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As a higher education professional, I have dedicated my career to creating two-way relationships between academia and the broader world.

I currently work as a Project Manager for the Hyundai Research Collaborative at the Rhode Island School of Design. This work brings together designers, artists, architects, biologists, musicians, and industry professionals from around the world. We work collectively to explore topics like sustainability, biomimicry, and climate justice—basically ways that humans can learn from nature and act with accountability to all living systems.

In the past, I have been a teacher, researcher, and mentor. I was a faculty member at Tufts and Northeastern, and I worked as a Postdoctoral Fellow at Emory University, where I taught public-facing educational programming centered around the creative act of listening. I have completed a Ph.D. in music from Brown University, during which I examined intersections between digital cultures, popular music, and disability justice.

These days my research revolves around sound studies, media studies, and disability studies. My peer-reviewed academic articles appear in major journals, and I am currently completing a monograph called Spectacular Listening, which is forthcoming from Oxford University Press. I also write for non-academic audiences in popular outlets, such as the Boston Review and Sounding Out!

In all of my work, I strive to remember the limits of my own perspective and the many ways of knowing. I hope my work helps distribute resources of higher ed institutions in equitable ways and advances conversations between unlikely participants.

byrd.mcdaniel [at] gmail.com