Bio

Chris Mustazza is a Ph.D. student in English Literature at the University of Pennsylvania. 

Chris Mustazza's work centers on the poetry audio archive, from its birth in the early 1930s through its contemporary manifestation in digital collections like PennSound. Most recently, Chris has been working to digitize and contextualize The Speech Lab Recordings, a collection of poetry recordings made at Columbia University in the 1930s and '40s and recorded on aluminum records. From this series, he has edited collections of recordings of James Weldon JohnsonVachel Lindsay,Harriet Monroe, Edgar Lee Masters, Mark Van Doren, and Gertrude Stein.  His work has been covered by the Harriet blog of the Poetry Foundation and by SAS Frontiersand his critical introduction to the Vachel Lindsay recordings (forthcoming in the Chicago Review) was awarded the 2014 Sweeten Prize for best essay in American Literature by a graduate studentHis essay on the James Weldon Johnson recordings was presented at the 2015 American Literature Association annual conference and is under consideration for publication. Chris' work has also appeared in Jacket2The Notre Dame ReviewEmpty Mirror, and The Volta Blog

Chris is also interested in experimental digital analyses of poetry audio and edits Clippinga commentary series in Jacket2 on the topic. He pursues questions around the materiality of recording media, as well as how digital visualizations of poetry audio can help to explicate performances. He is interested in pursuing these questions of what Tanya Clement has termed "distant listening" on both small and large scales, including using high-performance computing technology to analyze large corpora of poetry audio. 

Chris would be willing to speak with you at great length about just about any topic, but for particular prolixity, please bring up the topics of poetry, classic video games, drums & percussion, food & wine, or soccer.