Cultural Sustainabilities is driven by the proposition that environmental and human sustainability are inextricably linked. Leading social scientists, humanists, and activists will convene to address the premise that reversing or ameliorating the negative impacts of human behavior on the globe’s environments is at its core a human cultural question. Topics considered include media, language, singing, fandom, indigeneity, trauma, and trash. The conference honors the work of the keynote speaker, Jeff Todd Titon.

Keynote Address by Jeff Todd Titon (Ethnomusicology, emeritus, Brown University), “Toward a Sound Ecology,” on Friday, May 25, 3:30 PM.

Free and open to the public.


Event Schedule:

Thursday, May 24

7 PM Film Screening: Powerhouse for God (57 minutes)
Followed by Q&A with Barry Dornfeld (Documentary Filmmaker) and Jeff Todd Titon (Brown University), moderated by Janet Walker (Film and Media Studies, UCSB) and Timothy J. Cooley (Music, UCSB)

Related Events: KCSB-FM & CISM Present:
Concert and Roundtable Workshop with Mark Holser, Wobbly, and Irene Moon
Roundtable 2 PM, Concert 8 PM

Friday, May 25

8:30 AM Coffee and pastries (open to all attendees)

9:00 Opening Remarks, TIMOTHY J. COOLEY (Music, UCSB)

9:15-10:45 Panel 1: Thinking, Writing, Music, and Media about Sustainability

Chair: MARY HANCOCK (Anthropology and History, UCSB)
– MARY HUFFORD (Visiting Professor of Folklore, UC Berkeley), “Dialogues All the Way Down: Conversational Genres as Matrices of Cultural and Ecological Renewal”
– AARON S. ALLEN (School of Music and Environmental & Sustainability Studies, UNCG), “Sounding Sustainable; or, The Challenge of Sustainability”
– BARRY DORNFELD (Documentary Filmmaker, Center for Applied Research), “Music, Media, and Mediation”

11-12:30 Panel 2: Musics, Media, and Anthropogenic Change

Chair: RAVI PARASHAR (Music Studies undergraduate, UCSB)
– DANIEL CAVICCHI (American studies, Rhode Island School of Design), “Fandom’s Remix: Popular Music, Participation, and Sustainability”
– NANCY GUY (Ethnomusicology, UCSD), “Garbage Truck Music and Sustainability in Contemporary Taiwan: From Cockroaches to Beethoven and Beyond”
– JOSHUA TUCKER (Ethnomusicology, Brown University), “Sustaining Indigenous Sounds: Music Broadcasting and Cultural Vitalization in Highland Peru”

12:30-1:30 Lunch, Crowell Reading Room (open to all attendees)

1:30-3:00 Panel 3: Responding to Anthropogenic Change

Chair: DAVID N. PELLOW (Environmental Studies, UCSB)
– JENNIFER POST, virtual presentation (Ethnomusicology, University of Arizona), “Climate Change, Mobile Pastoralism, and Cultural Heritage in Western Mongolia”
– MARK F. DEWITT (Ethnomusicology, University of Louisiana at Lafayette, “Singing for La Mêche Perdue: Reconciling Economic, Environmental, and Cultural Imperatives in Louisiana”
– SUSAN HURLEY-GLOWA (Ethnomusicology, UT Rio Grande Valley), “Alaska Native Ways of Knowing and the Sustenance of Musical Communities in an Ailing Petrostate”

3-3:30 Coffee Break, Crowell Reading Room (open to all attendees)

3:30-4:45 Keynote Address

JEFF TODD TITON (Ethnomusicology, Brown, emeritus), “Toward a Sound Ecology”

4:45-6:00 Reception (open to all attendees)

Saturday, May 26

9:30-11:30 Panel 4: Voice, Trauma, Resilience, and Advocacy

Chair: NINOTCHKA BENNAHUM (Theater and Dance, UCSB)
– JEFFREY A. SUMMIT (Ethnomusicology, Tufts University), “Digital Technology, Chanting Torah, and the Sustainability of Tradition”
– ROSHAN SAMTANI (Ethnomusicology, University Studies Abroad Consortium, Stanford University, Madrid), “The Fiesta de la Buleria of Jerez de La Frontera: Music, Identity, and the Construction of Heritage”
– MARGARITA MAZO (Cognitive Ethnomusicology, Ohio State, emerita), “Lament in the Heart. Literally”
– MICHELLE KISLIUK (Ethnomusicology and Performance Studies, UVA), “Singing in a State of Emergency: Storytelling and Listening as Medium and Message”

11:45 Concluding Remarks and Discussion

Chair: ALEXANDER KARVELAS (Ethnomusicology graduate student, UCSB)


“Performing Sustainability,” Popup performances facilitated by RUTH HELLIER-TINOCO (Performing Arts, UCSB)

Sponsored by the Interdisciplinary Humanities Center, College of Letters & Science, Humanities and Fine Arts, The Center for the Interdisciplinary Study of Music, and the Departments of Music, Environmental Studies, and Film & Media Studies.