Carolyn Birdsall is Assistant Professor of Media Studies, University of Amsterdam. Birdsall studied at the University of New South Wales (History and Media/Communications) and Heinrich Heine Universität Düsseldorf, before completing a doctorate at the University of Amsterdam. Her monograph, Nazi Soundscapes (AUP, 2012) was the recipient of the ASCA Book Award 2013. Since 2016, Birdsall is director of the ASCA Cities Project, and starting in 2019, she will lead the NWO-funded project "Mapping Transnational Conflict Heritage", which examines how European radio was archived, circulated and re-used under conditions of war, occupation and reconstruction.
News: Visiting professor, Goethe University Frankfurt (winter semester 2018-2019)
Recent: Media and empire workshop, invited participant (Lisbon, 10 Jan. 2019)
Recent: Gender, technology and media workshop, invited speaker (Uni. Sussex, 11. Jan. 2019)
Recent: Keynote: Sonic Documents conference (Bochum, 18-19 Jan. 2019)
New: Doing Memory Research: New Methods and Approaches (ed. with Danielle Drozdzewski)
New: "Making Worlds in Urban Cultural Studies" (ed. with Simone Kalkman)
New: "Worlding the Archive," chapter in Transnationalizing Radio Research (open access)
New: "Capturing Commemoration: Using Mobile Recordings within Memory Research," co-authored article with Danielle Drozdzewski in Mobile Media & Communication (open access)
Nazi Soundscapes: Sound, Technology and Urban Space in Germany, 1933-1945. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2012.
Recipient of the ASCA Book Award 2013.
Doing Memory Research: New Methods and Approaches. Palgrave, 2018 [Co-edited with Danielle Drozdzewski].
Rethinking Theories of Television Sound. Special Issue of Journal of Sonic Studies 3 (2012) [Co-edited with Anthony Enns].
Inside Knowledge: (Un)doing Ways of Knowing in the Humanities. Cambridge Scholars Press, 2009 [Co-edited with Maria Boletsi, Pieter Verstraete and Itay Sapir].
Sonic Mediations: Body, Sound, Technology. Cambridge Scholars Press, 2008 [Co-edited with Anthony Enns].
‘Worlding the Archive: Radio Collections, Heritage Frameworks, and Selection Principles’, in A. Badenoch and G. Föllmer (eds.), Transnationalizing Radio Research: New Approaches to an Old Medium (transcript, 2018) [open access]
"Divisions of Labour: Radio Archiving as Gendered Work in Wartime Britain and Germany.” [Special Issue: Gender and Archiving: Past, Present, Future]. International Yearbook of Women's History 37 (2018). 107-133.
"Capturing Commemoration: Using Mobile Recording within Memory Research" (with Danielle Drozdzewski). Mobile Media & Communication 6.2 (2018): 266-284. [open access]
‘Found in Translation: Recording, Storing and Writing of Sounds’, in M. Bull (ed.) Routledge Companion to Sound Studies (Routledge, 2018)
‘Radio’, in D. Morat and H. Ziemer (eds.) Handbuch Sound: Geschichte – Begriffe – Ansätze (J.B. Metzler, 2018)
‘Beyond the ‘1945 divide’: Reassembling Radio Histories in Wrocław, Formerly Breslau’ (with Joanna Walewska), IAMHIST Blog (2018).
‘都市空間における「肯定的共鳴’ [‘Affirmative Resonance’ in Urban Space]. 10plus1 4 (2018).
“Sound and Media Studies: Archiving and the Construction of Sonic Heritage” in Sound as Popular Culture, edited by Jens Gerrit Papenburg and Holger Schulze. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2016. 133-148.
“Listening to the Mind: Tracing the Auditory History of Mental Illness in Archives and Exhibitions” (with Manon Parry and Viktoria Tkaczyk). The Public Historian 37.4 (2015): 47-72.
“Can We Invent a Field Called Radio Preservation Studies?” in FLOW: Online Journal of Media and TV Studies, 2015.
“Resounding City Films: Vertov, Ruttmann and Early Experiments with Documentary Sound Aesthetics” in Music and Sound in Documentary Film, edited by Holly Rogers. New York: Routledge, 2015. 21-41.
"Sound Aesthetics and the Global Imagination in German Media Culture around 1930" in Sounds of Modern History: Auditory Cultures in 19th and 20th Century Europe, edited by Daniel Morat. New York: Berghahn, 2014. 256-277.
