Cynthia Browne, PhD

Universitätsstr. 105
44780 Bochum
Room: UNI 105, 3/29

Phone: +49 (0) 234/32-27046

Title of the Postdoc-Project

Sonic Transductions in Hearing the Sounds of Industrial Labor

Project Description

My research project is an inquiry into the various apparatuses supporting sonic transductions that conditions the possibilities for hearing labor, i.e. the various ways of listening, hearing, recording, sounding, and transmitting acoustic milieus of industry across disparate settings and in relation to differently situated bodies.

Methodologically, I plan to examine how operations of transduction result in representations of the acoustic reality of what it means to hear industrial sound as its manifests itself within works of art, clinical settings and scientific studies, soundscapes, and as evidentiary data used in political dispute and compensation. Examining the processes by which a signal in one medium becomes converted into a signal in another, I aim to demonstrate the fecundity of a transductive approach for understanding how “hearing industry” through various inscription devices and operations of conversion actively contributes to producing boundaries between subjects and objects, interiorities and exteriorities, as well as differentiations of judgements that discern distinctions between the fabricated, the factographic, and the documentary within various socio-historical junctures.

Scholarly Career

  • Since 2/2020 | Postdoc at the DFG-graduate school “Documentary Practices. Excess and Privation”, Ruhr-University Bochum
  • 2018-2019  | Research Fellow, Berlin Program for Advanced European and German Studies, Free University of Berlin
  • 2019 | PhD, Social/Cultural Anthropology; secondary field: Critical Media Practice, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA., Thesis: “Utopic Wastelands: Site-Specific Art and the Re-making of Germany’s Ruhr region.” Adviser: Steven C. Caton
  • 2012 | M.A. Anthropology, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA
  • 2005 | B.A. magna cum laude. Anthropology (Major); Policy Studies (minor). Rice University, Houston, TX.



  • Friches industrielles. Réenchanter les ruines de la Ruhr “post-industrielle” allemande., in: Techniques & Culture n°65-66, “Réparer le monde: Excès, reste,  innovation.”, 2016, S. 422-433.
  • Sartorial Productions: Visiting the Isle of the VEST Modelabel, in: Archipel, exhibition. cat., ZK/U Press, Berlin 2014, S. 141-152.

Book reviews

Projects / Miscellaneous

  • Exhibition (2020): “Three Landscapes.” Marie Wolfgang, Essen.