Ailsa Lipscombe

Ailsa Lipscombe
Cohort Year: 2015
Research Interests: sound studies and/in hospitals; film and tv music; blindness and disability studies; interactions of fans and listeners on and through social media; popular music of the 20th and 21st centuries
Education: BMus, Te Kōki New Zealand School of Music, 2014; MMus, Victoria University of Wellington, 2015; MA, University of Chicago, 2017


I am interested in how relationships to time and the environment are mediated through relationships to sound. In my dissertation I explore the sonic profile of hospitals, with a particular interest in how people’s interpretation of sound and silence effects their experience of wellbeing. I draw on disability studies, anthropology of the senses, and sound studies to better understand how embodied experiences of illness and health can change individuals' sensory orientations towards place. As a part of this research, I consider how media portrayals of medical environments, such as within TV medical dramas, influences how patients develop hospital listening practices. My secondary research area is in (mis)representations of indigeneity within film, both live-action and animated. My work has been supported by a 2015 Fulbright grant and the Society for Ethnomusicology’s Charlotte Frisbie Prize.


Sound and Society Workshop – coordinator, 2018-19

Teaching Experience

MUSI 12100: Music in Western Civilization I (CA, Winter 2018)

MUSI 12200: Music in Western Civilization II (CA, Spring 2018)

MUSI 23300: Introduction to the Social and Cultural Study of Music (CA, Winter 2019)