"Sound" in OUP Encyclopedia of Aesthetics, edited by Michael Kelly. New York: Oxford UP, 2014. 23-27.
"Forum: The Senses" (with Jan-Frieder Missfelder, Daniel Morat and Corine Schleif). German History 32.2 (2014): 256-273.
"Sonic Artefacts: Reality Codes of Urbanity in Early German Radio Documentary" in Soundscapes of the Urban Past: Staged Sound as Mediated Cultural Heritage, edited by Karin Bijsterveld. Bielefeld: Transcript Verlag, 2013. 129-168.
"(In)audible Frequencies: Sounding out the Contemporary Branded City" in Paris-Amsterdam Underground: Essays on Cultural Resistance, Subversion,and Diversion, edited by Christoph Lindner & Andrew Hussey. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2013. 115-131.
"Die Orchestrierung urbaner Akustik: dokumentarische Form, akustische Medien und die moderne Stadt" in Ton: Texte zur Akustik im Dokumentarfilm, edited by Volko Kamensky & Julian Rohrhuber. Berlin: Vorwerk 8, 2013. 76-97.
"Of Sound Mind: Mental Distress and Sound in Twentieth-Century Media Culture" (with Senta Siewert). Special Issue: Madness and Media. Tijdschrift voor Mediageschiedenis 16.1 (2013).
Invited talk, “Transnational Perspectives on Radio Archiving in Europe,” Transnational Media workshop, Nederlands Instituut voor Beeld en Geluid (14 Dec. 2017)
Invited talk: “Radio Archives as Conflict Heritage”, University of Wroclaw (17 Oct. 2017)
Invited talk: “Authentic Sounds? Hans Flesch‘s Radio Archive between Original and Approximation”, University of Cologne (21 Sept. 2017)
Invited talk: “On Listening”, Tropical Dissonance: Decolonizing Knowledge through Ethnographic Archives, KUNCI/Tropenmuseum Amsterdam (6 Jun. 2017)
Invited talk: “Sound Archiving and the Heritage of War”, University of Oxford (4 May 2017)
Invited talk: “Radio Cultures and the Archival Impulse,” Borderline Festival Athens (20 Apr. 2017)
Invited talk, “Listening to the Sounds of the Second World War,” Being Human Festival/British Library (25. Nov. 2016)
Keynote: conference Urban Soundscape of 1945, University of Wroclaw, 18 Nov. 2016, "Bordered Sounds: The Archival Traces of Radio in Silesia"
Invited talk: Huizinga Institute: Contested Heritage and the Politics of Commemoration, 30 Jul. 2016, "Media Archives as Conflict Heritage"
Invited talk: Kracauer Lectures in Film and Media Theory, Goethe-University Frankfurt, 3 Nov. 2015, "For Future Reference: Sonic Heritage in Media Archival Comparison"
Invited talk: Universität Bremen, 19 Oct. 2015, "Inventing Zeitgeschichte: Evidence, Documentation and Media Archives"
Keynote: European Sound Studies Association (ESSA) conference: Mapping the Field, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, 29 Jun. 2014, “Archives of Sound: Broadening the Perspective”
Invited talk: KlangDenken lecture series, Humboldt Universität, Berlin, 10 Jun. 2014, “‘Archival Impulses’ in German Radio: Collecting, Ordering and Reusing Sound, 1930-1960"
Invited talk: Weserburg Research Centre, Bremen, 5-7 Jun. 2014, “Radio Art, Technology, and the Sound Archive”
Invited talk: Colloquium zur Zeitgeschichte, Freie Universität Berlin, 15 May 2014, “Sound Archiving, German Broadcasting and Memory Culture (1930-1960)”
Materialities of Postcolonial Memory, University of Amsterdam, 7-9. Dec. 2017, “Feeling Radio: Revisiting Imperial Legacies of Broadcasting in Contemporary Installation Art”
Inventing Global Radio conference, University of Amsterdam, 31 Aug. 2017, “Worlding the (Radio) Archive”
Media and History: Crime, Violence and Justice, IAMHIST conference, University Paris II, 13 Jul. 2017: “On the Wrong Side of Historiography: Reassembling Radio Histories in Breslau/Wrocław” (with Joanna Walewska)
AAG Annual Conference, Boston, 8 Apr. 2017, “Doing Memory Research Differently” (with Danielle Drozdzewski)
Memory Studies Association annual conference, 5 Dec. 2016, “Mobile Research: The Place of (Auto)Ethnography in Contemporary Memory Studies” (with Danielle Drozdzewski)
The Radio Conference 2016: Transational Radio Encounters, University of Utrecht, 5-8 Jul. 2016, "Agency in the Archive? Radio Archiving, Gendered Work and Transnational Networks"
