Jacob Smith

Jacob Smith is founder and director of the Master of Arts in Sound Arts and Industries, and professor in the Department of Radio/Television/Film. He is the author of Vocal Tracks: Performance and Sound Media (University of California Press 2008); Spoken Word: Postwar American Phonograph Cultures (University of California Press 2011); The Thrill Makers: Celebrity, Masculinity, and Stunt Performance (University of California Press 2012); and Eco-Sonic Media (University of California Press, 2015). He writes and teaches about the cultural history of media, with a focus on sound and performance.


PhD   Department of Communication and Culture, Indiana University

Recent Publications

Anatomy of Sound: Norman Corwin and Media Authorship, co-edited with Neil Verma (University of California Press, 2016)

“The chance meeting of a goose and a plover on a turntable: Chris Watson’s wildlife sound recordings,” in Sound Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal, December 2016.

“A Tour of Zoo in Budapest,” in Lawrence, Michael and Lury, Karen eds. The Zoo and Screen Media: Images of Exhibition and Encounter. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2016.

“Over-Hearing,” in Papenburg, Jens Gerrit and Schulze, Holger eds. Sound As Popular Culture. Cambridge: MIT Press, 2016.

“Jim Copp’s Playhouse,” Creative Industries Journal, Volume 8, number 2, 2015.

“Listening to Film Sound,” introductory article for special dossier on film sound in the online journal, The Cine-Files, Issue 8, Spring 2015. I served as editor for the special dossier.

Recent Awards, Honors and Grants

Anatomy of Sound: Norman Corwin and Media Authorship won the Kraszna-Krausz Best Moving Image Book Award, 2017.

Spoken Word won the 2012 Association for Recorded Sound Collections Award for Excellence in General Historical Research on Recorded Sound.


Sound Studies; History of the Record Industry; Film/Music/Video; Media Authorship: Meet David Lynch; Film History; Children’s Media Culture; Indian Cinema; Understanding Creative Industries

Jacob Smith





Annie May Swift Hall
1920 Campus Drive
Room 307
Evanston, Illinois 60208