Soundscape Studies at the University of Toronto

Description of activities, leadership, contact information

Description of Activity

The cultural study of sonic environments is an especially vibrant area of contemporary research at the University of Toronto, engaging faculty members and graduate students across the tri-campus in cinema studies, music, literary studies, education, architecture, and art history.

In the coming year, we will explore two questions:

  1. How are sound(scape) studies maturing into a field of academic study? Some universities now  offer academic initiatives related to sound, with programs such as the Sound Studies and Sonic Arts program at Berlin’s Universität der Künste or interdisciplinary centres such as the University of Alberta’s Sound Studies Institute. We believe that the University of Toronto could be a part of this exciting movement. Last year, members not only shared scholarly and artistic research but also discussed pedagogical challenges, exchanged syllabi, and explored sound collections that are being built in the University of Toronto  libraries. We will explore medium-term ways of making this highly productive exchange sustainable, further considering the institutional status of sound studies in our environment.
  2. How is the concept of media to be understood in terms of both technologies and environments? Our “Climates of Media” event in March 2020 highlighted this concept, urging the development of cross-disciplinary connections, especially with the Cinema Studies Institute and the McLuhan Centre — to enrich our ongoing interrogation of soundscapes.


  • Joseph Clarke, FAS Art History
  • Sherry Lee, Faculty of Music


Faculty, University of Toronto

  • Mitchell Akiyama, Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape & Design
  • James Cahill, FAS Cinema Studies
  • Marla Hlady, UTSC Arts, Culture & Media
  • Lewis Kaye, UTSC Arts, Culture, Media
  • Gregory Lee Newsome, Faculty of Music
  • Brady Peters, Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape & Design
  • Lilian Radovac, UTM Communication, Culture, Information & Technology 

Faculty outside University of Toronto

  • Cintia Christia, School of Media, Ryerson University
  • Leslie Korrick, School of Arts, Media, Performance & Design, York University

Librarian, University of Toronto

  • Margaret English, Art Library

Graduate Students, University of Toronto

  • Nil Basdurak, Music
  • Liora Belford, Art History
  • Emily MacCallum, Music
  • Sadie Menicanin, Music
  • Sherry Ostapovich, OISE
  • Ganga Rudraiah, Cinema Studies
  • Zach Weinstein, Philosophy
  • Joshua Wiebe, Cinema Studies
  • Eric Woodley, Art History