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65 5th Ave, Room 411
New York, NY, 10003
United States

Funded by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, The Graduate Institute for Design, Ethnography & Social Thought at the New School incubates advanced transdisciplinary research and practice at the intersection of social theory and design and fosters dialogue on related themes across the university.


Julie Beth Napolin

Julie Beth Napolin is Assistant Professor of Digital Humanities at Eugene Lang College. Working between sound studies, American studies, and literary modernism, she explores practices and philosophies of listening in relation to the modernist novel.

JULIE BETH NAPOLIN is Assistant Professor of Digital Humanities, teaching in Literary Studies at Eugene Lang College. In 2010, she received a Ph.D. in Rhetoric from U.C. Berkeley. Her work participates in the fields of sound studies, American studies, and literary modernism, asking what practices and philosophies of listening in the 20th century and beyond can tell us about the modernist novel as form. 

As a GIDEST Faculty Fellow, Julie will be working on The Acoustics of Narrative Involvement: Towards a Literary Sound Studies. This project argues for the relation between the works of Joseph Conrad and William Faulkner as an exemplary case of literary acoustics. Faulkner took the colonial soundscapes of Conrad and transplanted them into Mississippi while also working with the history of American slave song, sound, and vocality. Foregrounding the physical nature of sound as it affects the body in space and time, this project shows how the movement of sound—in howls, cries, whispers, and moans—is one paradigm for thinking through the relation between Conrad and Faulkner, two authors who turned to resonance and vibration in order to rethink the goals of narrative. Also tracing an aesthetic lineage between the novel and new media, this project argues that a suppression of sound in narrative theory has also suppressed the body, race, and gender in ways that continue to orient digital humanities methodologies and its design strategies.