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Lecture by UNM Emeritus Distinguished Professor, Steve Feld: “HEARING HEAT: AN ANTHROPOCENE ACOUSTEMOLOGY”

Thursday February 22, 2018
2:00-3:30pm
Location: Waters Room, Zimmerman.

Bruno Latour argues that even if poisoned, the anthropocene is a deep gift to human research, inciting new approaches to environmental responsibility. Taking up Latour’s challenge through acoustemology, the study of sound as a way of knowing, this talk engages histories of hearing heat that affectively entangle cicadas and humans in Papua New Guinea, Japan, and Greece.

Steven Feld is an anthropologist, musician/sound artist, and filmmaker. His acoustemology research projects include rainforest sound ecology in Papua New Guinea, the history of bells in Europe, and jazz cosmopolitanism in West Africa. He taught in multiple fields for 35 years, the last 10 of them at UNM. Presently he is Senior Scholar at the School for Advanced Research in Santa Fe, working on Voices of the Rainforest, a documentary feature film building on a 7.1 surround virtual rainforest that he composed this year at Skywalker Sound.

Heterophony: Texture, Technique, and Social Commentary

This lecture is in two parts: the first draws from my research on the 1960s jazz avant-garde and musicians’ interests in heterophonic musical textures. For the second part, I perform original music that utilizes heterophony and “noise” in a solo electronic and improvised format.

The Gay West: From Drug Store Cowboys to Rodeo Queens

The masculine ideal represented by the American cowboy is variously interpreted by spectators, dancers, musicians, and contestants at gay rodeos and country western dances across the U.S. Examining embodied gender practices within these communities, this talk articulates the sonic, social, and geographical spaces of the gay American West.

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