Musical Passage: A Voyage to 1688 Jamaica tells the story of the earliest transcription of African music in the Americas. The project was published in sx archipelagos, the digital wing of Small Axe, and was tapped by Slate as one of the best digital history projects of 2016. Musical Passage is a collaboration with historian Laurent Dubois and composer David K. Garner. Read my interview with Duke Today for more on the site’s creation.
When you want to know the meaning of a word, you can simply look it up in a dictionary, but what if you want to know what something sounds like? I founded the Sonic Dictionary in 2013 in response to the needs of students in my courses who were struggling to write about sound. The growing collection of nearly 1,000 recordings has been created by more than 200 students at collaborating institutions. The project has been featured by the local and national press. The project has been supported by the Franklin Humanities Institute and Humanities Writ Large Initiative, funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
The digital turn provides an unprecedented opportunity to rethink the forms through which scholars and artists communicate. I co-edited a digital collection showcasing scholarship at the cutting edge of digital sound studies. My collaborators and I, known collectively as Soundbox, were awarded a competitive grant from the Franklin Humanities Institute and funding from the PhD Lab in Digital Knowledge at Duke to support our project. Our related print collection will be published by Duke University Press in Fall 2018.