Selected Publications

The links below lead to the original publishers’ sites. You can also find these articles and more of my work (and in many cases, PDFs) at my page.

Here: Active Listening System Sound Technologies and the Personalization of Listening.” 2018. In Appified: Culture in the Age of Apps. Morris, Jeremy Wade and Murray, Sarah (eds.). Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 276-285. 

Examines in-ear wearable computer technology (“hearables”) an example of both what I call “the silicon sonic turn” and the customization of individual listening through orphic media. Hearables function as interfaces with the aural world, recasting the latter as content to be selectively accessed and manipulated–inserting a logic and responsibility of choice into the relationship with the lived aural environment.

“Disability and Biotechnological Mediation.” 2017. In Disability Media Studies:  Media, Popular Culture, and the Meanings of DisabilityElizabeth Ellcessor and Bill Kirkpatrick, eds. New York: New York University Press, 311-329.

Proposes a framework for the study of biomediation that disentangles medical uses of media technologies from the medical model of disability. Media do far more than represent disability: they are also used to set bodily norms, circulate normative knowledge, test/screen bodies against this knowledge, catalog/regulate screened bodies, mediate bodies for therapeutic purposes. The framework is explained through the case study of tinnitus screening, therapy, and advocacy.

The Twelfth Man: Fan Noise in the Contemporary NFL.” (Co-authored with Travis Vogan.) Popular Communication Volume 14:1 (2016). 

Using Seattle’s 12th Man and the discourses surrounding it, this essay examines the relationship between sound, space, and fandom in the contemporary National Football League. We consider how fans’ sonic labor is constitutive of their place within a fan community; the relationship between sound and fandom’s spatial and affective dimensions; and how contemporary sport and media organizations capitalize on fans’ production of sound and the embodied experience and communal identity it fashions. Specifically, the league has shifted from regulating fan noise as an interruption to cultivating it as a communicative resource that adds value to games, both in person and in television through surround-sound mixes.

The Tinnitus Trope: Acoustic Trauma in Narrative Film.” 2015. The Cine-Files Issue 8, Spring.

A brief history and analysis of what I call “the tinnitus trope,” cinematic sound design evoking a damaged auditory perspective through ringing noise and a reduction of ambient environmental sound. I provide a historical timeline of the effect from 1970 to 2014 and use spectral analysis to evaluate an earlier technological claim about the effect’s advent. I also suggest two possible reasons for this effect becoming so prevalent: 1) after 9-11, consequence-free Hollywood explosions were no longer tenable and 2) an ascendant neurological conception of self has supplanted the unconscious, Freudian self in American culture. Instead of the remembered voices and voiceover narration of post-WWII film noir, we now hear the wordless signal of blown ears and short-circuiting brains.

Unpacking a Punch: Transduction and the Sound of Combat Foley in Fight Club.” 2014. Cinema Journal Volume 53:4.

This article unpacks the production and impact of the Foley punch in David Fincher’s Fight Club (1999) to theorize the sonic transmission of affect in cinema. It advocates transduction as a model for a soundtrack analysis that acknowledges the already-mediated nature of aural subjectivity and allows for authenticity in electronically mediated experiences.

Listening to Tinnitus: Roles of Media When Hearing Breaks Down.” Sounding Out!: The Sound Studies Blog, July 16, 2012.

In this short study of tinnitus and the roles media play in its creation, diagnosis, treatment, and public discourse, I advocate for an “applied sound studies, one that intervenes in this mediated public discourse, works against moral panic and hyperawareness, and suggests the quieting possibilities that open up when we grasp the constructed nature of our aurality.” Listening carefully to tinnitus can highlight the ways in which our most subjective aural perceptions are also social, cultural, and mediated—perhaps the fundamental insight of sound studies. My hope is that by listening critically to tinnitus we can speak to it as well, helping tinnitus sufferers find relief.

QuietComfort: Noise, Otherness, and the Mobile Production of Personal Space.” 2011. American Quarterly Special Issue: Sound Clash: Listening to American Studies Volume 63:3.

An examination of noise-canceling headphone’s invention and early marketing, both of which bear a special relationship to the airport and commercial airplane–paradoxical spaces in which the pursuit of happiness impedes its own enjoyment. In the early 2000’s, Bose headphones were marketed primarily to white, male, business-class travelers, offering the promise of “a haven of tranquility.” The article studies headphones as technologies of self-care in deregulated, neoliberal settings; it also critiques the ways that structural problems can be perceived as gendered and radicalized noise.