I am an ethnographer who analyzes gestures, bodies, listening norms, and playback devices. In popular press and academic outlets, I’ve written about all kinds of topics–from air guitar as a pantomime practice that set the stage for things like TikTok to disability stigma as a political weapon. My current work looks towards amateur livestreaming subcultures.

I am currently a Visiting Assistant Professor at Northeastern University in the College of Arts, Media, and Design.

ByrdI hold a PhD in ethnomusicology (Brown University) and master’s degrees in American studies (University of Alabama) and ethnomusicology (Brown University). My projects have been generously funded by the American Folklife Center and the Association for Recorded Sound Collections, and my recent work can be found in Ethnomusicology, American Quarterly, and Disability Studies Quarterly. I’m a dedicated teacher who has taught at Northeastern University, Brown University, Tufts University, and the University of Alabama.

In this life, I’m a guitarist and karaoke enthusiast. In my next life, I’ll be a GIF artist.

byrd.mcdaniel [at] gmail.com