I specialize in twentieth-century American literature and sound studies. I investigate the ways sound is used, represented, and / or materializes in twentieth-century literature. I ask: how can sound transform how we approach and learn from literature? How does the literary history of sound matter to the world as we know and experience it now? How does understanding sound contribute to how we think about things like race, class, gender, sexuality, society, history, and the future?
Doing literary sound study can mean a few different things when it comes to what it is that I do and produce when I research. A key sound or sound practice that I investigate in my research is music, but my research interests also include other sounds and sound practices, like listening, noise, technological sounds, animal sounds, and more. I explore and analyze representations of these sounds to understand how they might convey difference, historical moments, or ways of thinking. A key sound practice I focus on is listening. At times in my work, this means analyzing how listening is represented in literary texts in historical contexts, asking how we can listen to literary texts, and what happens when we do. My project, "Listening to The Star of Ethiopia in 1915," is an example of how I have used listening as a method for research and music as the subject of that research. Listening in that project fostered an effort to reconstruct the auditory experience absent from the archive of letters, documents, and other papers that remain as the most substantial trace of W.E.B. Du Bois's most successful foray into public history and theater.
PRESENTATIONS AND PROJECTS
SDSU Digital Humanities Initiative 2017 Tenderly Unbuttoning Heteropatriarchal Reading Practices
LGBTQ “Queer Entanglements” Research Consortium 2016Pleasing Papercuts: Masochism, Humor, and Misreading Kara Walker’s Silhouettes
UCSC Graduate Research Symposium 2020 Listening to The Star of Ethiopia: Aural Histories, Cinematic Conjunctions, and Sonic Paratexts
UCSC Graduate Research Symposium 2021 Listening as We Read: Literature, Music, Archives