Renée Altergott

Graduate Student
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Renée Altergott is a 6th year PhD candidate in the French Department. She obtained an MA in French Literature from the Université Paris-Diderot in 2013, and a BA in French and Music Composition from Northwestern University in 2008. Her research examines nineteenth- and twentieth-century French and Francophone literature through the lens of media history and sound studies. Her dissertation, "Imperial Phonography: Writing Sound during the French Colonial Recording Era, 1877-1931," establishes a new media history of the phonograph in France and its colonial empire. Current chapters explore the link between the development of the commercial music industry, the literary elaboration of sound recording as a narrative device, and the imperial propaganda that proposed to use the phonograph as a literal tool and figurative model for the further colonization of sub-Saharan Africa. Her forthcoming publications examine the figure of the tape recorder in the early novels of Patrick Chamoiseau, and the literary origins of Michel Chion's theory of acousmatic voice.