Leonardo Cardoso: State Acoustics in Brazil

Wed, Apr 10, 2019, 12:00 pm
Leonardo Cardoso
In this talk, I discuss two case studies related to my second-book project. First, I consider the adoption of ShotSpotter, a device that detects and locates impulsive sounds to alert the police whenever gunshots are fired. In the early 2010s, ShotSpotter was installed in two urban areas in Brazil with high rates of gun violence. Public officials and private companies involved with the project stated that the technology would revolutionize crime control in the country. However, I show that several local issues ended up affecting ShotSpotter’s performance. Second, I examine wiretapping and electronic eavesdropping as agents in recent presidential crises. The number and significance of these recordings have increased since 2014 when the Public Prosecutor’s Office initiated a series of investigations concerning wide-spread corruption among high-rank politicians and executives. I pay particular attention to the role of audio experts and legal scholars in ascertaining the validity of such recordings, and to the political and legal ramifications of these debates.
Leonardo Cardoso is an assistant professor and a Crawley Faculty Fellow in the Department of Performance Studies at Texas A&M University. His work explores sound-making and auditory practices as avenues for studying the government. Cardoso’s first book, Sound-Politics in São Paulo (Oxford University Press, 2019), is an ethnographic study of urban noise in the most populous city in Brazil, the Western Hemisphere, and the Southern Hemisphere. In Sound-Politics in São Paulo, he examines environmental noise as a thread to navigate across governmental agencies in the legislative, executive, and judiciary branches. He is currently working on a second book, titled State Acoustics in Brazil. This project continues the study of sound-politics as an analytical paradigm. It focuses on the mechanisms through which the Brazilian state has deployed sounds for propaganda, crime control, forensic evidence, and political negotiation.
Photo: Dilma e Temer/AE

Lunch provided. Free and open to the public.

216 Burr Hall