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Jennifer Hsieh

jennifer hsieh

Jennifer Hsieh

Research Interests: 
Hearing cultures, sound and noise, senses, urbanism, governance, Taiwan, East Asia


Jennifer investigates noise as a public problem and the social transformations through which city sounds become heard as noise in Taipei. She is conducting 16 months of fieldwork on the governance of noise in Taiwan’s central government and on the experiences of hearing in three Taipei neighborhoods. Informed by semiotics, materialism, and phenomenology, she examines why, despite 30 years of noise regulation in Taiwan, noise persists as a problem. Jennifer will analyze Taipei’s changing acoustic ecology, including the sounds of people, businesses, traffic, and machines, to understand the conditions through which individuals and institutions are accepting of some sounds while averse to others. Her methodology includes archival research, ethnographic fieldwork, and an aural component involving audio recordings to examine the cultural, political, and global processes that shape local, differentiated listening practices among Taipei’s increasingly diverse population. Originally from Texas and trained as a classical pianist, Jennifer holds a B.A. from Harvard and M.A. from Columbia, both in anthropology.