Current Institutional Affiliation
Associate Professor, History, Rochester Institute of Technology

Award Information

International Dissertation Research Fellowship 2003
Institutional Affiliation (at time of award):
History, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
Sounding the Nation: Radio, Phonograph, and the Politics of Auditory Culture in France, 1911-1935

This dissertation project examines the politics of auditory culture in France during the 1920s and 1935s following the introduction and democratization of the radio and phonograph. Different chapters will explore new modes of listening generated by the radio and phonograph, and the way listening became implicated in the politics of radio nationalization beginning in the late 1920s. In particular, the project examines how sound became significant in reconstituting the French nation following WWI. Radio provided the means to incorporate people of diverse social backgrounds into a unified and national "listening public," will the result that radio sound became increasingly politicized with the democratization of the technology. The importance of sound in reflecting national unity and cultural difference is evidenced by politics surrounding different academic and artistic investigations of sound from the period. These included studies of the human voice at the Sorbonne, medical and psychological research with blind people, and studies of the music and languages of non- Western colonial peoples. The dissertation project will use a diverse body of historical sources, ranging from the popular press to the archives of early radio stations private institutions for the blind, as well as original sound recordings from the period.