My research examines the ways in which artistic and intellectual traditions govern the types of knowledge which individuals can construct through creative production. Received artistic traditions work to reinforce systematic inequalities. My work contributes to the understanding and dismantling of those inequalities, helping to create equitable spaces for artists and audiences of all backgrounds in which they can develop agency and build new knowledges through the arts.

This work investigates the ways in which creative and disciplinary traditions both restrict and engender the pedagogies, curricula, and knowledges individuals encounter within performing arts communities, focusing on do-it-yourself (DIY) experimental music scenes in particular. Employing an interdisciplinary approach that places visual cultures, cultural studies, the learning sciences, and music education in conversation, I investigate how networks of interconnected actors (such as artists, artifacts, audience members, and spaces of interaction) enact practices of teaching and learning within historically situated environments. Findings from this work reframe musical artifacts (including performances, video and audio recordings, and physical albums) as educational technologies, uncovering valuable and, at times, problematic educational praxes in unexpected environments. I approach this work from a variety of methodological standpoints derived from text analysis, object studies, and ethnographic research.

Recent Refereed Journal Articles

Woods, P. J. (2020). The Aesthetic Pedagogies of DIY Music. Review of Education, Pedagogy, and Cultural Studies, 1-20.

Woods, P. J. (2020). Reimagining collaboration through the lens of the posthuman: Uncovering embodied learning in noise music. Journal of Curriculum and Pedagogy, 0(0), 1–21.

Woods, P. J. (2019). Mapping Critical Anthropocene Discourses in Musical Artefacts: Whiteness, Absence, and the Intersecting “-Cenes” in Prurient’s The History of Aids. Open Cultural Studies, 3(1), 541–552.

Woods, P. J. (2019). Conceptions of teaching in and through noise: A study of experimental musicians’ beliefs. Music Education Research, 21(4), 459–468.

Woods, P. J. (2018). In (partial) defence of offensive art: Whitehouse as Freirean codification. Journal for Cultural Research, 22(1), 90–104.

Recent Refereed Conference Papers

Woods, P. J., & Jones, K. (2020). Expanding the Borders of Music-Based Qualitative Research Methods Through Graphic Scores. In Proceedings of the 2020 International Conference of the Learning Sciences (pp. 1063-1070).

Woods, P. J. (2020). Towards a Process Model of Developing Artistic Practice Within Experimental Music Communities. In Proceedings of the 2020 International Conference of the Learning Sciences (pp. 755-756).

Woods, P. J. (2020). Towards a Noisier Constructionism: Reimagining Experimental Music as Learning Context. In Proceedings of the 2020 Constructionism Conference (pp. 575-583).

Woods, P. J. (2019) (Re)making Whiteness: A Critical Discourse Analysis of Equity-Based Maker Literature. In Proceedings of the 2019 Connected Learning Summit (pp. 189-197).


Woods, P. J. (2020). Learning in and through Noise: Exploring the Learning Ecologies of Experimental Music [Ph.D., The University of Wisconsin – Madison]. In ProQuest Dissertations and Theses (2451165539). Dissertations & Theses @ CIC Institutions; Dissertations & Theses @ University of Wisconsin at Madison; ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global.

I also did a presentation of some of my dissertation work at NYU. You can find video here: