Mathew Swiatlowski, Ph.D.

Visiting Assistant Professor

Mathew Swiatlowski conducts research at the intersection of media, technology, and cultural studies. With a deep interest in historiography, he is animated by questions of process and power in the production of historical knowledge. His research and teaching interrogates gaps and silences in the historical record, with an emphasis on the command of race, class, gender, and ability to structure experience and limit possibility across the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.

His book project, The Sound of Ethnic America: Early Immigrant Musical Recordings and the Sonics of U.S. Citizenship, explores the juncture of sound and citizenship to consider how the boundaries of the nation are maintained at both geopolitical and cultural borders. The project maps the trajectory of domestically produced recordings of immigrant musicians from Eastern and Southern Europe, Mexico, and Greater Asia as they transform from “foreign” 78 rpm shellac discs to historical “ethnic” and “world music” recordings of the LP and CD eras. On one hand, the project is a media history of US ethnic music recordings from the 1920s and 1930s. On the other, it is a critical examination of the interplay between immigration policy and the racial logics of citizenship.

Research Interests: 
  • Sound studies
  • Cultural studies
  • U.S. popular and vernacular musics
  • Immigration and migration
  • Ethnic studies
  • Critical race theory
  • Class and culture
Courses taught:
  • AMST 1010 – Understanding American Cultures
  • AMST 1154 – Food in America
  • AMST 2000 – Introduction to American Studies
  • AMST 2025 – Diversity in American Culture
  • AMST 3900 – Seminar in American Cultural Studies
Ph.D., University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2018 (American Studies)

709 Jefferson Building (JB)
Iowa City, IA 52242
United States