People

Alexandra E. Hui

Visiting Scholar (May 2017-Jul 2017)

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.

Projects

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

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Sonifying Space: A History of the Science of Background Music

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Testing Hearing: Science, Art, Industry

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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 [u.a.]: 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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