Tracey Laird is the author of the forthcoming book Austin City Limits: A History (Oxford University Press, 2014 — publication date October 1), which explores the significance of the 40 years-and-running PBS television music program. The program's story intertwines with that of other late twentieth and early twentieth century phenomena, including changes in music and television, in its home city (as Austin rose to prominence as "Live Music Capital of the World" during this period), and in the ways people engage with musical culture. The Austin City Limits Music Festival and the ACL Live at the Moody Theater constitute the most recent chapters in the story, and provide context for exploring intersections between live and mediated musical experience. Laird's previous major publications include Louisiana Hayride: Radio and Roots Music Along the Red River (Oxford University Press, 2005), as well as a collection co-edited with Kip Lornell titled Shreveport Sounds in Black & White (University Press of Mississippi, 2008).
Her courses at Agnes Scott include American Popular Music, History of Jazz, Intro to the Art of Music, Issues and Methods of Ethnomusicology, and a First-Year Seminar titled Writing About Music: Rock, Rap, Country, and In Between. She also regularly leads the senior seminar in music, with recent topics like music's relationship to neuroscience, to politics, or to the experience of meaning. This past year, senior students explored diverse topics that included organ performance practice, the music of the Civil Rights Movement, and the relatively recent subfield known as "ecomusicology."