DFMI 2018

The DWRL’s 2018 DFMI offered an introduction to and practice in methodologies for conceptualizing, developing, deploying, processing, and publishing academic research through digital media. Designed and led by DFMI Director Casey Boyle, Assistant Director William Burdette, and staff of the Digital Writing and Research Lab, the 2-week DFMI program took place both online and onsite. The online portion of the program (July 2-6) offered participants an opportunity to survey important scholarship regarding the conceptual and ethical concerns of field methods through shared readings and social annotation as well as short video and audio materials produced by DWRL staff. DFMI’s onsite segment (July 9-13) comprised practice exercises, site-based excursions, and workshop editing sessions developed to provide participants structured practice–individual and collaborative–for exploring an array of digital media for the procuring, processing, and publishing of sonic-based research. In addition to these exercises and discussions, DFMI featured a slate of guest speakers who shared a range of experience and expertise in sonic practices.

Detailed schedule of readings, exercises, and talks can be found in the archives.


Marina Peterson is Associate Professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Texas at Austin. Exploring diverse and innovative ways of encountering and presenting the ethnographic, her work traces modalities of matter, sensory attunements, and emergent socialities. With research primarily in and of Los Angeles and small cities of Appalachian Ohio, she has taken up these concerns through investigation and analysis of entanglements of sound, sensation, and urban infrastructures below and above ground. Peterson is the author of Sound, Space, and the City: Civic Performance in Downtown Los Angeles (UPenn Press 2010) and co-editor of Global Downtowns (UPenn Press 2012), Anthropology of the Arts: A Reader (Bloomsbury 2016), and Between Matter and Method: Encounters in Anthropology and Art (Bloomsbury 2017). Her current book project is titled Atmospheric Noise: Sensory Matters and Indefinite Urbanism. Her work has appeared in Anthropological QuarterlyJournal of Popular Music StudiesO-Zone: A Journal of Object-Oriented StudiesPopular Music StudiesSocial TextSouth Atlantic QuarterlySpace and Culture, and Urban Anthropology. 

Alex Keller is an audio artist, sound designer, curator and teacher based in Austin, Texas. His work is in the media of performance, installation, and recorded release, and reflects his interests in architecture, language, abstraction and music. He is an active audio production professional, has taught classes in media production at the Art Institute of Austin, Shoreline College, and the Art Institute of Seattle, and has won awards for his creative work from the Austin Chronicle, the City of Seattle, Puget Sound Transit, and Jack Straw Productions. Alex received a BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1995 and an MLA from St. Edward’s University in 2005. He is a founding member of Phonography Austin and the Mimeomeme collective and is the former host of Commercial Suicide on Austin’s KOOP Radio, central Texas’ longest-running experimental sound and music program. He recently released an album titled LCLX with collaborator Sean O’Neill with whome he has collaborated in performance and installation pieces since 2015. Using field recordings, vintage telephone test equipment, magnetic oscillators, light and space, their work has addressed the agents and artifacts of change in the urban and acoustic realms. The source recordings were made with acoustic and electromagnetic microphone techniques at Charles Alan Wright Intramural Field in Austin, Texas. The many ambient hums of the giant lights known to blind the neighborhood, as well as interactions with neighbors and the space, are very evident in the final piece. Ununbium/et al are pieces created from urban, pastoral and electromagnetic field recordings, that refer to states of stasis and change in a rapidly changing urban environment.

Byron Hawk is an Associate Professor of English at the University of South Carolina. His primary research interests are histories and theories of composition, rhetorical theory and technology, sonic rhetrics, and rhetorics of popular music. His forthcoming book, Resounding the Rhetorical: Composition as a Quasi-Object (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2018), argues that the inclusion of sound into composition and rhetoric pushes the field to expand its conception of composition as an object of study and requires a turn toward new materialisms in order to fully address it. Hawk has been a co-leader for two Rhetoric Society of America workshops on new material rhetorics in 2013 and 2015 and one on sonic rhetorics in 2017, and has co-edited a special issue of Computers and Composition entitled “Sound in New Media Spaces: The Next Step in Multiliteracy” (2006). He is also the author of A Counter-History of Composition: Toward Methodologies of Complexity (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2007), which won JAC’s W. Ross Winterowd Award in 2007 and received honorable mention for MLA’s Mina Shaughnessy Prize in 2008, and has published articles in journals such as PedagogyTechnical Communications QuarterlyJAC, and Pre/Text. Hawk is the editor of the electronic journal Enculturation, a book series for Parlor Press titled New Media Theory, and two collections on technology, Small Tech: The Culture of Digital Tools with David Rieder and Ollie Oviedo (University of Minnesota Press, 2008), and Digital Tools in Composition Studies: Critical Dimensions and Implications with Ollie Oviedo and Joyce R. Walker (Hampton Press, 2010).