Wendy Hsu is a researcher, strategist, and educator who engages with hybrid research and organizing agendas for equity in arts, technology, and civic participation. A former ACLS Public Fellow, Hsu currently works as the digital strategist of the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, providing research and strategy to redesign the department’s data and knowledge architecture. Hsu is also the founder of Lab at DCA, a city staff innovation incubator. Hsu serves on the advisory committee for Arts for LA, California Community Foundation’s Social Change Data Commons, Cultural Research Network, and the Society of Ethnomusicology Council.
Hsu has published on digital ethnography, sound-based pedagogy, public humanities, open access publishing, Asian American indie rock, Yoko Ono, Taqwacore, and Bollywood. Their academic research on street sound cultures in postcolonial Taiwan focuses on the urban underclass experience of mobility and low-resource technology. Their civic sound data project LA Listens explores the sensory, social, and ecological aspects of Los Angeles streets by providing a creative and engagement platform for community-oriented artists, planners, and organizers. Most recently, Hsu led the maker collective Movable Parts through Movable Karaoke, a Metro-funded project that evokes and explores the collective mobility experience in LA.
Since 2007, Hsu has designed and taught undergraduate courses in music, gender studies, media practice at University of Virginia and Occidental College, and led graduate workshops on design research and advised MFA students in Media Design Practices at Art Center College of Design. They completed Mellon Digital Scholarship Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Center of Digital Learning + Research of Occidental College where they researched and taught ethnographic methodology, digital pedagogy, digital sound studies, and community-based participatory research.
Hsu received their PhD in the Critical and Comparative Studies in Music program at the University of Virginia. Their ethnographic dissertation details the identity articulation and community formation of Asian American musicians in indie rock music scenes.
An active performer, Hsu is a founding member of ethnographic ghost pop band Bitter Party, vintage Asian rock band Dzian!, improvised music trio Pinko Communoids, and Yoko-Ono-inspired noise duo Grapefruit Experiment.
Wendy Hsu’s_CV [pdf]
Wendy Hsu’s resume [pdf]