Lauren Flood, a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in the Humanities, works at the intersections of music, anthropology, sound studies, and science and technology studies. She received her Ph.D. in ethnomusicology from Columbia University, with research and writing support from the Whiting Foundation, the Berlin Program for Advanced German and European Studies, and the National Science Foundation. Before coming to Columbia, she studied and worked in the music industry, performed as a guitarist, and traveled for research and study in Latin America.
At MIT, Lauren will focus on a book project based on her ethnographic fieldwork in New York and Berlin, provisionally titled Permanent Prototype: Working with Sound in the Maker Age. The project explores how experimental instrument builders navigate issues of ethics, labor, aesthetics, and knowledge in the contexts of the do-it-yourself (DIY) ethos, maker culture, and popular, avant-garde, and underground music scenes. She is interested in the cultural significance of instruments and sound technologies, particularly the interrelations between machines, design and craftsmanship, and “hands-on” DIY practices in an increasingly digital world.