J. Martin Vest

27710052_120970482056411_7473063681531959196_oJ. Martin Vest holds Bachelors and Masters degrees in History from Virginia Commonwealth University and a Ph.D. in American History from the University of Michigan. His research interests range across the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and are heavily influenced by the eclecticism and curiosity of working-class storytelling. Past projects have explored Southside Virginia’s plank roads; the trope of insanity in American popular music; slaves in the American South; radical individualist “egoism;” twentieth-century anarchists and modern “enchantment.” His dissertation, “Vox Machinae: Phonographs and the Birth of Sonic Modernity, 1870-1930,” charts the peculiar evolution of modern ideas about recorded sound, paying particular attention to the role of capitalism and mechanical technology in shaping the things said and believed about the stuff “in the grooves.”

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