J. W. Clark


First Year Graduate Student in Music Studies: Theory

103, Music Building

Drawing from a range of methodologies and disciplinary inclinations (most often a combination of sound, voice, and critical animal studies), my research seeks to unsettle normative constructions of “animality” as it comes to be articulated and rehearsed through various forms of media, discourse, and performance. I ask how anthropocentric notions of the nonhuman animal voice—construed broadly and often simultaneously as “mere” voice/sound, a capacity for political agency, the ultimate signifier of subjectivity, and/or even silence—impinge on the lives and deaths of those (nonhuman or otherwise) implicated in the necropolitics of the so-called animal-industrial complex. To this end, I am particularly interested in understanding the complicated roles that listening (as a potential form of attunement, care, and response-ability, but equally an instrument of fetishism, essentialism, and colonialism) plays in communities that both resist and reproduce structures of Western human exceptionalism.  

Other research interests of mine include sound and violence, multispecies ethnography, proximity and co-habit(u)ation, media studies, posthumanism and “new” materialisms, trans*/queer theory, performativity, play, and embodiment.  

I hold a BA in Musicology and Philosophy from the University of California, Los Angeles, where I was a MacDowell Fellow with the Undergraduate Research Center for Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences and a recipient of the UCLA Library Prize. 

I use they/them pronouns.