Jennifer Hsieh

Visiting Postdoctoral Fellow (Nov 2017-Feb 2018)


Jennifer Hsieh received her PhD in anthropology from Stanford University in 2017 and was recently a Geballe Predoctoral Fellow at the Stanford Humanities Center. At MPIWG, she will be based at both the Epistemes of Modern Acoustics Research Group and Department III. After that, she will begin a research fellowship at the University of Amsterdam’s Vossius Center for the History of Humanities and Sciences.

As an anthropologist of sound, Jennifer examines the role of acoustics in the construction of a modern state and the development of urban subjectivity. Her dissertation, “Noise Governance and the Hearing Subject in Urban Taiwan, is an ethnographic and historical study of the technological, bureaucratic, and informal practices underlying the production of noise as a regulatory object in Taiwan from the mid-twentieth century to the present. At the MPIWG, she will expand the historical scope of her research by investigating the global transfer of noise monitoring technologies from New York and Japan to colonial Taiwan during the 1930s. Her work at the MPIWG, combined with her dissertation, will form the basis of a book-length manuscript. In addition to her scholarly research, Jennifer recently completed a pilot project that visualized Taiwan’s noise complaint petitions using geospatial mapping techniques, with support from the Digital Humanities Asia (DHAsia) Initiative at Stanford. Previous research was funded by the Social Science Research Council and Wenner-Gren Foundation.


Colonial Ears: Noise, Acoustics, and Hearing Bodies in Colonial Taiwan


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Thematic Cluster: Colonial Techniques