My doctoral research explores the ubiquitous cultural phenomenon of headphone listening.
I am interested in how listeners experience sound when using headphones, as well as in understanding how technologies mediate our worldly experiences.
I am currently in the 'write-up' stage, with an aim to complete the thesis in the autumn of 2020. Research publications are on the way and will be listed here soon.
My research explores listening by considering the impact that mediating technologies have on individuals' experiences. I'm specifically concerned with headphones, which are now ubiquitous in everyday life, but which are often disregarded in studies of listening.
The aim of my research is to understand more about the peculiar ways in which headphones can affect how listeners experience sound and space, with particular emphasis on the ways in which having a technology attached to one's ears and head might have an impact on how one experiences one's own sense of embodiment.
Throughout the thesis, I explore ideas of embodied space, mediated social relations, and the materiality of technology in relation to headphone use, drawing examples from both recreational and professional environments, as well as considering all manner of mediated sounds, from music and podcasts to military commands and ASMR-triggering audio.
Moreover, some of my doctoral research focuses on the use of headphones during torture. Balancing research into the history of psychology with analysis of contemporary accounts from survivors of sonic torture, I explore the ways in which the interior spaces of the lived body may become sites for political violence in tandem with such technologies.