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Steven Feld to Speak at UH As Part of Distinguished Lecture Series

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Posted: Jan 15, 2003

Steven Feld, professor of Ethnomusicology at Columbia University, will present a public lecture entitled "Nostalgia and Modernity: On the criss-crossed histories of Hawaiian guitars, Papua New Guinea string bands, Appalachian soundtracks, and September 11th" on Tuesday, January 28, 2003, at 7:30 p.m. at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa‘s Campus Center Ballroom.

Feld‘s research focuses on the anthropology of sound involving intersections of music, linguistics, acoustic ecology, and media studies. His main ethnographic project since the mid 1970s, and the subject of many of his print and sound publications, concerns the acoustemology of Kaluli, people of the Bosavi rainforest of Papua New Guinea. Since the mid 1980s, he has also developed a second research project on music globalization, schizophonia, and the emergence of world music.

Feld is a jazz musician, cinematographer, record producer and political activist. He is the recipient of the prestigious John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Fellowship for outstanding achievement.

Feld's path-breaking book "Sound and Sentiment," links the sounds of nature, music, and lament in Papua New Guinea, and earned the J.I. Staley Prize in anthropology in 1991. His innovative book on the processes and politics of music-making, written as a series of interactive jazz-like riffs with fellow musician-scholar Charles Keil, won the Chicago Folklore Prize in 1995.

His work, however, has not been limited to the world of books. He has been a creative force in bringing together global concerns for the rainforest and indigenous peoples through music, film, websites, and political activism.

He graduated with a B.A. in 1971 from Hofstra University and earned a Ph.D from the Department of Anthropology at Indiana University in 1979. He has held positions in anthropology and music at New York University, the University of California at Santa Cruz, the University of Texas at Austin, and the University of Pennsylvania.

Feld's lecture is part of the UH Distinguished Lecture Series, and is co-sponsored by the Department of Anthropology, Department of Music, the Center for Pacific Islands Studies, and the International Cultural Studies Certificate Program.

In addition to his lecture, he will also be conducting a public seminar entitled "They have taken our mother‘s head and are now going into her throat: Indigenous and Activist Responses to Transnational Mining in West Papua," on January 29, 2003 from 12:00 to 1:30 p.m. at the East-West Center, Burns 2121/2125.