North America: U.S. 20th-Century Cultural History; Urban History; Sound Studies
Dr. Art Blake specializes in U.S. 20th-century urban and cultural history and sound studies. His first book, How New York Became American, 1890-1924 (2006) examined the place of New York City in the American national imagination in the first two decades of the 20th century and the role of the tourist industry in remaking the city’s image. Dr. Blake currently is working on a second book project, Audible City, focused on the cultural politics of sound in New York and Los Angeles after 1945. Recent publications related to this project include "Audible Citizenship and Audiomobility: Race, Technology, and CB Radio," in American Quarterly 63:3 (2011) and “An Audible Sense of Order: Race, Fear, and CB Radio on Los Angeles Freeways in the 1970s,” in Sound in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction, eds. D. Suisman and S. Strasser (2009). He is currently revising an article "The Political Resonance of Indeterminacy" concerning John Cage's 1958 composition Indeterminacy and the politics of the voice in the 1950s USA. Dr. Blake is also researching histories of games and gaming and applying them to urban studies. His research has been supported by fellowships and grants from the Smithsonian Institution, Harvard University, the Library of Congress, and most recently by the Social Science and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC). He holds a SSHRC Standard Research Grant for his Audible City project. Dr. Blake teaches courses in U.S. history, urban history, sound studies, and in interdisciplinary humanities (for the Arts and Contemporary Studies program). Dr. Blake is a member of the Graduate Faculty. He teaches and supervises graduate students in the joint Ryerson University-York University Communication and Culture MA and PhD program.