Winnie W. C. Lai (she/her/hers) is currently a PhD student in Music, (Ethno)musicology, a Benjamin Franklin Fellow (2018-2023), and a Tarnopol Graduate Fellow (2020-2021) at the University of Pennsylvania, currently based in Philadelphia, U.S.A. and Hong Kong. Her works mainly focus on but are not limited to, musical and sonic activism, urban sounds, the theoretical juncture of sound, music, listening, space, and acts and bodies, sound studies, performance studies, political theories, Hong Kong protests, and Hong Kong culture. Winnie also experiments with innovative methods and field materials to craft out spaces for sensory experience.
Winnie worked as a Teaching Assistant (School of Humanities, Music) from Fall 2014 to Spring 2018 at the University of Hong Kong (HKU). She completed a Master of Philosophy degree in Musicology with a thesis entitled “Sound and Nonviolence: Music as Political Action in Hong Kong” in 2017. In recognition of her studies and research, HKU awarded Winnie the Rayson Huang Scholarship in Music twice in 2012 (undergraduate) and 2017 (postgraduate) respectively.
As a global citizen and a young intellect in sonic contestation, Winnie always maintains one belief: music and musicology come with a social obligation, and it is this belief that motivated her to pursue doctoral studies and an academic career in music/sound studies. Hong Kong’s Umbrella Movement in 2014 was a turning point in Winnie’s life. As this event unfolded, Winnie transformed from a fledgeling singer-songwriter (who won The Best Music Video Award from Sony Music Entertainment (Hong Kong) in December 2013) into a junior (ethno)musicologist working on sonic contestation. This metamorphosis reflects and builds upon Winnie’s academic mission and personal belief—that is, to be a candid and socially responsible sound scholar.
黎氏現時為賓夕法尼亞大學哲學博士生、班傑明·富蘭克林研究員(2018-2023) 及 塔爾諾波爾研究生(2020-2021)，主修(人類學)音樂學，現居於美國費城及香港。研究方向圍繞聲音及音樂研究、聲音與環境空間、社運和抗議聲音及音樂、表演或呈現研究、香港抗爭及文化、公共音樂學、以及 有關聲音和音樂、聆聽、環境空間、人類行為及舉動、和人體及思考在哲學理論中的關係。黎氏亦熱衷以聲音藝術及影像，展示其創新前衛思維及呈現特定聲音空間實況。
"'Happy Birthday to You': Music as Nonviolent Weapon in the Umbrella Movement." Hong Kong Studies 1, no. 1 (March, 2018): 66-82.
*The article was shortlisted as one of the eight finalist works for the IBP Best Article on Global Hong Kong Studies in Humanities 2021.
“Making Sense of the ‘Nonsense’: Localisation of ‘Happy Birthday to You’ in the Umbrella Movement.” Joint Forum and East Asian Research Seminar for Graduate Students in Musicology on Music and Mobility, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan, May 5-7, 2016. (Keynotes: Kay Kaufman Shelemay, Joseph Lam)
“Sound Acts and Sonic Subversion: Interaction Between Functional Urban Sounds and Populations.” Sound in Motion 2019, University of Bern, Switzerland, September 20-21, 2019. (Keynotes: Michael Bull, Andrew J. Eisenberg, Jason Stanyek)
"Sonic Activism Against the Tear Gas: Hongkonger’s Raging Roars and Sound Acts."
Harvard Graduate Music Forum Conference 2020, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, U.S.A., February 7-8, 2020. (Keynote: Lester Hu; Roundtable: Virginia Danielson, Lester Hu, Alexander Rehding, Kate van Orden)
Sounding Spaces, 7th Biennial Yale Graduate Music Symposium, Yale University, New Haven, CT, U.S.A., February 28-29, 2020. (Keynote: Kwami Coleman; Workshop: Daphne Brooks)
CUNY Graduate Students in Music Conference, City University of New York, New York City, NY, U.S.A., March 19-20, 2021. Virtual.
"Hong Kong’s Annual June 4th Vigil: Relics of the Tiananmen Protests." Legacies of Tiananmen. China, Hong Kong, Taiwan 天安門事件的歷史遺緒. 中國，香港，台灣, CEFC Taipei, Taiwan, June 3, 2020. Webinar.
“'I Heard You Through the Tear Gas!': Sound Acts in the 2019–20 Hong Kong Protests."
The Society for Ethnomusicology, 65th Annual Meeting, Virtual, October 30, 2020.
American Musicological Society, 86th Annual Meeting, Virtual, November 14, 2020.
"Acoustic Protest in Malls: Echoing Hong Kong’s New Economic Relations to Politics and Values."
Hong Kong Studies Annual Conference. 2020 Hong Kong Studies Research School, Virtual/The Education University of Hong Kong, December 10, 2020.
Hong Kong in the Age of Global Crisis, Society of Hong Kong Studies Annual Conference 2021, Virtual/Hong Kong, June 25-26, 2021.
Roar with Rage: Sounding Hong Kong’s Anti-Extradition Protests (2019). SEM Ethnographic Documentary Pre-conference Workshop “Film as Ethnography, Activism, and Public Work in Ethnomusicology,” November 6, 2019, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana, U.S.A.
Stand With Hong Kong: Sounding Pain and Roar Through the Lennon Walls, Sound Art Installation
Sound Studies SIG, SEM, at the Society for Ethnomusicology Annual Meeting, November 7-10, 2019, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN, U.S.A.
Experiments in Audio Ethnography for Graduate Seminar "Audio Ethnography" (Public Section), Center for Experimental Ethnography in the University of Pennsylvania, December 8, 2019, The Mosaic Hall at Penn Museum, Philadelphia, PA, U.S.A.
Sounding Spaces, 7th Biennial Yale Graduate Music Symposium, Yale University, New Haven, CT, U.S.A., February 28-29, 2020.
Stand With Hong Kong: (Un)Sounding Pain and Roar Through the Lennon Walls, Censored and Virtual Version of a Sound Installation and Virtual Tour
Screening Scholarship Media Festival (SSMF) 2021, CAMRA (Collective for Advancing Multimodal Research Arts), April 16-18, 2021, University of Pennsylvania, PA, USA.
Published on: 1 June 2019
Last update: 26 June 2021