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University of Delaware

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​​​​​​​​​​​​

 

 

Dr. David Suisman

Associate Professor, History
University of Delaware
118 Munroe Hall
Newark, DE 19716
 

Biography

David Suisman is associate professor of history at the University of Delaware specializing in cultural history, the history of music, sound studies, war and society, and the history of capitalism. His books include Instrument of War: Music and the Making of America's Soldiers (University of Chicago Press, forthcoming in 2024), Selling Sounds: The Commercial Revolution in American Music (Harvard University Press, 2009), and, as co-editor, Capitalism and the Senses (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2023) and Sound in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2010). His articles and reviews have appeared in the Journal of American History, Social Text, Radical History Review, The Believer, American Historical Review, Journal of Social History, and other publications. From 2010 to 2021, he was associate editor and book review editor of the Journal of Popular Music Studies. A sometime disc jockey at radio station WFMU, he lives in Philadelphia.

Publications

Books:

  • Selling Sounds: The Commercial Revolution in American Music (Harvard University Press, 2010).

Edited Volumes

  • Sound in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction With Susan Strasser (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2009).

Articles and Book Chapters

  • “The Political Economy of Copying,” Reviews in American History (review essay, forthcoming).
  • "Afterword: Music, Sound, History,” Journal of Social History, special issue on the social and cultural history of music (2018), 383-89.
  • "The American Environmental Movement’s Lost Victory: The Fight Against Sonic Booms,” The Public Historian 37, no. 4 (November 2015), 111–31.
  • “The Oklahoma City Sonic Boom Experiment and the Politics of Supersonic Aviation,” Radical History Review no. 121 (Jan. 2015), 169-195.
  • “Sound Recordings and Popular Music Histories: The Remix,” Journal of Popular Music Studies 23, no. 2 (2011), 212-20.
  • “Sound, Knowledge, and the ‘Immanence of Human Failure’: Rethinking Musical Mechanization through the Phonograph, the Player-Piano, and the Piano,” Social Text 102 (Spring 2010).
  • “Co-workers in the Kingdom of Culture: Black Swan Records and the Political Economy of African-American Music.” Journal of American History 90 (March 2004)

Research

​cultural history; media; history of capitalism; war and society; music and sound

Awards

​University of Pennsylvania, Penn Humanities Forum, Mellon Regional Faculty Fellow, 2013-14
DeSantis Book Prize, Society of Historians of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era, 2011.
Woody Guthrie Prize, International Association for the Study of Popular Music (IASPM), U.S. branch, 2010, honorable mention.
Gerard J. Mangone Young Scholars Award, Francis Alison Society, University of Delaware, 2010.
Hagley Prize for the Best Book in Business History, 2010.
Certificate of Merit, Best Historical Research in General Sound Recording, Association of Recorded Sound Collections (ARSC), 2010.
National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship, 2007-08.
Bancroft Dissertation Award, Columbia University, 2003.​

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