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118 John Munroe HallNewark, DE 19716<div class="ExternalClass3C26A207F4054DA9AD095330B1E3F9D2"><p>​My scholarly interests concern the relationship between different forms of cultural and economic power, particularly in relation to the development of modern consumer capitalist society. More precisely, these interests crystallize around subjects related to citizenship, critiques of capitalism, intellectual property, advertising, photography, film, literature, and music. These also encompass a concern for the broader historiographic challenge of cultural history itself and the problems inherent in writing histories of “experience.” This has led me into a deep interest as well in sensory experience—seeing, hearing, touching, tasting, smelling—and consideration of the senses as social constructions, whose historical significance can vary over time and space. My publications include: <em>Selling Sounds: The Commercial Revolution in American Music </em>(Harvard UP, 2009), named one of <em>Choice</em>’s “Outstanding Academic Titles for 2009”;winner of the Hagley Prize for the Best Book in Business History, and the DeSantis Book Prize, Society of Historians of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era; and honorable mention for the Woody Guthrie Prize, International Association for the Study of Popular Music (IASPM), U.S. branch; <em>Sound in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction </em>(University of Pennsylvania Press, 2010), co-edited with Susan Strasser; “Sound, Knowledge, and the ‘Immanence of Human Failure’: Rethinking Musical Mechanization through the Phonograph, the Player-Piano, and the Piano,”<em> Social Text</em> 102 (Spring 2010); “Co-workers in the Kingdom of Culture: Black Swan Records and the Political Economy of African-American Music.” <em>Journal of American History </em>90 (March 2004). Since 2011, I have been associate editor of the<em> Journal of Popular Music Studies</em>.</p></div><div class="ExternalClassCDC38A6CD1584F6596C365F8C41B95B5"><p><h4>Books:</h4><ul><li><em>Selling Sounds: The Commercial Revolution in American Music</em> (Harvard University Press, 2010).</li></ul><h4>Edited Volumes</h4><ul><li><em>Sound in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction</em> With Susan Strasser (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2009).</li></ul><h4>Articles and Book Chapters</h4><ul><li>“The Political Economy of Copying,” <em>Reviews in American History</em> (review essay, forthcoming). </li><li>"Afterword: Music, Sound, History,” <em>Journal of Social History</em>, special issue on the social and cultural history of music (2018), 383-89.</li><li>"The American Environmental Movement’s Lost Victory: The Fight Against Sonic Booms,” <em>The Public Historian</em> 37, no. 4 (November 2015), 111–31.</li><li>“The Oklahoma City Sonic Boom Experiment and the Politics of Supersonic Aviation,” <em>Radical History Review</em> no. 121 (Jan. 2015), 169-195.</li><li>“Sound Recordings and Popular Music Histories: The Remix,” <em>Journal of Popular Music Studies </em>23, no. 2 (2011), 212-20.</li><li>“Sound, Knowledge, and the ‘Immanence of Human Failure’: Rethinking Musical Mechanization through the Phonograph, the Player-Piano, and the Piano,” <em>Social Text </em>102 (Spring 2010).</li><li>“Co-workers in the Kingdom of Culture: Black Swan Records and the Political Economy of African-American Music.” <em>Journal of American History </em>90 (March 2004)</li></ul></p></div>Publicationsdsuisman@udel.eduSuisman, David302-831-2386<img alt="Professor David Suisman" src="/Images%20Bios/faculty/suisman_d.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />Associate ProfessorCoordinator, Hagley Program in the History of Capitalism, Technology, and Culture



Selling Sounds: The Commercial Revolution in American MusicSuisman, DavidSusan StrasserHarvard University Press2010<p>From Tin Pan Alley to grand opera, player-pianos to phonograph records, <strong>David Suisman</strong>’s <em>Selling Sounds</em> explores the rise of music as big business and the creation of a radically new musical culture. Around the turn of the twentieth century, music entrepreneurs laid the foundation for today’s vast industry, with new products, technologies, and commercial strategies to incorporate music into the daily rhythm of modern life. Popular songs filled the air with a new kind of musical pleasure, phonographs brought opera into the parlor, and celebrity performers like Enrico Caruso captivated the imagination of consumers from coast to coast.</p><p><em>Selling Sounds</em> uncovers the origins of the culture industry in music and chronicles how music ignited an auditory explosion that penetrated all aspects of society. It maps the growth of the music business across the social landscape—in homes, theaters, department stores, schools—and analyzes the effect of this development on everything from copyright law to the sensory environment. While music came to resemble other consumer goods, its distinct properties as sound ensured that its commercial growth and social impact would remain unique.</p><p>Today, the music that surrounds us—from iPods to ring tones to Muzak—accompanies us everywhere from airports to grocery stores. The roots of this modern culture lie in the business of popular song, player-pianos, and phonographs of a century ago. Provocative, original, and lucidly written, <em>Selling Sounds</em> reveals the commercial architecture of America’s musical life.</p>
Sound in the Age of Mechanical ReproductionSuisman, DavidSusan StrasserUniversity of Pennsylvania Press<p>During the twentieth century sound underwent a dramatic transformation as new technologies and social practices challenged conventional aural experience. As a result, sound functioned as a means to exert social, cultural, and political power in unprecedented and unexpected ways. The fleeting nature of sound has long made it a difficult topic for historical study, but innovative scholars have recently begun to analyze the sonic traces of the past using innovative approaches. </p><em>Sound in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction</em><p> investigates sound as part of the social construction of historical experience and as an element of the sensory relationship people have to the world, showing how hearing and listening can inform people's feelings, ideas, decisions, and actions.</p><p>The essays in <em>Sound in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction</em> uncover the varying dimensions of sound in twentieth-century history. Together they connect a host of disparate concerns, from issues of gender and technology to contests over intellectual property and government regulation. Topics covered range from debates over listening practices and good citizenship in the 1930s, to Tokyo Rose and Axis radio propaganda during World War II, to CB-radio culture on the freeways of Los Angeles in the 1970s. These and other studies reveal the contingent nature of aural experience and demonstrate how a better grasp of the culture of sound can enhance our understanding of the past.</p>

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