Alumni Graduate Students

Harry Burson


Dissertation: The World in Stereo: A Genealogy of Immersive Media

Mg_0047 40 2


Harry Burson is a media theorist and historian whose research explores the intersection of digital and aural cultures. His book manuscript, The World in Stereo, examines how sound technologies have shaped both our social understanding and embodied experience of digital media. Through original archival research, he traces the development of immersive sonic media from early telephony to virtual reality. He shows how the concept of immersion has fostered the imagination of the listener’s ability to hear the global, networked space of flux and multiplicity under platform capitalism.

His writing on sound art, stereo, and the metaverse is forthcoming in October, Music Sound and the Moving Image, and the anthology Navigating Imaginary Worlds. He has developed and taught courses on multiverse films, immersive media, network aesthetics, Anthropocene cinema, and media archaeology. His research has been supported by fellowships from the Lemelson Center of Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, the Baird Society, The Linda Hall Library of Science and Technology, and the University of California Humanities Research Institute.

At Berkeley, he co-organized the conferences Medium/Environment and High/Low: Taste, Quality, and Resolution in Film and Media. He also was an organizer of the Unintelligible: Noise Against Capture Conference at UC Santa Cruz as a founding member of the University of California Humanities Research Institute “Critical Research in Sound Studies” Working Group. He coordinated the Townsend Center working groups on Sound Studies and Film.