Columbia University, (New York, New York), 2003-2009

  • PhD in Modern United States History, with distinction (May 2009)
    • Dissertation: Music Piracy and the Value of Sound, 1909-1998
    • Committee: Elizabeth Blackmar, Barbara Fields, Brian Larkin, Sarah Phillips, and Andie Tucher
  • MA in Modern United States History (May 2005)
    • Thesis: Portland, Oregon and the Making of the One-Newspaper Town

University of North Carolina at Charlotte, 1999-2003

  • BA in History, Summa cum laude, with University Honors (May 2003)
    • Thesis: Orientalism, Religion, and the West China Border Research Society, 1911-1948


Democracy of Sound: Music Piracy and the Remaking of American Copyright in the Twentieth Century (Oxford University Press, 2013; paperback, 2017).

Brain Magnet: Research Triangle Park and the Idea of the Idea Economy (New York: Columbia University Press, Studies in the History of US Capitalism series, 2020).

Editor, with Carribean Fragoza, Romeo Guzman, and Ryan Reft, East of East: The Making of Greater El Monte (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, Latinidad series, 2020).

Journal Articles & Book Chapters:

“Listening to the Democratic Forest with Brian Harnetty,” Resonance: The Journal of Sound and Culture 2 (2021): 66–73.

“Dreams of Escape and Belonging: The Making of Asian El Monte since 1965,” in Guzman, et al, East of East: The Making of Greater El Monte (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 2020), 135-145.

“‘We Think a Lot’: From Square to Hip in North Carolina’s Research Triangle,” in Shawn Bingham and Lindsey Freeman, eds., The Bohemian South: Creating Countercultures, from Poe to Punk (Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 2017).

“Brain Magnet: Research Triangle Park and the Origins of the Creative City, 1953-1965,”  Journal of Urban History 43 (2017).

“Of Sorcerers and Thought Leaders: Marketing the ‘Information Revolution’ in the 1960s,” The Sixties: A Journal of History, Politics, and Culture 9 (2016): 1-25.

“The Thing Called Information: Understanding Alienation in the Information Economy,” Tropics of Meta, 1 June 2015.

“Atlanta’s BeltLine Meets the Voters,” in Keith Gessen and Stephen Squibb, eds. City by City: Dispatches from the American Metropolis (n+1/Faber and Faber, 2015).

“Bootlegging as Material Culture,” American History Now, 17 February 2014.

“Vinyl as New Media,” American History Now, 3 February 2013.

“Only Typing? Informal Writing, Blogging, and the Academy,” with Jonathan Jarrett, in Writing History in the Digital Age (University of Michigan Press, 2013).

“The Bootleg South: The Geography of Music Piracy in the 1970s,” Southern Cultures (Spring 2013): 82-97.

“From Monopoly to Intellectual Property: Music Piracy and the Remaking of American Copyright, 1909-1971,” Journal of American History 97 (December 2010): 659-81.

“Collectors, Bootleggers, and the Value of Jazz, 1930-1952,” in David Suisman and Susan Strasser, eds., Sound in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2009), 95-114.

“Life in the Menagerie: David Crockett Graham and Missionary-Scientists in Sichuan, China, 1911-1948,” American Baptist Quarterly (Fall 2009), 206-27.

Selected Popular Media:

“Hospice of the Creative Class,” Columbia University Press Blog, 3 April 2020.

“The House that MC Escher and the Marquis de Sade Built,” PLATFORM, 7 October 2020.

“Music Piracy Is Older than You Think,” Learn Liberty, 20 April 2017.

“Información: La revolución que no occurió (translation),” Historia Global Online, 19 July 2016.

“Information: The Revolution that Didn’t Happen,” Age of Revolutions, 11 July 2016.

“The Invention of the Information Revolution,” OUP Blog, 15 April 2016.

“After the Gold Rush: How Can Musicians Survive in the Streaming Economy?” Aeon, 4 August 2015.

“The ‘Blurred Lines’ of Music and Copyright,” OUP Blog, 22 April 2015.

“Top Ten Books on Media History,” Daily History, 8 August 2014.

“News Corp, Time Warner, and the Veneer of Media Diversity,” The Conversation (Australia), 21 July 2014.

“Women’s Rights, Human Rights, and Feminist Men,” Sherights, 31 March 2014.

“The Foolish War against Song-Lyrics Websites,” Al Jazeera America, 3 January 2014.

“Bradley Manning Verdict Another Sorry Episode for Obama and ‘US Liberals,’” The Conversation (Australia), 31 July 2013.

“The End of Ownership,” OUP Blog, 21 June 2013.

“Why MOOCs Are Like the Music Industry,” History News Network, 30 May 2013.

“Forget Copyright! We’ve Always Stolen Music,” Salon, 28 April 2013.

“‘No Pakistanis’: The Racial Satire the Beatles Don’t Want You to Hear,” Salon, 14 April 2013.

“Galifianakis: Liberal Hero,” Salon, 10 August 2012.

“Where Does the Anti-SOPA Movement Go Next?” Salon, 30 January 2012. 

“Arab Hillbilly Goes to New York,” in Not Quite What I Was Planning: Six Word Memoirs by Writers Famous and Obscure (New York: Harper Perennial, 2008).

“Is Piracy Killing Independent Music?” Brooklyn Rail, December 2007.

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