Sound and Technology

The proposed Sound and Technology working group is concerned with the a focus on scholarship coming from history of technology and science towards a history of sonic technocultures. This group welcomes scholars interested in sound and sound technology from all time periods, though the group’s reading and writing will focus on cases, debates, and actors that engage the conditions of sound’s technological reproducibility since the late 19th century. Because of the interdisciplinary nature of the topic, relevant studies have been fragmented across a variety of fields within the humanities, arts, social sciences, engineering, acoustics, and the sciences. This working group will work across these disciplines to collectively interpret sources and commentary that share an interest in sound.
The group meets at 11:30 am Eastern Time on third Thursdays of each month.

Please set your timezone at

Consortium Respectful Behavior Policy

Participants at Consortium activities will treat each other with respect and consideration to create a collegial, inclusive, and professional environment that is free from any form of discrimination, harassment, or retaliation.

Participants will avoid any inappropriate actions or statements based on individual characteristics such as age, race, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, marital status, nationality, political affiliation, ability status, educational background, or any other characteristic protected by law. Disruptive or harassing behavior of any kind will not be tolerated. Harassment includes but is not limited to inappropriate or intimidating behavior and language, unwelcome jokes or comments, unwanted touching or attention, offensive images, photography without permission, and stalking.

Participants may send reports or concerns about violations of this policy to

Upcoming Meetings

There are no currently scheduled upcoming events.

Past Meetings

  • May 18, 2023

    Virdi, J. (2020). Hearing Happiness: Deafness Cures in History. University of Chicago Press.

    We'll be discussing chapter 1, Improbable miracles.

  • April 20, 2023

    Noah Kahrs - PhD candidate, University of Rochester
    Chapter title: "Electronic Music’s Separation of Acoustics from Tonality" from a dissertation currently titled: "Composing (with) Theories of Acoustics and Pitch Perception after 1950."

  • March 16, 2023

    Kelli Smith-Biwer (UNC)
    Dissertation chapter 2:  Tangled Technologies: Audio Cables and Midcentury Scientific Masculinity

  • February 16, 2023

    We'll discuss the introduction and first chapter of Fanny Gribenski's new book, Tuning the World: The Rise of 440 Hertz in Music, Science, and Politics, 1859–1955 (Chicago, 2023).

  • January 19, 2023

    We'll discuss the Intro and Chapter 1 of Computing Taste: Algorithms and the Makers of Music Recommendation by Nick Seaver (Chicago Press, 2022).

  • December 15, 2022

    We'll be discussing

    McCray, Patrick. 2020. Making Art Work: How Cold War Engineers and Artists Forged a New Creative Culture. Cambridge, Massachusetts: The MIT Press.


  • November 17, 2022

    We'll be discussing a chapter from Katherine McKittrick's 2021 book Dear Science, "(Zong) Bad Made Measure" (pp125-150).
    Magnus Schaeffer will be joining back as discussant!



  • October 20, 2022

    we'll be discussing Cecchetto, David. Listening in the Afterlife of Data: Aesthetics, Pragmatics, and Incommunication.

  • September 15, 2022

    We'll be discussing chapter 4 from
    Sterne, Jonathan. 2021. Diminished Faculties: A Political Phenomenology of Impairment. Duke University Press.

  • June 10, 2022

    Guest: Dr. Sarah Fuchs. Assistant Professor of Music History and Cultures (Syracuse University)
    We'll be discussing an excerpt from Dr. Fuchs's current book project, with the working title Operatic Artifacts: Opera, Archives, and Audio-Visual Media in Paris and the Provinces.
    The text for Chapter 4, "Opera and orthophonie in the Laboratoire de la Parole" is attached.
    We'll briefly introduce the visitor, begin with introductory remarks on the reading, then discuss participants' questions and other topics of interest to the visitor as appropriate.
    All are welcome!

Group Conveners

  • eamonnbell's picture

    Eamonn Bell

    Eamonn Bell is Assistant Professor at the Department of Computer Science, Durham University. Most generally, his research examines the history of digital technology in relation to contemporary musical production, consumption, criticism, and analysis. He holds a doctoral degree in music theory from Columbia University (2019) and a bachelor’s degree in music and mathematics from TCD (2013).


  • brian.miller's picture

    Brian Miller

    Brian A. Miller earned his Ph.D. in music theory from Yale University in 2020, where he has also served as a lecturer. His research focuses on the role of computation in both the intellectual history and current practice of music theory, particularly in relation to the work of music theorist Leonard Meyer and his influential theory of musical style. His work on computer improvisation and the stylistic modeling of jazz recently appeared in Music Theory Online. He previously completed a B.S. in Computer Engineering and an M.M. in Music Theory from the University of Kansas.


  • Magnus's picture

    Magnus Schaefer

    Magnus Schaefer is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Art History and Communication Studies at McGill University. Magnus's thesis focuses on digital sound analysis and synthesis in the 1950s and 1960s, tracing practices of formalization that turn simulated acoustic phenomena into objects of knowledge.
    Magnus holds an M.A. in Art History from Humboldt University, Berlin.



  • ezrateboul's picture

    Ezra Teboul

    I'm a researcher, artist and producer working on practice-based histories of electronic music and electricity-using technology more generally. I have a B.A. from Hampshire College, an A.M. from Dartmouth College, and a Ph.D. from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. I've authored and co-authored papers in various audio engineering, philosophy, digital humanities, computing, and electronic music outlets, and I've presented at 4S, SHOT, SIGCIS and NESTS, in addition to invited talks at the Berlin University of Arts, Universite Pierre et Marie Curie, or the Universite du Quebec a Montreal. I've released three records with Karl Hohn under the name "Passive Tones," exhibited in galleries in the US, Canada, and Germany, and performed in the US, Canada, France, and Denmark. I am currently co-editing a collection on modular synthesis for Routledge (due 2023). You can see a more detailed list of past and upcoming publications and projects here or various updates there.


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