Sean Nye

Associate professor of practice

Sean Nye, associate professor of practice in musicology, teaches courses on music, modernity and popular culture, including signature courses on electronic dance music and hip-hop for USC’s general education offerings. He received his doctoral degree in comparative studies in discourse and society from the University of Minnesota with research focused on techno, Kraftwerk and German electronic music since the 1960s. Here, he received the Best Dissertation Award in the Art and Humanities. After joining the USC Thornton School of Music as a provost’s postdoctoral scholar in the humanities, Sean Nye designed USC’s first course on electronic dance music. 

Beyond electronic music, hip-hop and dance culture, Nye’s research ranges from intersections of science fiction and music to exile communities in Los Angeles (1930s-1950s). Most recently, he published a book with Bloomsbury’s 33 1/3 Global Series focusing on Modeselektor, a popular duo from Berlin. His articles, translations and reviews have appeared in peer-reviewed journals including the Journal of Popular Music Studies and Dancecult: Journal of Electronic Dance Music Culture. He also has chapters in edited collections ranging from Music in Television: Channels of Listening (Routledge, 2011) to Dreams of Germany: Musical Imaginaries from the Concert Hall to the Dance Floor (Berghahn, 2019).

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
  • Hip-hop studies
  • Music and literature
  • Film and TV music/sound
  • German Studies
  • Exile studies