My research agenda is broadly focused on the material and cultural dimensions of the history of technology, pop culture, and disability in Japan. My research asks who influences the development, deployment, and defense of technological and cultural practices, and whose interests are left behind in those processes.

See my CV for a complete list of research and publications.

Dissertation Research

My dissertation tackles these questions in the context of 20th century Japan. It tracks the ways in which coalitions of scientists, deaf educators, and communications firms have worked over the 20th century to attempt to delineate the terms under which Deaf communities may interact with music. I examine four key moments in this history: the development of hearing aids after World War II, the use of “alternative” assistive technologies like vibro-tactile pianos in Deaf school classrooms, the appearance of sign language musical media, and the proliferation of Deaf classical music in mainstream broadcasting. These case studies set the stage for broader cultural and technological practices, such as the development of Japanese musical hardware in the 1950s, cybernetics in the 1960s, and contemporary digital platforms.

My 2019 – 2020 blog has records from my time doing dissertation research in Japan.

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