Date: May 17, 2023, 3:30 - 5:00pm

Location: Music Library 2406

As promises of mediation, efforts at amplification, and future-oriented projects, field recording projects are the stuff of vulnerable dreams: the facilitation of collective acts of listening and work that hopes toward a sonic commons. This talk asks how academic field recording, including but not limited to the discipline of ethnomusicology, was shaped by tape recording. First used on location to record dance, speech, and music in 1936 by Nazi researchers, magnetic tape became the standard format for academic sound recording by 1952. My presentation turns to three state-funded ethnomusicological projects devised to “catalog humanity,” as Katherine Lemov might put it, and made possible by early reel-to-reel recorders and shaped by the nuisances of mid-century maps, cars, and electrical wiring. I foreground scenes from these expeditions where sound and tape caused a problem: part-singing in South Tyrol, a Black spiritual in Southern Appalachia, and a harvesting song in Polish Silesia. Through my analysis, which takes into account the afterlives of these tapes, I interrogate how this format’s devices and affordances shaped the practices and ethics—even feelings and relations—of field recording, asking what it might mean to consider tape recording an infrastructure of and for ethnomusicology beyond this mid-century moment.

Andrea F. Bohlman studies the political stakes of music making and sound in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, weaving together archival and ethnographic methodologies. She is Associate Professor of Music at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, USA. Much of her writing thinks through questions of political agency and strategies of shaping social movements through sound and music in Central and Eastern Europe, as in her 2020 book Musical Solidarities: Political Action and Music in Late Twentieth-Century Poland. Bohlman’s research on the history of sound recording—on mixtapes, field recordings, oral histories, and electroacoustic composition—situates the practices in the everyday and the hands of a range of practitioners. A book in progress, provisionally entitled Magnetic Fields: Tape and the Sounding of Consent, Magnetic Fields is a material and cultural history of tape recording as a site of social intimacy and knowledge production from 1936 to the present.  She is also the executive editor of the online publication of the American Musicological Society, Musicology Now.
Co-sponsored by Ethnomusicology Forum and Musicology/Theory Forum.
  1. May 17, 2023 - 3:30pm to 5:00pm

Date: April 19, 2023 3:30 - 5:00 PM

Location: Music Library 2406

This paper examines a series of diasporic cultural productions involving deceased Iranian pop musicians of the Pahlavi era to explore how practices of memorialization and performance and media-enabled resurrection are used to counteract the finality of death and embed national heritage in California. These practices are entangled with expatriate business and settlement in exile, diaspora politics, and pervasive, productive nostalgia for the period of Iranian history coterminous with the reign of Mohammad Reza Pahlavi (1941-1979). Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork in the "Tehrangeles" Iranian pop music and media industries, I examine practices and sites including celebrity impersonators, a hologram of Hayedeh, and Southern Californian Iranian gravesites as creative responses to open-ended separation.

Farzaneh Hemmasi is an Associate Professor of Ethnomusicology at the University of Toronto. Her monograph Tehrangeles Dreaming: Intimacy and Imagination in Southern California’s Iranian Pop Music (Duke University Press 2020) is an ethnographic account of the Los Angeles-based postrevolutionary Iranian expatriate culture industries. Tehrangeles Dreaming was the 2022 winner of the Hamid Naficy Book Award, presented by the Association for Iranian Studies on behalf of the Center for Iranian Studies at SFSU.  She is also Principal Investigator of a collaborative, community engaged research project on sound, noise, and music in Toronto’s Kensington Market neighborhood.
Organized by CISM and co-sponsored by Ethnomusicology Forum, the Center for Middle Eastern Studies, and the Iranian Studies Initiative.
  1. April 19, 2023 - 3:30pm to 5:00pm

Listening to Cumbia gathers speakers, filmmakers and performers to present research on cumbia in Mexico, the United States, and beyond, focusing on the material archives of cumbia in informal collections and media representations, as well as in sonidero (DJ) performances at bailes (dances). Both of these contexts - the transnational record circulation and the local dance scenes in Mexico and the United States – are living cultures that provide insight into the cross-border effects of sound media and the broad effects of popular music as a force of social identity among Latinx communities. The symposium the first of its kind focused on cumbia as a transnational media project, incorporating roundtable discussions and panels with a film screening, an on-site archival exhibition, and a cumbia sonidero DJ performance.

