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Stefan Krebs

Stefan Krebs

Chercheur (Postdoc)

Faculté ou Centre Luxembourg Centre for Contemporary and Digital History
Adresse postale Université du Luxembourg
Maison des Sciences Humaines
11, Porte des Sciences
L-4366 Esch-sur-Alzette
Bureau sur le campus MSH, E04 25-420
E-mail
Téléphone (+352) 46 66 44 9377
Fax (+352) 46 66 44 39377

Current Position:

Since April 2015, I am a postdoctoral researcher in the FNR funded research project "Failure and Success of Dummy Head Recording: An Innovation History of 3D Listening". You can find a full project description here, or visit my project blog: Kunstkopf stereophony.

Research Interests:

  • History of Science and Technology
  • Sound Studies
  • Sensory Studies
  • History of Sound Recording

Visit also my Academia profile.

Last updated on: mercredi, 27 mai 2015

EDUCATION AND DEGREES

  • 02/2008, PhD in History of Technology, RWTH Aachen University, PhD thesis Genesis and Structure of a Field of Engineering Science: On the Struggle of Aachen’s Ferrous Metallurgy for Power and Autonomy 1870–1914 (summa cum laude)
  • 11/2000, Magister Artium in History, Political Science and Philosophy, RWTH Aachen University, MA thesis Slave labour in Stolberg/Rhld. 1939–1944 (with distinction)
  • 1996–1997, Université Aix-Marseille, Study of History
  • 1992–2000, RWTH Aachen University, Study of History, Political Science and Philosophy

WORK EXPERIENCE

  • since April 2015, Postdoctoral Researcher in the FNR funded research project Failure and Success of Dummy Head Recording: An Innovation History of 3D Listening, Laboratoire d'Histoire at the University of Luxembourg
  • 2014–2015, Free Research Associate at the Chair for Modern Social, Economic and Technological History at the Helmut-Schmidt-University, Hamburg, project Production Engineering between Oil Crisis, Globalization and Production Strategies for High Wage Countries
  • 2011–2014, Postdoctoral Researcher in the NWO funded project Sonic Skills: Sound and Listening in the Development of Science, Technology and Medicine, 1920-now, Department for Technology & Society Studies, Maastricht University
  • 2009–2010, Teaching Replacement of Gijs Mom, Associate Professor for Technology & Mobility Studies, School of Innovation Sciences, Eindhoven University of Technology
  • 2008–2011, Postdoctoral Researcher in the NWO funded project Selling Sound: The Standardization of Sound in the European Car Industry and the Hidden Integration of Europe, School of Innovation Sciences, Eindhoven University of Technology
  • 2008, Assistant Professor, Institute for the History of Technology, RWTH Aachen University
  • 2002–2008, Teaching Assistant, Institute for the History of Technology, RWTH Aachen University, PhD project Engineering Science as Social Practice
  • 2001–2002, PhD Researcher, Chair for Contemporary History, RWTH Aachen University, research project Memory Culture of Academic Institutions

SCHOLARSHIPS, GRANTS AND PRIZES

  • “Best Special Issue” award 2014 of the Council of Editors of Learned Journals (contribution to the prize-winning “Shifting Gears”-issue of Technology and Culture)
  • AFR PDR Grant of the Fonds National de la Recherche Luxembourg, project “Failure and Success of Dummy Head Recording: An Innovation History of 3D Listening”  (114.000 EUR)
  • “Production Engineering between Oil Crisis, Globalization and Production Strategies for High Wage Countries”, Pilot Study for the German Academic Society for Production Engineering (WGP) (co-applicant, 30.000 EUR)
  • Scholar-in-Residence fellowship of the Deutsches Museum Munich, project “Ohren verpflanzt“ – Hörpraktiken von Ingenieuren und Technikern am Beispiel des Kunstkopfes, 2013 (7.500 EUR)
  • Travel Grant of the German Science Foundation (DFG) to invite the Keynote Speaker Joy Parr to the Annual Conference of the German Society for the History of Technology (GTG), 2013 (co-applicant, 1.620 EUR)
  • Citation of honor as finalist in the competition for the Young Scholars Award by the German Society for the History of Medicine, Science & Technology (DGGMNT), 2009
  • PhD thesis awarded Borchers Medal of the RWTH Aachen University, 2009
  • Publication grant for my dissertation by proRWTH (1.100 EUR)
  • Teaching Fund of the Faculty of Electrical Engineering, RWTH Aachen University, 2008 (co-applicant, 3.500 EUR)
  • Teaching Fund of the Faculty of Electrical Engineering, RWTH Aachen University, 2007 (co-applicant, 3.200 EUR)
  • PhD thesis awarded “summa cum laude”, 2007
  • Two year PhD fellowship of North Rhine-Westphalia, 2001/02 (600 EUR/month)
  • MA thesis awarded “with distinction”, 2000

