Sean Nye

Assistant Professor of Practice

  • Program:
  • Division:
    Research and Scholarly Studies
  • Expertise:
    Electronic Music, Science Fiction, Sound Studies


Sean Nye, Assistant Professor of Practice in Musicology, teaches courses on music, modernity, and popular culture, including featured courses on electronic dance music and hip-hop. In 2013, Nye received his PhD in Comparative Studies in Discourse and Society from the University of Minnesota (Best Dissertation Award in the Art and Humanities). After joining Thornton as a Provost’s Postdoctoral Scholar in the Humanities, Nye designed USC’s first course on electronic dance music. Beyond popular music, his research ranges from German exile communities in Los Angeles (1930s-1950s) to sound studies and the history of Apple. His articles, translations, and reviews have appeared in edited collections and academic journals, including Journal of Popular Music Studies, Cultural Critique, and New Literary History.

Currently, Professor Nye is developing his dissertation, Teutonic Time-Slip: Travels in Electronic Music, Technology, and German Identity, 1968-2009, into a book manuscript and conducting research on music and sound in the science fiction writings of Philip K. Dick.

Professional experience

Honors, Awards & Competitions:

  • Fulbright Fellowship, 2003-2004
  • Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (DAAD) Graduate Fellowship, 2008-2009
  • Berlin Program for Advanced German and European Studies, Fellowship, 2009-2010
  • University of Minnesota, Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship, 2010-2011
  • Best Dissertation in the Arts and Humanities, University of Minnesota, 2014

Research Interests:

  • Electronic music
  • Science fiction
  • Cultural musicology and sound studies
  • Film and TV music/sound
  • German studies
  • Theodor W. Adorno
  • Philip K. Dick