Sykes portrait

Jim Sykes

Assistant Professor in the Department of Music
University of Pennsylvania

Jim Sykes is Assistant Professor in the Department of Music at the University of Pennsylvania. His research bridges several disciplinary gaps (historical musicology/ethnomusicology, South/Southeast Asian Studies, musicologies of Buddhism and Hinduism, critical social theory/the philosophy of music) through the theoretical domains of sound studies, postcolonial studies, and peace and conflict studies, focusing on Sri Lanka and Singapore. He is the author of the forthcoming The Musical Gift: Sonic Generosity in Post-War Sri Lanka (OUP, 2018). Two other book projects are in the works, one tentatively called Sonic Enchantment and a History of Capital that critiques narratives on the disenchantment of music through a study of labor, liberalism, and Hindu sounds in public and private spaces in Singapore; the second is an "anarchist" music history of the Bay of Bengal region that critiques ethnonationalist and European-derived philosophies of music. With Gavin Steingo, Sykes is co-editing Remapping Sound Studies (forthcoming, Duke University Press). He received his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago in 2011.


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