OTHER ACADEMIC ACTIVITIES

  • Referee for NTM – Geschichte und Ethik der Naturwissenschaften, Technik und Medizin; Science, Technology & Human Values; Transfers – Interdisciplinary Journal of Mobility Studies; VIEW – Journal of European Television History and Culture; University of Illinois Press; Oxford University Press
  • Webmaster of the Laboratoire d'Histoire, Luxembourg University, 2015-
  • Member of the Programme Committee of the German Society for the History of Technology (GTG), 2009–2011, 2013
  • Member ICT Committee, Maastricht University, 2012/2013
  • Editor of the German Society for the History of Medicine, Science and Technology (DGGMNT), since 2010
  • Founding member of the working group “The Future of Labor”, Forum Technology and Society, RWTH Aachen University, 2006–2008
  • Member Planning Committee BA Technik–Kommunikation, RWTH Aachen University, 2006–2008
  • Study Advisor for the Magister Artium programme Technik–Kommunikation with specialization in Electrical Engineering, RWTH Aachen University, 2004–2008
  • Study Advisor for all Teacher Training programmes in Electrical Engineering, RWTH Aachen University, 2004–2008
  • Webmaster & ICT Coordinator, Chair for the History of Technology, RWTH Aachen University, 2002–2008
  • Webmaster, Department of History, RWTH Aachen University, 1998–2001

MEMBERSHIPS

  • 2013–now, International Committee for the History of Technology (ICOHTEC)
  • 2012–now, GTG-Working Group “History of Production Engineering”
  • 2012–now, European Sound Studies Association (ESSA)
  • 2010–2012, Society for the Social Studies of Science (4S)
  • 2009–now, Tensions of Europe
  • 2008–now, Society for the History of Technology (SHOT)
  • 2008–now, German Society for the History of Medicine, Science and Technology (DGGMNT)
  • 2004–now, German Society for the History of Technology (GTG)
  • 2005–2008, Forum Technology and Society, RWTH Aachen University



Last updated on: 27 mai 2015

"Failure and Success of Dummy Head Recording: An Innovation History of 3D Listening"

FNR AFR PDR project (April 2015 - March 2017)

The history of dummy head technology, i.e. the use of an artificial head for binaural sound recording, is a story of high hopes, disappointments, and late success. Presented at the Berlin International Radio and Television Fair in 1973 and praised for its true to the original sound event “super-stereo”-quality, contemporaneous commentators expected that the new technology would revolutionize radio and music recording. However, by the end of the decade, it was considered a failed innovation. Then, in the late 1980s, dummy head technology started a second career as a measurement instrument in acoustical engineering. These two very different trajectories of dummy head technology are interesting examples of the ruptures and discontinuities in the development of a sound technology. These ruptures reveal a multiplicity of listening practices and habits which would otherwise be hidden in non-discursive practices. The failed establishment of dummy head use in radio and music recording helps to reveal the historical specificity and plurality of “listening positions” of recording engineers, electrical engineers, radio makers, and radio listeners.

As an analytical framework I will use insights from innovation study literature on path dependencies. More precisely, I will look into institutional, technological, medial, and socio-cultural path dependencies that hampered or enabled the success of dummy head recording in the two fields of application. I will argue that socio-cultural path dependencies in music recording played a crucial role in the failed acceptance of the dummy head microphone in radio and music recording, as well as in the successful introduction of the dummy head as a measuring device in technical acoustics. To show this I will use the “aural thinking” (Susan Schmidt Horning) of acoustical engineers, recording engineers, and radio makers. I will further argue that new ways of listening and envisioning sound evolved around the new sound technology of dummy head recording: an intriguing example of the co-construction of sound technologies and listening practices. The research project has thus two main objectives: it will help to better understand the various conditions for technical innovation in the media industry. I argue that studying the path dependencies of a sound technology like dummy head recording will enhance our insight into innovation processes in the media industry and can e.g. help to understand the frictions and complexities in the introduction of 3D-cinema. Secondly, the project will furthermore provide insights into (professional) listening practices and thus contribute to a more general understanding of the nature and historical situatedness of aural thinking. The case of dummy head technology is of particular interest here as it represented a crucial episode in our general understanding of human spatial hearing.



Last updated on: 27 mai 2015

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2017

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See detailMemories of a Dying Industry: Sense and Identity in a British Paper Mill
Krebs, Stefan

in The Senses and Society (2017), 12(1), 35-52

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2016

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See detailSilent by Design? Tesla’s Model S and the Discourse on Electric Vehicle Sound
Krebs, Stefan

in Sound Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal (2016), 2(1), 93-95

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See detailDie Erfindung der automobilen Stille: eine kurze Geschichte des Automobil-Sounddesigns
Krebs, Stefan

in Pohle, Frank; Kroll, Myriam (Eds.) Vom fauchenden Fafnir zum Fahrzeug der Zukunft – Aachen und das Auto (2016)

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2015

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2014

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See detailDiagnose nach Gehör? Die Aushandlung neuer Wissensformen in der Kfz-Diagnose (1950–1980)
Krebs, Stefan

in Ferrum : Nachrichten aus der Eisenbibliothek (2014), 86

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See detailThe Sound (Studies) of Science & Technology
Krebs, Stefan

in Lengersdorff, Diana; Wieser, Matthias (Eds.) Schlüsselwerke der Science & Technology Studies (2014)

