Joeri Bruyninckx

Research Scholar
Research Scholars are early career scholars who have ordinarily already had at least one postdoctoral fellowship or equivalent academic experience. This is the equivalent of an entry-level academic position (e.g. assistant professor in North America, Lecturer in the United Kingdom, Maître de conférences in France). These scholars carry considerable responsibilities (no more than 30% of their time) within their research unit.
Max Planck Research Group (Epistemes of Modern Acoustics)
June 1, 2015 to May 31, 2018

Joeri Bruyninckx is a Research Scholar within the Research Group “Epistemes of Modern Acoustics.” In his work he is concerned with the relation between modes of listening and scientific conceptions of auditory perception, and the ways these have been mobilized in knowledge practices in twentieth-century field biology, contemporary experimental sciences and the post-war workspace.

He completed his PhD (2013) "Sound Science. Recording and Listening in the Biology of Bird Song, 1880-1980" at Maastricht University and the Research school of Science, Technology and Modern Culture (WTMC). It traces how field ornithologists appropriated sound recording from the worlds of music, radio production, and hobby engineering into a way of investigating and representing the acoustical behavior of wild birds, with particular attention to the ways in which scientists have conceptualized "listening" as a legitimate epistemic practice. Before coming to Berlin, he spent semesters at Cornell University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and was a postdoctoral researcher within the NWO-funded research program "Sonic Skills. Sound and Listening in the Development of Science, Technology and Engineering (1920-now)." He is currently Assistant Professor in Science and Technology Studies at the Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences at Maastricht University, where he also teaches.

He is currently working on three projects. At present, he is finishing a manuscript that is based on his dissertation research and forthcoming in the Inside Technology series at MIT Press. It traces how nature recordings travelled between different cultural and scientific contexts, and how the skills, meanings, and audiences associated with these contexts became implicated in the dynamics of knowledge production. Sound recordings’ wide appeal in scientific research, commercial entertainment, and education structured how they were produced, shared, and used, shaping a particular way of listening to nature in the process. His second project relates to the history of sound control and the formation of attentive listening in the office, classroom, and cockpit. It examines the conditions under which acoustic knowledge came to be applied to use environmental control and listening technique in engineering the psychological and physiological performance of tasks such as vigilance, signal discrimination or decision-making. Finally, together with the research group "Epistemes of Modern Acoustics," he is currently developing a new website and digital archive project, collecting resources in the history of modern acoustics. 

Selected publications

Bruyninckx, J., & Supper, A. (2016). Sonic skills in cultural contexts: theories, practices and materialities of listening. Sound Studies, 2(1), 1-5. View

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Bruyninckx, J. (2015). Trading twitter: Amateur recorders and economies of scientific exchange at the Cornell Library of Natural Sounds. Social Studies of Science, 45(3), 344-370. doi:10.1177/0306312715580404.

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