I develop multimodal ethnographic methods to explore contemporary music-cultures. I work to innovate digital and computational methods that extend and reconceptualize ethnographic processes in contemporary contexts. As a graduate student at the University of Virginia, I began experimenting with the notion and practice of computational ethnography. Theorizing and developing methodology for an emerging multimodal ethnography — a computationally mediated process of doing field work and producing scholarly documentation in the genre of ethnography — has occupied my postdoctoral time.

With my subject interest in transnational Asian music-cultures, my ethnographic projects are aimed to deepen my engagement with geopolitical entities such as “Asian America” and postcolonial Taiwan. In particular, my dissertation focused on the geographical and social contours of Asian America through the lens of Asian American independent rock musicians. And more recently, I started a new project about the Nakashi itinerant musicians, looking at the class dynamics, street-level market economy, and media culture in postcolonial Taiwan.

Beyond these research projects, I started a few public humanities and arts projects that are informed by my research. I co-founded Movable Parts, a community-Oxy partnered arts/advocacy group with a mission to use creative projects to promote human-scale mobility and street vibrancy in the greater Los Angeles area. Additionally, I collaborated with sound artist Jonathan Zorn to build Paperphone, an interactive audio application that processes voice and sound materials live and in-context. Designed to challenge the privileging of text over act in humanities scholarship, Paperphone is a performative platform for scholars to unravel the expressive potential of voice and audio in sharing academic works.


These are the projects that I have worked and presented on:

Mapping Digital Diaspora

張玉霞 淡水街頭的演唱
Nakashi: itinerant musicians in Taiwan

Movable Parts: Community Arts/Activism
Movable Parts: Community Arts/Advocacy

Paperphone logo