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Susan Bay

Susan C. Bay is a PhD candidate in Musicology and joined the department at UC Berkeley after completing a BM in Vocal Performance at Belmont University and a MM in Musicology at Northwestern University. Her dissertation project, “Sound Theory and its Discontents: Modernism, Broadcasting, and Listening Practices in Francophone Africa, 1946-1962” examines the ties between colonialism and European modernism through a study of midcentury theories of sound and listening. She focuses primarily on the Société de Radiodiffusion de la France d’Outre-Mer (SORAFOM), an organization Pierre Schaeffer directed in the 1950s. By cross-referencing archival materials on SORAFOM with Schaeffer’s writings on music and sound, she offers a unique method for understanding how a particular tradition of modernist musical aesthetics is steeped in the mechanics and ideologies of overseas broadcasting at the dissolution of the French empire. Her work is supported by the Social Science Research Council’s International Dissertation Research Fellowship, with funds provided by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.