Organized by the Center for the Interdisciplinary Study of Music. Co-sponsors: Carsey-Wolf Center, IHC’s Faculty Collaborative Research Grant, Humanities and Fine Arts, KCSB-FM, Department of Anthropology, Department of Chicana and Chicano Studies, Department of Film & Media Studies, and Department of Music.
  1. April 11, 2023 to April 12, 2023
Samuel Lamontagne (UCLA, African American Studies & History)
Date: February 8, 2023, 3:30 - 5:00 PM
Location: Music Library 2406

Hiphopography aims at centering hip-hop participants’ perspectives as grounded in experience and expertise. Placing the engagement with hip-hop participants at the heart of its methodology, hiphopography acknowledges and includes participants’ agencies, reflexive capacities, and active theorizations on their own hip-hop practices and involvements in hip-hop cultural worlds as central to the production of knowledge on hip-hop. Hiphopography offers ethical, and socially justice-oriented ways to engage in the knowledge and power relationship. Taking my research with Los Angeles hip-hop communities and the 2022 class “Rap, Race, and Reality” taught by Chuck D of Public Enemy at UCLA as examples, this talk considers the possibility for the co-production of hip-hop knowledges in academia. Further, it explores how the extension of hiphopography to the university teaching environment can impact music studies and assert a commitment to epistemic decolonization.

Samuel Lamontagne is a Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Fellow with the Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies and the Department of History at UCLA. His research focuses on hip hop and electronic dance music in Los Angeles, and in the African diaspora more generally.

Organized by the Center for the Interdisciplinary Study of Music, co-sponsored by Ethnomusicology Forum. 

  1. February 8, 2023 - 3:30pm to 5:00pm

Date: Nov 4, 2022, 7:00PM

Location: MCC Theater

For 3 decades, brother and sister Jeneda and Clayson Benally have been recording and touring, bringing their empowering organic conscious raising charged music to communities throughout Europe and North America. From the (Dine) Navajo Nation in Northern Arizona, Sihasin is an explosive duo of just bass, drums and vocals with a traditional Navajo backbone bridging folk, rock, world, pop and a little punk. Jeneda and Clayson Benally grew up protesting the environmental degradation and inhumane acts of cultural genocide against their traditional way of life. Their music reflects hope for equality, healthy and respectful communities and social and environmental justice. Sihasin is a rare band that does more than just perform. They leave their audiences with an exhilarating feeling of hope and respect and cultural appreciation.

Co-sponsored by CISM and KCSB.

Registration on Shoreline is required.

  1. November 4, 2022 - 7:00pm
  • poster of Cambodian Vintage Music Archive talk


Date: May 18, 2022, 3:30PM
Location: Special Research Collections, UCSB Library (3rd Floor, Mountain Side)
Cambodian Vintage Music Archive (CVMA) founders Rotanak (Oro) Oum and Nate Sovannet Hun will speak about the CVMA and their current project to build relationships with surviving families of pre-Khmer Rouge era performers and restore their claims to reproductions of golden era sound recordings.
This event is presented by the UCSB Library, the East Asia Center (EAC), and the Center for the Interdisciplinary Studies of Music (CISM) as part of the CISM in the Archive event series.  Each year, a music scholar is invited into UCSB Library’s Special Research Collections to explore historic sound collections and offer a public talk incorporating research and recordings. This series is designed to highlight the use of archival resources in the interdisciplinary study of music. 


  1. May 18, 2022 - 3:30pm
  • Event poster for lecture, The Democracy that Society Allows

Date: Wed, May 4, 4:00-6:30PM

Location: Social Sciences and Media Studies Room 2135

Perceived attacks on the foundations of democracy in recent years have sparked large demonstrations, often numbering in the hundreds of thousands, in both Japan and the US. This paper will explore the ways in which democracy is sounded differently in street protests of two densely populated cities—Tokyo and New York—as shaped by urban geography, urban acoustics, participatory practices, and perhaps most importantly, policing. Analyzing protests as an interplay between urban space, cyberspace, police, and activist-musicians, the talk considers the ways in which the sounds of street protests reflect the kind of democracy that society allows.

Noriko Manabe is Associate Professor of Music Theory and Ethnomusicology at Temple University and a visiting Associate Professor in East Asian Languages and Cultures at Stanford (AY2021-22), researching music and social movements as well as Japanese popular music. Her monograph, The Revolution Will Not Be Televised: Protest Music after Fukushima (Oxford University Press) won the John Whitney Hall Book Award from the Association for Asian Studies. She is currently writing a book on the intertextuality of protest music and editing the Oxford Handbook of Protest Music (with Eric Drott) and 33-1/3 Japan, a book series on Japanese popular music.

Takashima Talks in Japanese Cultural Studies feature cutting-edge scholarship that probes the field's methodologies and boundaries. This talk is co-sponsored by the Center for the Interdisciplinary Study of Music.

  1. May 4, 2022 - 4:00pm to 6:30pm