263 Knight Library
The bulk of my research broadly looks at the nature of technical and cultural innovation in general. Specifically, I look at DJ culture and technology as an example of how creativity is the byproduct of a network of people, products, brands, etc. My work addresses the relationship between DJ culture and the industries that serve it, and focuses on the manipulation, exchange and rights associated with intellectual properties in this context. While most scholarship suggests that hip hop DJs manipulate intellectual properties and are “criminals,” I explore how DJs themselves are intellectual properties that are manipulated by the industries in product R&D and in marketing.
This interest has also led to me co-founding DJistory and the DJpedia Archive, which is a nonprofit devoted to DJ culture, history and technology. The Archive has over 100 historically and culturally important DJ mixers, from the disco era to the present. Eventually this will be an online wiki and interactive museum, as well as a physical exhibit. One of the highlight items in the Archive includes a pair of original Technic SL-1200 turntables that belonged to Disco King Mario and were used by Afrika Bambaataa, considered one of the most important hip hop DJs and pioneers of the art, in his first DJ battle in 1976.
I’m also working on numerous other projects, which include a coffee table styled book on DJ mixers, featuring pictures from the Archive and the stories behind the mixers from the DJs involved.
Recent Citations – Publications – Professional Work
Designed from Scratch: The Hip Hop DJ, Cultural Exchange and Innovation (tentative title). New York: Peter Lang Publishing, Inc. (Under Contract)
"Scratching out authorship: The creative network of hip hop DJs" in Cultures of Copyright, eds. Danielle DeVoss and Martine Courant Rife, 196-210. New York: Peter Lang Publishing, Inc. 2015
"The Political Economy of Recorded Music." The Handbook of Political Economy of Communications, eds. Janet Wasko, Graham Murdock, and Helena Sousa, 331-357. Walden, MA: Blackwell Publishing. Sirois, André, and Janet Wasko. 2011.
CINE 425 "Top Indie Film"
CINE 425 "Making Music Video"
CINE 425 "Sound For Screens"
CINE 425 "Narrative DSLR Filmmaking"
CINE 399 "Remix Culture(s)"
CINE 399 "South Park & Society"
CINE 399 "Hip Hop & Screens"