profile picture of Alexandra Hui (dark green shirt, half-lenght dark hair), dark grey background

Alexandra E. Hui

Visiting Scholar (Mai 2019-Jul 2019)

PhD, Associate Professor of History, Mississippi State University

Alexandra Hui studied history at the University of California at Los Angeles, obtaining her PhD in 2008 with a dissertation on psychophysics and music in Germany and Austria in the nineteenth century. She has been an assistant professor and now an associate professor in the Department of History at Mississippi State University since 2008. There she is head of the History of Science, Technology, and Medicine field, and Interim Director of the Center for the History of Agriculture, Science, and the Environment in the South.

Alix is working on two research projects. The first examines the co-development of new listening forms and background music technology in twentieth-century America. The second project is a comparative study of how field scientists listened to the environment in Germany and the United States in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Both projects are contributions to the Epistemes of Modern Acoustics Group at the MPIWG.

Alix’s monograph The Psychophysical Ear: Musical Experiments, Experimental Sounds, 1840–1910 was published in 2012. She has also published several scholarly articles and chapters in anthologies, and co-edited the 2013 Osiris volume on music, sound, and the laboratory. Alix has received awards and fellowships from the National Science Foundation, the Fulbright Foundation, and the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation.


No current projects were found for this scholar.

Listening to Nature: Standardized Soundscapes and Imagined Ecologies, 1900–2000


Sonifying Space: A History of the Science of Background Music


Testing Hearing: Science, Art, Industry


Selected Publications

Hui, A. E. (2017). Walter Bingham und die Universalisierung des individuellen Hörers. In Netzwerk "Hör-Wissen im Wandel" (Ed.), Wissensgeschichte des Hörens in der Moderne (pp. 41-64). Berlin: De Gruyter. doi:10.1515/9783110523720-003.

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Hui, A. (2016). Aural rights and early environmental ethics: negotiating the post-war soundscape. In A. S. Allen, & K. Dawes (Eds.), Current directions in ecomusicology: music, culture, nature (pp. 176-187). New York: Routledge.

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Hui, A. E. (2014). Muzak-While-You-Work: programming music for industry, 1919-1948. Historische Anthropologie, 22(3), 364-383. doi:10.7788/ha-2014-0306.

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Hui, A. E. (2013). Changeable ears: Ernst Mach’s and Max Planck’s studies of accommodation in hearing. Osiris, 28(1), 119-145.

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Hui, A. E., Kursell, J., & Jackson, M. W. (Eds.). (2013). Music, sound, and the laboratory from 1750 - 1980 [Special Issue]. Osiris, 28.

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Hui, A. E. (2013). The psychophysical ear: musical experiments, experimental sounds, 1840-1910. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press.

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Past Events


From Pillow-Talk with the State to Huxley’s Loudspeaker: The Dystopian Sounds of Control during the Cold War


Nachrichten & Presse


Alexandra Hui hat Forschungsstipendium der Alexander von Humboldt-Stiftung erhalten.


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