Dr Luis-Manuel Garcia PhD

Photograph of Dr Luis-Manuel Garcia

Department of Music
Lecturer in Ethnomusicology and Popular Music Studies

Contact details

Ashley Building, Room 109
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

I research electronic dance music scenes (e.g., house, techno, etc.), with a special focus on issues of affect, sexuality, tourism, and the creative industries. My ethnographic fieldwork focuses primarily on Berlin, Germany.


PhD University of Chicago (Ethnomusicology, supervised by Travis A. Jackson), MA University of Toronto (Musicology), BMus (Music History & Culture).


Previous academic positions include: Lecturer / Assistant Professor in Music at the University of Groningen (Arts, Culture, and Media / KCM department); Postdoctoral Fellow, Max Planck Institute for Human Development (History of Emotions research cluster); Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Berlin Program for German and European Studies, Free University of Berlin.


Modules taught or in development include:

  • Globalization and Musical Mobility
  • Festival Studies
  • Electronic Music Studies (with S. Wilson)
  • Fieldwork Methods (with E. Bates)
  • Global Popular Music Studies (with E. Bates)

Postgraduate supervision

I am happy to discuss potential supervision with postgraduate candidates pursuing ethnographic research on topics relating to electronic dance music, affect, tourism and migration, sound studies, gender/sexuality, queer theory, creative industries, and projects relating to the music of Birmingham.

Find out more - our Music postgraduate study  page has information about doctoral research at the University of Birmingham.


My research focuses on the global network of electronic dance music scenes (e.g., house, disco, techno, etc.), with Berlin as my primary site of fieldwork.

My first research project, Together, Somehow: Music, Intimacy, and Affect on the Dance Floor, is in its final stages, focusing on embodied stranger-intimacy at dance music events and the role that music and affect play in sustaining a sense of vague-but-meaningful belonging among dancers. This project was a multi-local study, based on fieldwork conducted in Chicago, Paris, and Berlin over the period of several years (2006-2010).

‘Techno Tourism’ is the focus of my second research project, which is already in its preliminary stages. This project studies the patterns of regular travel that bring fans and professionals to Berlin’s local electronic music scenes. Increasingly, this project is also examining music-driven migration to Berlin and electronic music’s role in the expanding ‘creative industries’ of the city.

In addition to these projects, I conduct and publish research on music festivals, fieldwork methodology, sonic grain/texture, and queer theory.

Other activities

I am currently the Postgraduate Admissions Tutor. I co-organized a conference stream on ‘Mobile Feelings’ at the 2015 international conference: ‘Affect Theory: Worldings, Tensions, Futures’. I have also served on the program committee for the US chapter of the International Association for the Study of Popular Music (IASPM-US). I am a founding member the Berlin-based art collective / record label, La Mission. I serve as Foreign Languages Editor on the Executive Board of Dancecult: Journal of Electronic Dance Music Culture. I am also a regular contributor to the electronic music magazine Resident Advisor.



Nightlife regulation, drugs policy and local urban impact

Tourism driven by dance music - focusing on Berlin

Issues of sexuality, gender, and BAME groups in dance music communities