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Suisman specializes in cultural history, the history of music, sound
studies, and the history of capitalism. His scholarly interests also
include media studies, the history of the senses, the history of
emotions, the history of film and photography, intellectual property,
and critical theory.
Suisman received his B.A. from Yale University and his Ph.D. from
Columbia University, where his dissertation won the Bancroft
Dissertation Prize. His first book, Selling Sounds: The Commercial Revolution in American Music
(Harvard UP, 2009), was named one of Choice’s “Outstanding Academic
Titles for 2009” and received the Hagley Prize for the Best Book in
Business History, the DeSantis Book Prize of the Society of Historians
of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era, and several other honors. He is
also co-editor, with Susan Strasser, of Sound in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2010).
Suisman has been a Mellon Regional Faculty Fellow of the Penn
Humanities Forum; a visiting scholar at the University of California,
Berkeley; an affiliate writer at the Headlands Center for the Arts; and a
recipient of a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship. Since
2011, Prof. Suisman has also served as associate editor and book review
editor of the Journal of Popular Music Studies.
Selling Sounds: The Commercial Revolution in American Music (Harvard University Press, 2010).
Sound in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction With Susan Strasser (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2009).
“The Political Economy of Copying,” Reviews in American History (review essay, forthcoming).
"Afterword: Music, Sound, History,” Journal of Social History, special issue on the social and cultural history of music (2018), 383-89.
"The American Environmental Movement’s Lost Victory: The Fight Against Sonic Booms,” The Public Historian 37, no. 4 (November 2015), 111–31.
“The Oklahoma City Sonic Boom Experiment and the Politics of Supersonic Aviation,” Radical History Review no. 121 (Jan. 2015), 169-195.
“Sound Recordings and Popular Music Histories: The Remix,” Journal of Popular Music Studies 23, no. 2 (2011), 212-20.
“Sound, Knowledge, and the ‘Immanence of Human Failure’: Rethinking Musical Mechanization through the Phonograph, the Player-Piano, and the Piano,” Social Text 102 (Spring 2010).
“Co-workers in the Kingdom of Culture: Black Swan Records and the Political Economy of African-American Music.” Journal of American History 90 (March 2004)
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