Archives of/for the Future, NECS annual conference, University of Lodz, 18-21 Jun. 2015, "Sounds that Work: Production Films, Sound Archiving and Audio History"
SCMS annual conference, Montreal, 25-29 Mar. 2015, workshop on "Sound, Technology, and Auditory Knowledge"
Co-organiser, international workshop: Urban World-Making, 1-2 Jun. 2017, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam
Co-organiser, international workshop: Listening to the Archive: Histories of Sound Data in the Humanities and Sciences, 11-13 Feb. 2016, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam
Co-organiser, international workshop: Music, Voice and Orality in Performance History, 12 Jun. 2015, Amsterdam Centre for Heritage and Identity, Amsterdam
Co-organiser, Sound Signatures - Summer and Winter Schools Part I: “Space, Objects and Embodied Practices,” 13-17 Jan. 2014, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam; Part II: “Epistemologies and the Order of Sound,” 18-22 Aug. 2014, NYU Center / Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, Berlin
For the academic year 2018-19, I will co-teach the BA elective Postcolonial Media Studies and Media Culture in Transformation, along with two MA courses: Research Practices in Media Studies (RMA Media Studies - Core Course 2) and Collection and Collection Management (MA Preservation and Presentation of the Moving Image) during semester 1. From 1 January 2019 onwards I will have a limited availability for thesis supervision.
Core Course, Collection and Collection Management, 2017-18
Elective course, Visualising the Street, 2016-17
Core Course Research Practices in Media Studies, 2016-17, 2017-18
Elective course Amsterdam& Creative Urbanism, 2015-16
Core course Access & Reuse (MA Preservation and Presentation of the Moving Image), 2015-16
Elective course Curating the Moving Image, 2014-15 - see EYE programme
RMA tutorial Sound Media, Sound Aesthetics: 2010-11, 2012-13
Research seminar Tuning In: Sound in Contemporary Television Practice: 2009-2010, 2010-2011, 2011-12
Elective course Postcolonial Media Studies, 2017-18
Core Module Media Culture in Transformation, 2016-17, 2017-18
Elective course Sound Cultures: 2016-17
Core module Methoden voor Media-analyse (coordination, lectures): 2012-13, 2013-14, 2014-15, 2015-16
Core module Televisieanalyse (coordination, lectures and tutorials): 2012-13, 2013-14, 2014-15
Elective course Visual Culture, History and Modernity in Twentieth-Century Germany (German minor program, with Natalie Scholz): 2012-13
Elective course Sound Cultures: 2012-13, 2013-14, 2015-16, 2016-17
Core module Media, Culture and Identity (coordination, lectures and tutorials): 2009-2010, 2010-2011, 2011-2012
Core module Analyse en Methode TV en Populaire Cultuur (coordination,lectures and tutorials): 2009-2010, 2010-2011, 2011-2012
Core module Hedendaagse Mediacultuur: werkgroep televisie (tutorials): 2009-10
BA-Thesis module Sound in Non-Fiction Film and Television: 2006-2007
Block seminar, Goethe University Frankfurt, Frankfurt, Dec. 2018- Jan. 2019: “Media Archives: Politics, Aesthetics, Materiality” [intensive seminar - six sessions]
Max Planck Institute for Religious and Cultural Diversity, Göttingen, 20 Feb. 2018: “Explorations in Sound: Theory and Methods” [one-day skills workshop]
Masterclass, University of Wrocław, 16-17 Oct. 2017: “How to Study Past and Present Soundscapes?” [two sessions]
Masterclass, PhD summer institute [sic!], Northwestern University/University of Cologne, 30. Aug. 2016, "Signature Sounds"
Masterclass, Goethe University Frankfurt, 2 Nov. 2015, "Sonic Heritage and the Politics of Archiving"
MA elective "Music and Film," MA Musicology, University of Amsterdam, 26. Nov 2013, "Sound and Music in the New German Cinema"
MA Artistic Research, Royal Academy of Arts, The Hague, 1-22 Nov. 2011. Four lectures / workshops
MA Interior Architecture, Sandberg Institute, Amsterdam, 30 May 2011, "Aural Architecture"
MA Artistic Research, Royal Academy of Arts, The Hague, 16 May 2011, "Sound, Technology and Urban Space"