I am an assistant professor of Performance Studies and a Crawley Faculty Fellow at Texas A&M University. My work explores sound-making and auditory practices as avenues for studying the government.
My first book, Sound-Politics in São Paulo (Oxford University Press, 2019), is an ethnographic study of urban noise in the most populous city in Brazil, the Western Hemisphere, and the Southern Hemisphere. In Sound-Politics in São Paulo, I examine environmental noise as a thread to navigate across governmental agencies in the legislative, executive, and judiciary branches. I describe how noise control debates in the city relate to controversies surrounding techno-scientific standards, laws, police enforcement, and judicial decisions. The book focuses on two interrelated processes: first, the series of regulatory mechanisms that turn sounds into the all-embracing “noise” susceptible to state intervention; second, the constant attempts of interested groups in either attaching or detaching specific sounds (musical events, industrial noise, traffic noise, religious sounds, etc.) from regulatory scrutiny. I define the dynamics of both processes as “sound-politics”: the channels through which sounds enter (and leave) the sphere of state regulation.
I am now working on a second book, State Acoustics in Brazil. This project continues the study of sound-politics as an analytical paradigm initiated in my first book but examines a broader range of sound categories and historical events. State Acoustics in Brazil will show the mechanisms through which the Brazilian state has deployed sounds for propaganda, crime control, forensic evidence, and political negotiation. The project includes six chapters, each of which follows the trajectory of an acoustic event from a specific point in history ranging from the 1930s to the 2010s. The book will provide a new line of inquiry for studying state-civil society relations in Latin America’s largest country.