barnum, has been released by Wesleyan University Press. This book is a culmination of nearly a decade of research and thinking. After I published an ethnography of music fans, Tramps Like Us: Music and Meaning Among Springsteen Fans, in 1998, I began to wonder about the history of music listening in the United States (an unusual behavior in the context of the world's music cultures) and started visiting archives to find answers. I transcribed breathless descriptions of concerts from listeners' personal diaries; interpreted amateur commentary scribbled in the margins of concert programs and sheet music; and studied prints, cartoons, paintings, and other public representations of music audiences over time. Ultimately, I began to understand how the experience of hearing music was commercialized, augmented, fought over, institutionalized, and generally re-made between 1835 and 1885, a social drama that helped to shape our modern age of fandom, "following," and "playlists."

At any rate, in order to celebrate this occasion, I would like to give away a new paperback copy of the book to readers of this blog. I'm not very good at this sort of thing, so I am going to hand over the details to my daughter, Bella (who is an experienced blogger in her own right--I'm allowing her a plug at the end of the rules).

Hi :) Here is how you can enter for The Ardent Audience's first-ever giveaway!

The prize: One copy of Listening and Longing: Music Lovers in the Age of Barnum 
How to enter: Comment on this post and tell us what you're a fan of!
Bonus entries: Follow The Ardent Audience and/or tweet about the giveaway. Leave another comment so we know you have done so.
Giveaway closes: Monday, January 23 at 12 noon, EST.
Number of winners: One

Open to US and international readers, so everyone has a chance to win!

The winner will be chosen from among the comments posted by and announced on Tuesday, January 24.

Good luck :) Bella 

Thanks, Bella. And thanks to everyone who participates! 


  1. I am a huge fan of Downton Abbey. So much so that my husband donated to NPR just to get me an advanced copy of the second season on DVD for my birthday! It's a win-win; supporting public radio and feeding my addiction for British period pieces. :)

  2. I might have put Downton Abbey myself, but I have already finished the second series and Christmas Special, and it will be months before more, so I have to put that ice.
    This obsessive thinking reminds me of one of my latest cultural objects of fandom--Portlandia! Love the new season. Love. and their sketch about obsessively watching "Battlestar Gallactica" rings precisely true for me and sums up the fan experience for many. Watch it!

    That is the hard thing about some things to be a fan of.. when they end the series or it is on hold. Sherlock Holmes was brought back from the dead. Bond lives on after Ian Fleming. Some it feels in authentic, perhaps? Then you go looking for extensions connections of the Beatles solo albums..tribute bands....
    oh. also in this vein, I just discovered the first episodes of Xavier: Renegade Angel and Wonder Showzen! Now a fan!

  3. I already have a copy of your book courtesy of the university library (though, only after fighting the publisher, who said it was already out of stock?) but I am nonetheless compelled to throw my hat in the ring anyhow.

    I am a fan of a great many things, though the current obsession is with Sherlock/Sherlock Holmes/all things ACD. The recent BBC adaptation has been spectacular, full of nuance and multiple readings, and problematizing attraction and sexuality in a way that Foucault would have applauded, I think. It is also interesting to be part of what has been a fan community since Victorian times, and watching the Tumblr iterations of fan participation has been great. There have been discussions, even, into how historical fans might have handled the recent canon-building interventions, which has made my fan-studies brain do backflips in delight. :)

    I could put a great deal more in this box but this is what is currently got me in its fannish grip, so it seems appropriate to own up to it...

  4. please enter me :

    (or i'll simply read the library's copy)