About Jonathan

(click the photo if you need a hi-res version for a printed conference program)

Short (Third Person) Bio

Jonathan Sterne teaches in the Department of Art History and Communication Studies and the History and Philosophy of Science Program at McGill University.  He is author of MP3: The Meaning of a Format (Duke 2012), The Audible Past: Cultural Origins of Sound Reproduction (Duke, 2003); and numerous articles on media, technologies and the politics of culture.  He is also editor of The Sound Studies Reader (Routledge, 2012).  His new projects consider instruments and instrumentalities; histories of signal processing; and the intersections of disability, technology and perception. Visit his website at http://sterneworks.org .

A web version of my CV (updated about once a year; in .pdf).

Overview of my scholarship

My work is broadly concerned with the form and role of communication technologies in large-scale societies. One of my major ongoing projects has been developing an adequate history and theory of sound in modernity. Beyond my work in sound and music my interests are in historical and cultural studies of media, technology, science and medicine; “new” or “digital” media (though I’m not entirely comfortable with either term); cultural theory; disability studies; and the critique of everyday life.

Methodologically, I believe theoretical and empirical investigation are best intertwined. The majority of my published work is historical and document-based, but newer work also incorporates long-form interviews and participant observation. Alongside publishing in traditional academic venues, I have maintained an interest in new and alternative venues for scholarship that take advantage of emerging media forms–a problem now widely taken up under the “digital humanities” umbrella.

Courses and Publications

Please visit my courses page to peruse my teaching interests.

Read about my books here. See some of my published essays here.

Affiliations and Links:

Department of Art History and Communication Studies
Institute for Gender, Sexuality and Feminist Studies
Media History Research Centre
History and Philosophy of Science
Centre de recherche sur l’intermédialité
Centre for Critical Studies in Improvisation

Research Methods

See this article.