Alexandra Lippman is a cultural anthropologist and sound ethnographer. She conducts research in Latin America, primarily Brazil, and her research interests include sound studies, media and technology, race and legal anthropology.
Her primary research explores how music and sound become political projects as alternative intellectual property, performance and technology are contested. Her manuscript, The Power of Funk: Citizenship, Race, and Sonic Sovereignty in Rio de Janeiro, is based on ethnographic fieldwork conducted in Brazil since 2008.
She also experiments with modes of ethnographic attention and creative scholarly transmissions. She founded the Sound Ethnography Project, co-runs a record label, Discos Rolas, and hosts a monthly radio show, “Sound Study,” on Dublab. Her creative work has been covered by The New York Times, L.A. Weekly and The FADER, among others.
Gaming the Metrics: Misconduct and Manipulation in Academic Research. Mario Biagioli and Alexandra Lippman, eds. Cambridge: MIT Press. 2020.
Anthropology of a Record Label: Lessons from Discos Rolas. Invited essay. Anthropology News. January/February, 2022.
Sonic Governance: Culturalization and Criminalization in Funk Carioca in Rio de Janeiro. Anthropological Quarterly 94(3), 2021.
“Listening.” In Transmissions: Critical Tactics for Making & Communicating Research. Kat Jungnickel, ed. MIT Press. 2020.
“Humor, Hoaxes, and Software. In Gaming the Metrics: Misconduct and Manipulation in Academic Research. Mario Biagioli and Alexandra Lippman, Editors. MIT Press. 2020.
“Law for Whom?”: Responding to Musical and Sonic Illegality in Brazil. Sound Studies. 2018.
“Listening Across Borders: Migration, Memory and the Sonidero Voice.” Tapuya: Latin American Science, Technology and Society. 2018.
"Cash" In Paid: Tales of Dongles, Checks, and Other Money Stuff. Bill Maurer and Lana Swartz, eds. Cambridge: MIT Press. 2017.
“Notes from Art of the Archive: Rethinking Archival Practices in a Digital Era.” With Alessandro Delfanti and Allison Fish. Platypus. June 2015.
“Cannibalizing Copyright? Vernacularizing Open Intellectual Property in Brazil.” Anthropology Today. 2014.
“From Funkification to Pacification: The Emerging Socio-Sonic Landscape of Funk Carioca.” With Gregory Scruggs. Norient: 2012.
Dinastia Pedraza. Nonfiction short film. 7 minutes. 2020.
City of Funk. Nonfiction short film. 360°. RYOT. 5 minutes. 2016.
Resistance in Little Africa. Nonfiction short film with Boima Tucker. 360°. RYOT. 4 minutes. 2016.
A City Divided. Nonfiction short film with Boima Tucker. 360°. RYOT. 4 minutes. 2016.
Ph.D., Anthropology, University of California, Irvine.
M.A., Anthropology, University of California, Irvine.
B.A., magna cum laude, honors in major, Anthropology, Bryn Mawr College.
Awards & Honors
Awards & Honors
Intel PhD Fellowship, Intel Graduate Fellows, Hillsboro, OR.
National Science Foundation grant DDIG 1058768 Law and Social Sciences Program, Science and Technology Studies, and the Cultural Anthropology Program, “Administering Culture: Law, State and Technology in the Remaking of Intellectual Property in Brazil.”