Associate Professor of Media, Culture, and Communication
Media, Culture, and Communication
Mara Mills is Associate Professor of Media, Culture, and Communication at New York University, with expertise in sound studies, disability studies, the history of electronics, and the history of the telephone. Her book Hearing Loss and the History of Information Theory is forthcoming from Duke University Press. Mills is currently working on the history of optical character recognition and, with Jonathan Sterne, she is co-authoring a book on the history of audio time stretching. She has published articles in Technology & Culture, IEEE Annals of the History of Computing, Grey Room, differences, Social Text, Film Quarterly, and PMLA, among many other academic journals. Her writing has been translated into German, French, Spanish, and Portuguese. Details about her research, grants, and awards can be found at her website.
Mills co-edited a special issue of Grey Room on "Audio/Visual" (with John Tresch), as well as a special issue of Catalyst: Feminism, Theory, Technoscience on "Crip Technoscience" (with Kelly Fritsch, Aimi Hamraie, and David Serlin). With Alexandra Hui and Viktoria Tkaczyk, she co-edited Testing Hearing: The Making of Modern Aurality (Oxford UP). With Rebecca Sanchez, she has co-edited a new edition of And No Birds Sing, Pauline Leader's memoir about life as a deaf working-class runaway among the bohemians of Greenwich Village in the 1920s (Gallaudet University Press 2016, reviewed on H-Disability). She and Sanchez also co-edited Crip Authorship: Disability as Method (NYU Press, 2023). With Faye Ginsburg, Harris Kornstein, and Rayna Rapp she is directing an NSF-funded project on Covid-19 and disability communities in New York, to result in an edited volume tentatively titled How to be Disabled in a Pandemic.
Mills has been interviewed and her research has been featured in popular venues including The New York Times, TechCrunch, 99% Invisible, Gizmodo, Trailblazers with Walter Isaacson podcast, The Atlantic, The Boston Globe, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Ploughshares blog, and Red Bull Music Academy Daily. Her public arts and humanities writing can be found at sites like Triple Canopy, Artforum, Bomb, Public Books, Somatosphere, and AVIDLY—a channel of the Los Angeles Review of Books.
At NYU, Mills teaches courses on the history of technology and disability studies. For the past 15 years she has taught an award-winning undergraduate course, “Disability, Technology, and Media,” combining disability theory with training in media accessibility; it has become a model for many similar classes around the world. She is a founding member of the steering committees for the NYU cross-school minors in Science and Society and Disability Studies. With Faye Ginsburg, Mills is co-founder and co-director of the NYU Center for Disability Studies. She has served on the executive council (2016-2018) of the Society for the History of Technology, and she is a founding editor of the journal Catalyst: Feminism, Theory, Technoscience.