New Publication by William Cheng

Read Professor William Cheng's interview with Junction Magazine about his newest book Just Vibrations: The Purpose of Sounding Good.


Just Vibrations bends our collective ears toward the vitality and precarity of optimism, dependence, and reparative agendas in academia and in daily life. William Cheng calls for a radical embrace of interpersonal care as a core--as opposed to extracurricular--component of intellectual labor. In the event we break, who will rush to criticize and who will stop to offer aid? Should our voices crack, who may take pains to listen all the more closely? Traversing the resonant archives of reindeer games, personal impairment, scholarly strife, queer hope, and accessible soundscapes, this book advocates for care work as a barometer of better worlds.

"Just Vibrations is an extremely interesting book written by an exceptionally talented musician. The reflections are far-reaching and a source of much illumination about the function and value of work, hope, determination, realism, and interpersonal care. It is hard to write such a book, but it is very rewarding to read." -- AMARTYA SEN (Harvard University), Nobel Laureate in Economics and author of The Idea of Justice

"Just Vibrations is about unrelenting illness and accommodation to it; about music, politics, and theory, and the thereness of the opportunity they offer to repair diverse kinds of pain. It's a book of queer struggle, attachment, thought, and love, its face bent toward the sun--and the question mark." -- LAUREN BERLANT (University of Chicago), author of Cruel Optimism

"Just Vibrations is a passionate and personal plea for a reparative musicology, for a field that favors empathy, compassion, and care. Cheng made me think in deep and not always comfortable ways about my work and my life as a scholar. A beautiful and moving book." -- JOSEPH STRAUS (CUNY Graduate Center), author of Extraordinary Measures: Disability in Music

"Just Vibrations is without question a groundbreaking book, both accessible to a wide readership (including undergraduate students) and theoretically nuanced. Cheng elegantly balances clarity of explanation with scholarly depth and breadth. All this is accomplished through a writing style that is eminently readable, even poetic at times." -- ANDREW DELL'ANTONIO (University of Texas at Austin), author of Listening as Spiritual Practice in Early Modern Italy