I am interested in the relationships between travel, sensory experience, and intangible heritage. I examine how sound is used to produce and preserve frontier ideology in American West tourism and the consequences for indigenous aural and sensory sovereignty. I also think about how places record and playback the past and future. My other research passions include film history and theory, phenomenology, and science fiction.

Small Gauge Scholarship: A Round-table Discussion (Mediapolis, June 2016) + invited group article discussing applications of “small gauge” to academic and artistic practice + read full discussion here

Stone Tape Theories: Hearing, Haunting and the Memory of Materials (UnionDocs, masterclass + public event, 2015) + invited class and screening discussing applications of “stone tape” theories and methods from ghost hunting and tourism to ethnography and memorialization + read about event here

On Hearing Together Critically: Making Aural Politics Sensible through Art and Ethnography (multi-modal article in EthnoScripts 17/1, April 2015) + article with field recordings examining how to document and intervene in the aural politics of tourism in the Black Hills + read full article here

Sounding Western: Frontier Aurality, Tourism and Heritage Production in South Dakota’s Black Hills (NYU PhD dissertation, 2008-15, unpublished) + dissertation examining the politics of sound in frontier heritage based on field work with tourist producers in South Dakota + read research press coverage here and read the project abstract here

Asynchronicity: Rethinking the Relation Between Eye and Ear in Ethnographic Practice (chapter in Experimental Film and Anthropology, Bloomsbury June 2014) + book chapter examining asynchronous methods for ethnographic filmmaking + read about the book here

Heidegger’s Ears: Hearing, Attunement, and the Acoustic Shaping of Being and Time (chapter in Music in Contemporary Philosophy, Routledge July 2014; originally published in Contemporary Music Review 31: 5/6, Oct – Dec 2012) + book chapter looking at the concept of attunement in Heidegger as an acoustic phenomenon + read about the book here

Hearing the Hills: An Acoustic Encounter with South Dakota’s Black Hills (multi-modal article in Sensate: A Journal for Experiments in Critical Media Practice, April 2011) + a networked encounter with a sounded Black Hills blending field recordings, ethnographic data, images, history, and folklore + archived article coming soon here

Judgment and the Aporia: Re-Thinking Bazinian Realism after The Blair Witch Project and The Idiots (UvA MA thesis, 1999-2000, unpublished) + thesis examining the phenomenon of amateur realism in late 1990’s fiction film

Viewing-in-the-World: A Phenomenological Critique of Film-Object Theory (UvA MA thesis, 1998-99, unpublished) + thesis using phenomenology and performance theory to understand film typology

Click to view my CV with a complete list of my research projects, papers, and presentations.

Me recording the Days of ’76 Parade on Deadwood’s Main Street in 2014. Photo by Ali Pitt.