photo of Michael Guida

Mr Michael Guida

Post:Doctoral Tutor (Media and Film)
Location:51-53 KINGS ROAD, BRIGHTON Silverstone 338, Tuesday 3-4pm
Email:M.Guida@sussex.ac.uk
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Biography

Before returning to academia I spent many years developing digital media ideas and experiences for organisations like the London School of Economics, SOAS, the British Council, the Department of Health, the NHS, Vodafone, Decca Music and British Airways. I am exploring sensory cultural history now to better understand contemporary relationships with technology, urban experience, and especially the place of the natural world in our lives today.

Thesis
Birds. Bombs. Silence. Listening to nature during wartime and its aftermath in Britain, 1914-45

My thesis explores how the sounds, rhythms and quietude of the natural world were listened to, interpreted and used by Britons during the pressures of industrial modernity. What sounds were prized and sought out to afford relief in the face of the sensory assaults of war and new media technologies?

My study focuses on the sonic trench experiences of survival and emotional endurance; the role of the English countryside’s quietude in the recovery from psychological trauma of the First World War; ideas of stillness and silence, both earthly and cosmic, in the philosophy and programming of early BBC radio; and the broadcasting of British birdsong during the Second World War. Ultimately this work seeks to illuminate the place of nature in times of societal stress and recovery.

I argue that modern modes and noise did not obliterate nature's soundings, rather they were heard and interpreted all the more acutely. Further, the close engagement with the sounds and rhythms of nature enabled Britons to better manage and endure the disruptions of modernity. At a time when human civilisation was under question, to be modern was to take British nature with you, into the future.

Supervisors
Professor David Hendy and Professor Michael Bull

Publications

  • 'Ludwig Koch's birdsong on wartime radio: knowledge, citizenship and solace'. Book chapter for a UCL Press collection called Being Modern: Science and Culture in the Early Twentieth Century. To appear in 2018.
  • 'Surviving twentieth century modernity: birdsong and emotions in Britain'. Book chapter for Routledge Handbook of Animal-Human History. To appear in 2018.

Research interests

20th century cultural history; media history; sound and sensory studies; technology in culture; cultures of warfare; new versions of pastoral. 

 

Role

Doctoral tutor, teaching Media and Cultural Studies modules (Office hours: Silverstone 338, Tuesday, 3-4pm)

PhD researcher in Media & Cultural Studies, AHRC scholarship, 2013-16

  • Co-organiser of the School’s Doctoral Day conference, 2015
  • Co-organiser of fortnightly research-in-progress seminars for the School’s PhD cohort, 2014-15
  • Member of Psycho-geography of Lewes project, Centre for Life History and Life Writing Research, 2015
  • Panel chair for Creative and Public Engagement workshop, Department of Anthropology, 26 September 2014
  • Postgraduate student representative for the School of Media, Film and Music at Sussex, 2013-14

 

Qualifications

MSc History of Science, Technology and Medicine, University College London/Imperial College, 2012. Dissertation: “Silencing the machines. Workplace noise and the threat to efficiency in Britain and the USA, 1900-1939” (distinction).

MA Design for Interactive Media, University of Middlesex, 1996.

 

Activities

Publications

  • 'Ludwig Koch's birdsong on wartime radio: knowledge, citizenship and solace'. Book chapter for a UCL Press collection called Being Modern: Science and Culture in the Early Twentieth Century. To appear in 2018.
  • 'Surviving twentieth century modernity: birdsong and emotions in Britain'. Book chapter for Routledge Handbook of Animal-Human History. To appear in 2018.

Conference presentations

  • "Birdsong and emotions in Britain," Animals and Emotions in History Workshop, Royal Holloway Univerity of London, 17th November 2017. 
  • "The sounds of nature in support of early 1920s BBC broadcasting," Animal Utterance, Univeristy of Bristol, 26-27th May 2017.
  • "Sonic therapy: harmony for disordered nerves," Medicine and Modernity In the Long Nineteenth Century, University of Oxford, 10-11th September 2016
  • “British nature in support of John Reith’s public service broadcasting, 1922-28”, Technology, Environment and Modern Britain, UCL, 27th April 2016
  • “Birdsong and Englishness”, Social History Society Conference, Lancaster University, 21st to 23rd March 2016
  • “Cultures of listening and the restoration of psychological health in early interwar Britain,” Aftermath: The Cultural Legacies of WW1, King’s College London, 23rd May 2015 
  • “Nature cure: birdsong on the wireless during the Second World War,” Being Modern: Science and Culture in the Early 20th Century, Institute of Historical Research, London, 24th April 2015
  • "Silence or music for healing in hospitals? The approaches of Florence Nightingale and Reverend Kill Harford", Postgraduate Medical Humanities Conference, University of Exeter, 25th July 2014 

 Study trips and workshops

  • Pasts, Presents and Futures of Medical Regeneration workshop at University of Leeds, with a team led by James Stark, 19th January 2016
  • Invited research paper to Karin Bijsterveld's Sounders Research Group, University of Maastricht, 1 April 2015
  • Music/Noise/Silence workshop series, Science Museum, Royal College of Music and University of Nottingham, February to April, 2015