Edwin Hill

Associate Professor of French and Italian and American Studies and Ethnicity
Email edwinhil@usc.edu Office THH 155E Office Phone (213) 740-5744


EDWIN HILL is associate professor in the Department of French & Italian and the Department of American Studies & Ethnicity. His first book, Black Soundscapes White Stages (Johns Hopkins UP, 2013), builds a conceptualization of sound as a terrain of post/colonial conquest and contestation where one’s place in the world is critically imagined and experienced. With an analytical lens trained to dynamics of black transnationalism and French colonial history, this book puts black French modernist poets like Leon-Gontran Damas in relation to black Atlantic popular musical forms and emergent technologies of sound transmission in the interwar years. Hill’s current book-in-progress, entitled Black Static and the French Republic of Sounddeals with sound culture and the politics of race and emotion in contemporary France. While dominant frameworks of black rage tend to limit themselves to feelings of anger and the individual psyche, black static names a range of “funky feelings” that–mediated through sound and vibration–touch, move, and circulate between bodies and beyond. Tracing black rage beyond negative affect, Black Static listens for the ways sonic friction can be generative, productive of tactile forces that recognize and situate black life beyond the frame of the nation-state. Hill’s scholarship appears most recently in the edited volumes: Sounds Senses (Liverpool UP, 2021), The New Modernist Studies (Cambridge UP, 2021), and Transpositions: Migration, Translation, Music (Liverpool UP, 2021). Edwin Hill is also the creator, host, and executive producer of Dance Hubsan audio docu-series about street dance and spaces of creative movement. As a teacher, his most recently created courses include GE lecture course FREN 270: Black Europe, the Maymester course FREN 318: Hip Hop Circles Around the World, and the graduate seminar CSLC 650: Comparative Sound Studies of the Global South. He also frequently teaches AMST 250: The African Diaspora and AMST 330: Black Music & the Political Imagination. 


  • Ph.D. French and Francophone Studies, University of California, Los Angeles, 2007
  • Other Degree Pensionnaire étranger, Lettres modernes, École Normale Supérieure, 2005
  • M.A. French Literature, University of Iowa, 1997
  • B.A. Music Performance (Percussion), University of Iowa
  • Conference Presentations

    • La France : Une République du son? , Cultures Hip Hop: Création, légitimation, patrimonialisation?Keynote Lecture, SACEM, CNRS, Paris 8, Université de Bourgogne, Invited, La Philharmonie de Paris, Spring 2022
    • Imperial Soundscapes , Imperial Sound Media Reading GroupLecture/Seminar, Princeton Interdisciplinary PhD Humanities Program, Invited, Zoom, Spring 2021
    • Voix Bestiales , Fight the Power: Musiques hip- hop et rapports sociaux de pouvoirLecture/Seminar, Hip Hop Studies Research Seminar – NYU & CNRS, Invited, Zoom, Spring 2021
  • Book

    • Hill, E. C.(in preparation) “Black Static and the French Republic of Sound”.
    • Hill, E. C. (2013). “Black Soundscapes, White Stages: The Meaning of Sound in the Black Francophone Atlantic”. Callaloo African Diaspora Studies Series. Johns Hopkins University Press.

    Book Chapters

    • Hill, E. (2021). “The Tchip Heard ‘Round the World”. Sounds Senses pp. 255-282. Liverpool: Liverpool UP.
    • Hill, E. (2021). “Black Transnationalism and Sketches of Mediterranean Noir”. Transpositions: Migration, Translation, Music pp. 235-260. Liverpool: Liverpool UP.
    • Hill, E. (2021). “Noir Film’s Soundtracks: Jazz, Black Transnationalism, and Postcolonial Genres of Criminality”. The New Modernist Studies pp. 181-199. Cambridge: Cambridge UP.
    • Hill, E. C. (2010). “Monnaies Mythiques: Métissage and A Woman’s Worth in Suzanne Dracius’s Sa Destinée Rue Monte au Ciel”. Paris: Harmattan.

    Book Review

    • Hill, E.(forthcoming 2023) Issue Editor. Forum discussion of “Boucan: Devenir quelqu’un dans le milieu afro” (Presses universitaires du midi, 2021) by Laura Steil. H-France Forum.
    • Hill, E. C. (2016). Book Review. Voices of Negritude in Modernist Print: Aesthetic Subjectivity, Diaspora, and the Lyric Regime (New York: Columbia UP, 2015) by Carrie Noland. French Studies.
    • Hill, E. C. (2016). Book Review. Sounds French: Globalization, Cultural Communities, and Pop Music, 1958-1980 (New York: Oxford UP, 2015) by Jonathyne Briggs. Journal of Social History.


    • Hill, E. C. (2016). “Uncanny Correspondences”. LA, CA. LACE – Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions.
    • Hill, E. (2014). “Black Thought at Oxford: Oh Dear!”. pp. 581-585. Callaloo: A Journal of African Diaspora Art and Letters.
    • Hill, E. C. (2012). “Afterwards: Climbing Down from the Sky”. pp. 25 pages. Virginia. Virginia University Press.

    Journal Article

    • Hill, E. C. (2013). “Making Claims on Echoes: Dranem, Cole Porter, and the biguine between the Antilles, France and the US”. Popular Music.
    • Hill, E. C. (2012). “Ratés rythmiques: Léon-Gontran Damas’s Black Label and the Negritude Beat”. Negritud: Revista de Estudios Afro-Latinoamericanos2012
    • Hill, E. C. (2007). “‘Adieu madras, adieu foulard’: Antillean Musical Origins and the Doudou’s Colonial Plaint”. Ethnomusicology Forum / Routledge. Vol. 16 (1), pp. 19-43.
    • Hill, E. C. (2004). “‘Aux armes et caetera: Re-covering Nation for Cultural Critique”. Copyright Volume! Musiques actuelles et problématiques plastiques / Éditions Mélanie Séteun. Vol. 2 (2)
    • Hill, E. C. (2002). “Imagining Métissage: The Politics and Practice of Métissage in the French Colonial Exposition and Ousmane Socé’s Mirages de Paris”. Social Identities: Journal for the Study of Race, Nation and Culture / Routeledge. Vol. 8 (4)


    • Hill, E. C. (2006). “Letter following” by Daniel Maximin (“Lettre suit”). Exchanges: A Journal of Literary Translations.
    • Podcast / Audio-Docu Series, “Dance Hubs.” DH is an audio series about spaces where dancers assemble, exchange, hang out, and pass through as they navigate the global intersections of their cultural practices. The inaugural story in this audio series features “the Loft,” a temporary residence for dancers in Bushwick Brooklyn New York. , 04/15/2021
  • Conferences Organized

    • Organizer / Panelist, “Paris, Beirut, Ankara: A Roundtable Discussion.”, USC, Fall 2015
    • Project Banlieue: French Peri/Urban Cultures and Crises, 2008-2009
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