Carolyn Birdsall is Associate Professor of Media Studies, University of Amsterdam, where she is affiliated with the Television and Cross-media team. Birdsall studied at the University of New South Wales (History and Media/Communications), before completing a doctorate at the University of Amsterdam. Her monograph, Nazi Soundscapes (AUP, 2012) was the recipient of the ASCA Book Award 2013. Birdsall is director of the ASCA Cities Project, and she currently leads the NWO-funded project TRACE (Tracking Radio Archival Collections in Europe, 1930-1960), which examines how European radio recordings were archived, circulated and re-used under conditions of war, occupation and reconstruction. A new book, entitled Radiophilia, will be released with Bloomsbury in 2023 (link).
Upcoming: new book Radiophilia (Bloomsbury, 2023)
Upcoming: talk at Media and Cultural Life in German-Occupied Western Europe (1940-1945) (Brussels, 7-8 Nov 2023)
New: special issue on archival histories of radio (with Erica Harrison)
New: "Von der Kardex-Kartei zur Einführung der Datenverarbeitungsmaschine" (with Corinna Kaiser)
New: "Feminist avenues for listening in" (with Elinor Carmi)
New: "Curating the urban music festival" (with Paulo Nunes)
New: "Sensing urban values" (ed. with Anastasiya Halauniova and Linda van de Kamp)
Nazi Soundscapes: Sound, Technology and Urban Space in Germany, 1933-1945. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2012. Recipient of the ASCA Book Award 2013. (open access)
Historical Traces of European Radio Archives, 1930-1960. Special Issue of TMG Journal for Media History 25.2 (2022) [co-edited with Erica Harrison] (online from 4 October 2022).
Sensing Urban Values. Special Issue of Space and Culture 24.3 (2021) [co-edited with Anastasiya Halauniova and Linda van de Kamp].
Listening to the Archive: Sound Data in the Humanities and Sciences. Special Issue of Technology and Culture 60.2 (2019) [co-edited with Viktoria Tkaczyk].
Doing Memory Research: New Methods and Approaches. Palgrave, 2018 [co-edited with Danielle Drozdzewski].
Making Worlds in Urban Cultural Studies. Special Issue of Journal of Urban Cultural Studies 5.2 (2018) [co-edited with Simone Kalkman].
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].
"Geschichte der Audiobestände der Reichs-Rundfunk-Gesellschaft (RRG) und ihrer Archivierung" (with Friedrich Dethlefs), Rundfunk und Geschichte 47.3-4 (2021): 9-31
"Von der Kardex-Kartei zur Einführung der Datenverarbeitungsmaschine: Die archivarische Praxis der ersten 20 Jahre des Deutschen Rundfunkarchivs" (with Corinna Kaiser), Rundfunk und Geschichte, 46.1-2 (2020): 11-25
"Reconstructing Media Culture: Transnational Perspectives on Radio in Silesia, 1924–1948" (with Joanna Walewska-Choptiany), Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television 39.3 (2019): 439-478 (open access)
"Radio Documents: Broadcasting, Sound Archiving, and the Rise of Radio Studies in Interwar Germany"Technology and Culture 60.2 (2019): 96-128
"Listening to the Archive: Sound Data in the Humanities and Sciences" (with Viktoria Tkaczyk). Technology and Culture 60.2 (2019): 1-13
"Divisions of Labour: Radio Archiving as Gendered Work in Wartime Britain and Germany" International Yearbook of Women's History 37 (2018): 107-133
“Architectures of the Air: New Broadcasting Buildings and Creative Practices with Sound Recording, 1930-1945”, Media buildings: Architecture, Communications & the Built Environment online conference (7 Jul. 2021)
“Why Film and Media Historians Should Care about Sound Archiving?”, Retuning the Screen conference, Gorizia (2 November 2020)
"International Perspectives on Radiophilia: Knowledge, Affect and Materiality", International Perspectives on a Radio Century symposium, Hilversum (8 Nov. 2019)
Archivist roundtable "Managing Radio Collections Related to the Second World War", IASA annual conference, Hilversum (1 Oct. 2019)
"Tracking Radio Collections in Europe, 1930-1960", Digital Humanities Benelux, Liege (13 Sep. 2019)
"Radio Collections in Europe, 1930-1960", AVA_Net annual conference, Hilversum (20 Jun. 2019)
"Creative Agency in the Margins: Gendered Sound Work and Radio Aesthetics in European Comparison, 1930–1950", SCMS annual conference, Seattle (14 Mar. 2019)
"Materialising Radio Ephemera: From Sound Documents to Acoustic Documentation", Akustische Dokumente/Sonic Documents conference, Bochum (18 Jan. 2019)
"Radiophonic Experiments, Recording and the Invention of Radio Studies, 1924-1945", Radiophonics series - Museum Tinguely, Basel (25 Oct. 2018)
Co-organiser, Historical Traces of European Radio Archives, 1930-1960, 28-29 Oct. 2021, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam
Co-organiser, Entanglements of Race, Sound and the Archive: Coloniality and the Globalised Present, 9 Dec. 2018, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam [see review here]
Co-organiser, Urban Valorisation - Urban Cultures, Local Histories, and Redevelopment Agendas, 18 May 2018, University of Amsterdam and Amsterdam Museum, Amsterdam
Co-organiser, Urban World-Making, 1-2 Jun. 2017, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam
Co-organiser, Listening to the Archive: Histories of Sound Data in the Humanities and Sciences, 11-13 Feb. 2016, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam
Co-organiser, 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 [see review here and here]
For the academic year 2022-23, I will run the MA tutorial More-than-human Cities (6 or 12 EC).
RMA tutorial (Post)Pandemic Urbanism, 2020-21, 2021-22.
Core course Collection and Collection Management, 2017-18, 2018-19, 2019-20
Elective course Visualising the Street, 2016-17
Core course Research Practices in Media Studies, 2016-17, 2017-18, 2018-19
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
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, 2018-19
Core Module Media Culture in Transformation, 2016-17, 2017-18, 2018-19
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]
Guest lecture BA Art Science / Sonology, Royal Conservatorium of Music, The Hague, 22 Mar. 2017: “Sound Studies meets Media Studies”
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"