See detailSound and Safe : A History of Listening Behind the Wheel
Krebs, Stefan; Bijsterveld, Karin; Cleophas, Eefje; Mom, Gijs

Book published by Oxford University Press (2014)

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See detailThe Art of Stethoscope Use: Diagnostic Listening Practices of Medical Physicians and “Auto Doctors”
Krebs, Stefan; Van Drie, Melissa

in Icon : Journal of the International Committee for the History of Technology (2014), 20(2), 92-114

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2013

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See detailListening to the Sounding Objects of the Past : The Case of the Car
Bijsterveld, Karin; Krebs, Stefan

in Franinovic, Karmen; Serafin, Stefania (Eds.) Sonic Interaction Design (2013)

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See detailVon Motorkonzerten und aristokratischer Stille : die Einführung der geschlossenen Automobilkarosserie in Frankreich und Deutschland, 1919–1939
Krebs, Stefan

in Gleitsmann, Rolf-Jürgen; Wittmann, Jürgen (Eds.) Innovationskulturen um das Automobil : Von gestern bis morgen (2013)

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2012

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See detail“Sobbing, Whining, Rumbling” – Listening to Automobiles as Social Practice
Krebs, Stefan

in Pinch, Trevor; Bijsterveld, Karin (Eds.) The Oxford Handbook of Sound Studies (2012)

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See detailAutomobilgeräusche als Information: Über das geschulte Ohr des Kfz-Mechanikers
Krebs, Stefan

in Schoon, Andi; Volmar, Axel (Eds.) Das geschulte Ohr : Eine Kulturgeschichte der Sonifikation (2012)

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2011

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See detailThe French Quest for the Silent Car Body: Technology, Comfort and Distinction in the Interwar Period
Krebs, Stefan

in Transfers: Interdisciplinary Journal of Mobility Studies (2011), 1(3), 64-89

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See detailTowards a Cultural History of Car Sound(s)
Krebs, Stefan

in Norton, Peter; Mom, Gijs; Millward, Liz; Flonneau, Mathieu (Eds.) Mobility in History : Reviews and Reflections (2011)

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2010

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See detailZwischen Markt und Labor : die zwei Gesichter des Hermann Schenck
Krebs, Stefan; Tschacher, Krebs

in Maier, Helmut; Zilt, Andreas; Rasch, Manfred (Eds.) 150 Jahre Stahlinstitut VDEh 1860-2010 (2010)

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See detail“Eine Art von Gewissenserforschung”? – Konstruierte Brüche und Kontinuitäten an der Technischen Hochschule Aachen 1928–1950
Krebs, Stefan; Tschacher, Werner

in Dinckal, Noyan; Dipper, Christof; Mares, Detlev (Eds.) Selbstmobilisierung der Wissenschaft : Technische Hochschulen zur Zeit des Nationalsozialismus (2010)

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2009

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2008

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See detailGeburtswehen eines technikwissenschaftlichen Feldes : Das Verhältnis von Eisenhüttenkunde und Stahlindustrie (1907–1909)
Krebs, Stefan

in Cepl-Kaufmann, Gertrude; Groß, Dominik; Mölich, Georg (Eds.) Wissenschaftsgeschichte im Rheinland unter besonderer Berücksichtigung von Raumkonzepten (2008)

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2007

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See detailDas Schöne und der Krieg : Zur filmischen Ästhetisierung des Ersten Weltkrieges gestern und heute
Fengler, Silke; Krebs, Stefan

in Jahrbuch für Kommunikationsgeschichte (2007), 9

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See detailWar and the Beautiful : On the Aestheticizing of the First World War in Film Yesterday and Today
Fengler, Silke; Krebs, Stefan

in Heil, Reinhard (Ed.) Tensions and Convergences : Technological and Aesthetic Transformations of Society (2007)

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See detail“Im Sinne der rassischen Erneuerung unseres Volkes” : Albert Huyskens, die Westdeutsche Gesellschaft für Familienkunde und das Aachener Stadtarchiv 1933–1944
Krebs, Stefan; Tschacher, Werner

in Zeitschrift des Aachener Geschichtsvereins. Aachener Geschichtsverein (2007), 109

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See detailSpeer und Er. Und Wir? Deutsche Geschichte in gebrochener Erinnerung
Krebs, Stefan; Tschacher, Werner

in Geschichte in Wissenschaft und Unterricht (2007), 58(3), 163-173

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2006

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See detailIm Fernsehen nichts Neues : Zur filmischen Ästhetisierung des Ersten Weltkrieges – Ein Forschungsbericht
Fengler, Silke; Krebs, Stefan

in Moderne. Kulturwissenschaftliches Jahrbuch (2006), 2

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See detailOn the Anticipation of Ethical Conflicts between Humans and Robots in Japanese Mangas
Krebs, Stefan

in International Review of Information Ethics (2006), 6

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2005

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