The following Project Highlight was originally created for the DH@MSU Undergraduate Newsletter and was featured in the March 29, 2023 issue. Subscribe to the Newsletter here.

The American Religious Sounds Project
Led by Amy DeRogatis

The American Religious Sounds Project (ARSP), is a collaborative research initiative co-directed by Amy DeRogatis (Michigan State University) and Isaac Weiner (Ohio State University), which aims to offer new resources for documenting and interpreting the diversity of American religious life by attending to its varied sonic cultures. The Project has centered on: (1) the construction of a unique sonic archive, documenting the diversity of everyday religious life through newly produced field recordings, interviews, oral histories, and related materials; and (2) the development of a digital platform and website, which draws on materials in our archive to engage users in telling new stories about religious diversity in the U.S. In the fall of this year, the project is drawing to a close, and its collection will be accessioned to the Vincent Voice Library at Michigan State.

“The American Religious Sounds Project (ARSP) Gallery features curated digital exhibits about religious sound produced between 2014 and 2022. Some of these exhibits were created by award grantees and other scholarly contributors, based on their academic research. Others were developed by ARSP staff members, organized around materials from the ARSP’s extensive archive of audio recordings. Collectively, they explore religion as an audibly complex social, political, environmental, and embodied phenomenon and ask us to consider how our understanding of religion in America changes when we begin by listening.”

The MSU Museum hosted an exhibition created by the project, called the Sounds of Religion. The exhibit is part of the Smithsonian.