AboutMedia/Sound Technology Historian, Ursinus College
I research how the film industry limits the storytelling potentials of its sound technologies, and how these limits serve to reinforce the power inequities that exist between studios heads, tech companies, and below-the-line workers. In turn, my research disrupts common assumptions about technology’s ability to change how the media industry operates.
My publications include studies of film music in the “silent” era, early tape recording technologies, the creation of the “Academy Curve” standard, and the history of surround sound.
Making Stereo Fit: The History of a Disquieting Film Technology
, Oakland, CA: University of California Press, 2024. (Download the “Introduction”)
“Tape Recording Hollywood: The Inaudibility of New Film Sound Technology
.” Music, Sound, and the Moving Image
16, no. 2 (2022): 101–127. (Download)
“Under the Standard: MGM, AT&T, and the Academy’s Regulation of Power
.” JCMS: Journal of Cinema and Media Studies
59, no. 3 (2020): 23–45. (Download)
“The Myth of the Speakers: A Critical Reexamination of Dolby History
.” Film History
28, no. 1 (2016): 167–193. Winner of the Katherine Singer Kovács Essay Award
from the Society for Cinema and Media Studies, 2017. (Download)
“Synch Holes and Patchwork in Early Feature-Film Scores
.” Music and the Moving
Image 7, no. 1 (2014): 40–53. (Download)
“Monocentrism, or Soundtracks in Space
.” In Voicing the Cinema: Film Music and the Integrated Soundtrack
, edited by James Buhler and Hannah Lewis, 229–44. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2020. (Download)
Podcasts, Reviews, and Roundtables
“The Sounds of Silents
.” Phantom Power: A Pod About Sound
“Reflections on Society for Cinema and Media Studies Conference, Seattle 2019.” Music, Sound, and the Moving Image
13, no. 1 (2019): 59–82.
.” The Velvet Light Trap
82 (2018): 43–60.
“Singin’ in the Sun: La La Canned vs. La La Live
.” Observations on Film Art: David Bordwell’s Website on Cinema
“Adventures in 3-D Sound: Reopening the House of Wax
.” University of Wisconsin Cinematheque
“Jacques Rivette” The Velvet Light Trap
68 (2011): 65–66.