“Out of Thin Air” Published in Ethnomusicology

My fieldwork on air guitar has finally materialized into a published article, which I hope is one of many on an infinitely interesting subject. I'm honored to have it appear in the recent issue of Ethnomusicology. The article is basically about the way U.S. Air Guitar Championships involve people remixing rock music and representing it …

Music, Technology, and Digital Culture Syllabus

Course Description: We will explore questions related to music and technology by analyzing a series of case studies from the 20th and 21st centuries. How does the portability of sound affect how we listen and what we hear? How does the way we define musical instruments reflect changing ideas about what counts as music? How …

Syllabus for East Asian Popular Music

This coming Fall, I am excited to teach a course at Brown University that I designed from scratch: "East Asian Popular Music." Here's a snippet from the course description: This course provides a critical overview of the production, reception, and circulation of East Asian popular music. The course applies broad themes—nationalism, race, gender, diaspora, technology, and globalization—to …

Defining My Fields, Qualifying Exams

Preparation for my qualifying exams provided a great opportunity to broaden my knowledge of ethnomusicology and popular music studies, and, in particular, it gave me an excuse to read some incredible monographs that have been collecting dust on my bookshelf since I began this program. Developing these exams also involved developing abstracts that delimit the boundaries …

Out of Thin Air at the Society for Ethnomusicology

At the annual Society for Ethnomusicology meeting in Austin, Texas, I presented a paper titled "Out of Thin Air: Technology, Media, and the Air Guitar World Championships." Here's the abstract for the presentation: At the 2014 Air Guitar World Championships, Eric “Mean” Melin impaled himself with an air guitar. During one-minute competition routines, air guitarists …