John Picker (MIT), "His Monster's Voice"

This is an Archive of a Past Event

In 1897, H.G. Wells published The Invisible Man, and Marconi filed his patent and established the first station for wireless telegraphy, what would become radio. Wells's novel reads as if it were an instruction manual for the uses and abuses of the nascent radio voice. Picker's talk will track the reverberations of this voice, and the racially ambiguous status of its speaker, across eras, continents, and media.

John Picker teaches courses in nineteenth-, twentieth-, and twenty-first century literature and media. His interests include Victorian and transatlantic studies, auditory culture, and media history. He is the author of Victorian Soundscapes and a contributor to The Sound Studies Reader, ed. Jonathan Sterne, and the forthcoming second edition of The Auditory Culture Reader, ed. Michael Bull and Les Back. His essay "Two National Anthems" was published in A New Literary History of America, ed. Greil Marcus and Werner Sollors, which was on several best-of-2009 lists (Salon, NPR, Time Out New York, Boston Phoenix). His other writing includes chapters in Sounds of Modern HistoryThe Victorian WorldWalt Whitman and Modern Music, and Shakespearean Criticism, and articles in The American ScholarNew Literary HistoryELH, and Victorian Studies. He is a member of the editorial board of Sound Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal, which will begin publication in 2015.