Joella Bitter
Instructor in the Department of Cultural Anthropology

I am a Ph.D. Candidate in Cultural Anthropology with a Certificate in Gender, Sexuality, and Feminist Studies. My research and teaching pursue creative ways to critically engage interdisciplinary intersections of anthropology of sound and the senses, science and technology studies, feminist theory, African studies, and urban political ecology. 

My research explores how sounding and listening inform and animate practices of city-making. From research with music producers, car mechanics, and urban planners in Gulu, Uganda, I query how technical-vernacular approaches to listening generate intimate urban relations and rhythms. Considering these sound worlds alongside technocratic standards which must be met in order to be recognized as a city in Uganda, I interrogate assumptions about what a 'city' looks and feels like, and the racialized economic orders embedded in these assumptions. By framing this project in terms of city-making rather than urbanization, i aim to amplify the creativity of everyday urban sociability and sense-making. i suggest that sound in the city matters for the ways these intimate connections elaborate a micropolitics of urban relationality based instead on openness and endurance.

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