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Photograph by Christina Webber
My main areas of expertise underscore the relationship between music, sound, and technology in the 20th and 21st centuries, with particular emphasis on spatiality, embodiment, and materiality. 

As a researcher, I combine qualitative empirical methods with historical research and theoretical approaches drawn from the fields of sound studies, phenomenological philosophy, musicology, and music psychology. 

I am currently Research Associate in the Department of Music at the University of Sheffield, working on a project about music, intellectual property rights, and human–AI co-creation (PI: Prof. Nicola Dibben).

My doctoral thesis, funded by the UK’s Arts and Humanities Research Council via WRoCAH, explored headphone listening through a phenomenological lens, with emphasis on individuals’ experiences of embodied space, mediated social relations, and the materiality of technology.


For citations, my (only) surname is Downs, listed under "D". Kingsbury is my middle name.


Headphones, Auditory Violence, and the Sonic Flooding of Corporeal Space”.   
Body & Society, 27(3), 58–86.

Acoustic Territories of the Body: Headphone Listening, Embodied Space, and the Phenomenology of Sonic Homeliness”. Journal of Sonic Studies, 21.

A Textbook Social History of Musical Media Technology”. Review of Sounds, Screens, Speakers: an Introduction to Music and Media, by Charles Fairchild (London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2019). Sound Studies, 6(2), 265–268.
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