Keynote Speakers

Mara Mills (New York University)

Mara Mills is an Associate Professor of Media, Culture, and Communication at New York University who works at the intersection of disability studies and media studies. Her book On the Phone: Hearing Loss and Communication Engineering (forthcoming from Duke University Press) argues the significance of phonetics and deaf education to the emergence of “communication engineering” in early twentieth-century telephony. This concept and set of practices later gave rise to information theory, digital coding, and cybernetics – along with new electroacoustic tools and a revised understanding of human speech and hearing. Mills is currently working on the history of optical character recognition and, with Jonathan Sterne, she is co-authoring a book titled Tuning Time: Histories of Sound and Speed. With John Tresch, she co-edited a special issue of the journal Grey Room on the “Audio/Visual.”

Mills is a founding editor of the journal Catalyst: Feminism, Theory, Technoscience and a recent member of the executive council (2016-2018) of the Society for the History of Technology. With Faye Ginsburg, she co-founded and co-directs the NYU Center for Disability Studies. Her work has been awarded fellowships from the National Science Foundation, the Mellon Foundation, the American Council of Learned Societies, the DAAD, the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, and the IEEE. She received B.A. degrees in Biology and Literature from the University of California, Santa Cruz and an M.A. in Biology/Ph.D. in History of Science from Harvard University. Website:

Ximena Alarcón (University of Oslo)

Ximena Alarcón is a sound artist researcher interested in listening to interstices: dreams, underground public transport, and the migratory context. Her research focuses on the creation of sonic telematic performances using Deep Listening , telematic improvisation, and interfaces for relational listening. In 2007, she received a PhD in Music, Technology and Innovation from DMU, and in 2012, a Deep Listening Certificate from the Deep Listening Institute. She has been awarded with postdoctoral fellowships such as the Leverhulme Trust Early Career Fellowship 2007-2009 (IOCT- DMU) which led her to develop Sounding Underground; and a CRiSAP-UAL fellowship 2011-2017, where she developed telematic performances exploring the in-between sonic space in the context of migration. She is now a Marie Skłodowska Curie Fellow 2017-2019 at RITMO Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies in Rhythm, Time and Motion, Department of Musicology, at the University of Oslo, developing her project INTIMAL: a novel physical-virtual “embodied system” for relational listening, integrating: body, memory, migration and telematics. Website:

Susan Campos-Fonseca (Universidad de Costa Rica)

Musicologist, composer & writer. Ms. Campos-Fonseca holds a Ph.D. in music from the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (UAM), Spain. Master in Spanish and Latin American Philosophy from the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (UAM), and graduated in Conducting by the Universidad de Costa Rica (UCR). She is a composer and musicologist whose research focuses on philosophy of culture and technology, feminism, decolonial studies, electronic art and sound studies.

Campos-Fonseca has received the 2002 University Council Award from Universidad de Costa Rica (UCR), the 2004 WASBE conductor scholarship (UK), the 2005 Carolina Foundation Scholarship (Spain), the 2007 “100 Latinos” Award (Spain), the Corda Foundation Award 2009 (New York, USA), the 2012 Casa de las Americas Musicology Award (Cuba), and the 2013, 2014 UCR Distinguished Scholar “Universitaria destacada” (Costa Rica).

She serves on the advisory boards of Boletín de Música (Cuba), and has been a guest editor forTrans: Revista Transcultural de Música (Spain) and Ideas Sónicas (México). Her books include Herencias cervantinas en la música vocal iberoamericana. Poiésis de un imaginario cultural (for which she received the 2012 Casa de las Americas Musicology Award) and the co-edited volume Estudos de género, corpo e música: abordagens metodológica, ANPPOM-Serie Pesquisa em Musica no Brasil, Vol. 3. She currently coordinates a project on arts, sciences and technologies at UCR, where she is professor of Music History and Transdisciplinary Research. Website: