I am a scholar, teacher, and musician who is interested in helping others to realize their potential. I earned my BA in music and sociology at Bates College in Lewiston, Maine and my PhD in Sociology at the University of Virginia.
As a sociologist, my research on music culture, work, and technology has appeared in Gender & Society Information Communication & Society, and Studies in Symbolic Interaction. I recently presented at the Experience Music Project in Seattle (see KEXP’s review) on street-themed hip-hop in college towns and performed an experimental improv set with ethnomusicologist Wendy Hsu and composer Kevin Parks via Skype. Overall I am interested in developing cultural approaches to issues of social inequality, urban communities, and the organization of work in the digital age. These are themes that grew out of my dissertation on the economic and technological conditions of college town music scenes (reviewed here by Cville Weekly in Charlottesville, VA and Style Weekly in Richmond, VA)
As a teacher, I develop creative ways to engage students as active learners in both introductory courses in social problems, cities, and popular culture, and in advanced seminars on new media, art, social theory, and social movements. Recently, my focus has been on incorporating interactive media as teaching and learning tools and on developing public sociology in the classroom through service learning and community based research, topics I blog about at Slow Knowledge. I’ve designed and taught my own courses at the University of Virginia for five years and at Virginia Commonwealth University for nearly three years (2005-2008).
As a musician, I perform as a drummer and percussionist in the experimental improv trio Pinko Communoids, the open noise project Grapefruit Experiment, and the world-surf and garage rock band Dzian! I’m also a founding member of Hz Collective, a Virginia-based experimental, improv, and noise collective. I also serving as a volunteer analyst of arts outreach programs at community arts space the Bridge PAI.
Here John Ruscher interviews me about my field work in Charlottesville’s local music scene:
A copy of my CV may be downloaded here.