Mack Hagood, Ph.D.

Robert H. and Nancy J. Blayney Associate Professor of Comparative Media Studies

Mack Hagood

Mack Hagood does ethnographic and archival research in digital media, sound technologies, disability, and popular music. He is particularly interested in how people use audio media to control their spatial surroundings, social interactions, and sense of self. 
 
In his book Hush: Media and Sonic Self-Control (Duke UP, 2019)Hagood presents a sixty-year history of audio media designed to create “safe spaces” for their users: white noise machines, tinnitus maskers, nature sound apps, and noise-canceling headphones. Hush rethinks commonplace definitions of media and argues that our efforts to shield ourselves can also decrease our tolerance for sonic and social difference. The book has received praise in The New YorkerWire, Leonardo Reviews, and The Journal of Radio & Audio Media 
 
Some of Hagood’s other scholarly publications include studies of indie rock in Taiwan (Folklore Forum), the use of noise-canceling headphones in air travel (American Quarterly), the ontology of Foley and digital film sound (Cinema Journal), and the importance of sound as "the 12th man" in NFL games and their telecasts (Popular Communication)
 
Hagood has written for The Atlantic and been interviewed in The New YorkerPitchforkand Freakonomics RadioHe has worked as a writer and editor for print and digital publications, created music for independent film projects, and played guitar for the Americana group Pinetop SevenHagood is also the producer and host of Phantom Power: Sounds about Sound, a podcast that explores the roles of sound in arts and culture. 
 
At Miami, Hagood teaches courses such as The Smartphone and Society and Sound and Music in Media Cultures. His other teaching interests include global media, ethnographic methods, and audio production. He received his PhD from Indiana University’s Department of Communication and Culture. While he was at IU, he and his students won the Indiana Society of Professional Journalists’ 2012 Best Radio Use of Sound award for their documentary series I-69: Sounds and Stories in the Path of a Superhighway.
 

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