Research Blog

Welcome to the Sonic Circulations Research Blog. This is a platform to share research and perspectives for junior and emerging scholars working on topics that engage musical, scientific, and/or technological issues.

Contact us if you would like to contribute, or have ideas for blog posts.

Peter Asimov: Comparative Philology, Musicology, Composition

Here, Peter Asimov (University of Cambridge) explores a historical moment – fin-de-siècle and early twentieth-century France – when the discipline of musicology and practices of composition were overtly allied with the science of comparative philology, perhaps absorbing some of comparative philology’s more troubling ideological affinities. Comparative Philology, Musicology, Composition: Disciplinary Interfaces and Musical Boundary Objects   What… Continue reading Peter Asimov: Comparative Philology, Musicology, Composition

Maria Murphy: Media Archaeology and the Cyborg

In 2016, Maria Murphy and Roksana Filipowska set up Listening (to) Cyborgs, a collaborative media archaeology lab at the University of Pennsylvania. Here, Maria Murphy delves into what it means to work at the intersection of theory and practice, and how doing so has informed her research on Laurie Anderson. Above: first session of Listening (to) Cyborgs Media Archaeology and the Cyborg… Continue reading Maria Murphy: Media Archaeology and the Cyborg

Ted Gordon: Diffracting the San Francisco Tape Music Center

Contemplating his recent work on experimental practice at the San Francisco Tape Music Center, Ted Gordon (Columbia University) gestures towards the wider research possibilities of a “diffractive” approach that dwells in, and even expands, the spaces where the reconciliation of music, science, and technology fails. Ted’s website can be found here. Diffracting the San Francisco Tape Music… Continue reading Ted Gordon: Diffracting the San Francisco Tape Music Center

Joseph Pfender: Struck History

Joseph Pfender (New York University) begins to sketch out a cross-disciplinary area of research and thinking, touching on sound studies but much more closely allied with global circulation and history of technology. Its relation to his dissertation work on magnetic tape experimentalism is tangential, but might triangulate a comparative global history of technology in which… Continue reading Joseph Pfender: Struck History

Laurie Lee: Against the Linear Temporality of Technophilia and Techno-nationalism

In this piece, Laurie Lee, PhD candidate in historical musicology and ethnomusicology at Harvard University, interrogates the “conceptual umbilical cord” tethering the idea of “technology” to how the West imagines itself. In parallel with insights developed through her work on the history of medicine and of the voice in twentieth-century Korea, she explores how scholars can… Continue reading Laurie Lee: Against the Linear Temporality of Technophilia and Techno-nationalism

Write For Us…

The Sonic Circulations Research Blog provides an informal space for a conversation between junior scholars doing the newest research where musical and scientific/technological discourses intersect. In particular, we welcome posts that examine the methodological and ethical problems such interdisciplinary work raises. At this point the blog is nascent and experimental. Blog posts could explore different styles or… Continue reading Write For Us…

Alexander Cowan: Methods and Ethics

In this post, Alexander Cowan, graduate student in historical musicology at Harvard University, considers some methodological and ethical questions in relation to his research on music in the American eugenics movement. In particular, he has focused on the psychologist Carl E. Seashore, whose method of quantifying supposedly inherited musical talent was taken up by hundreds… Continue reading Alexander Cowan: Methods and Ethics