Doctoral Student in Anthropology
- Sound studies
- Anthropology of the state
- China and modernization
I was born in a former oil town on the banks of the Red River in Northwest Louisiana. Growing up, I was puzzled by local struggles with the loss of industry, persistent racial segregation, and changing gender norms. And from my parents, I inherited a fascination with the expressive power of music. As I studied the violin, I grew attached to communities that were created among musicians and listeners.
Perhaps because of my beginnings, I have always been interested in migrations between countryside and city. In particular, I seek to understand the social turmoil that ensues from this form of human movement. My years of studying the Chinese language have taught me that nowhere is this rural-urban migration more prevalent and hotly discussed than in mainland China, where millions of former peasants have traveled to the cities in search of work each year. Drawing on my experiences studying and living in China, I hope to explore the way that the hearts and minds of mobile subjects interact with the world of sound. In doing so, I hope to contribute to contemporary discussions in anthropological method and theory. For example, I am interested in how a dialogic understanding of voicing and listening practices might change the ways ethnographers understand social life.