I’m the Robert H. and Nancy J. Blayney Associate Professor of Comparative Media Studies at Miami University, Ohio.
Research: Ethnographic and archival studies of digital media, sound technologies, disability, and popular music.
Teaching: Sound studies, digital media, ethnographic methods, and audio production.
I have published work on subjects such as tinnitus, the use of noise-canceling headphones in air travel, the noise of fans in NFL football stadiums, indie rock in Taiwan, and the ontology of Foley and digital film sound.
My book Hush: Media and Sonic Self Control is about “orphic media,” apps and devices such as white noise makers and noise-canceling headphones, used to create a comfortable sense of space through sound. This concept is the namesake of the mythic figure in the image above, Orpheus, whose expert control of sound and music fostered social and spiritual communion. Today’s sonic media technologies wield this orphic power, but often neglect its communitarian potentials in order to control individual attention and personal comfort. In the image, instead of singing and playing his lyre to connect with his love, Orpheus disconnects with noise-canceling headphones.
In the past, I have worked as a writer and editor for print and digital publications, created music for independent film projects, and played guitar for the Americana group Pinetop Seven.