Steven Feld

Steven Feld is an anthropologist, filmmaker, musician, and sound artist, and Distinguished Professor of Anthropology Emeritus at the University of New Mexico. Recipient of a John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Fellowship in 1991, he was elected a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1994, and in 2003 received a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship. His research has also been supported by the National Science Foundation, the National Endowments for the Humanities and for the Arts, the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research, and other foundations.

Feld retired from thirty-five years of university teaching in 2015. He taught Anthropology and Music for ten years each at the University of Texas at Austin and at the University of New Mexico, taught visual and sound communications for five years at the Annenberg School of Communications, University of Pennsylvania, and for shorter periods taught Anthropology at the University of California, Santa Cruz and New York University, and Music at Columbia University. He also taught in visiting positions in Music at the Universities of Bergen and Oslo, in Anthropology at the University of Sydney, and in both fields at the University of California, Berkeley. From 2016-2020 he was a Senior Scholar at the School for Advanced Research. In Fall 2020 he taught at the Center for Experimental Ethnography at the University of Pennsylvania and in spring 2021 through the ArTeC Chaire Internationale program at the University of Paris at Nanterre.

Feld spent 2016-2017 as a visiting artist at Skywalker Sound, collaborating with acclaimed designer Dennis Leonard to create Voices of the Rainforest in 7.1 cinema surround sound for concerts and galleries. Following a 2018 return to Bosavi in Papua New Guinea, Feld and filmmaker Jeremiah Ra Richards created a film and collaborated with Leonard to expand the 7.1 soundtrack, leading to a 2019 Voices of the Rainforest CD, BluRay and photobook collaboration. In 2020 VoxLox released the second volume in its new intermedia CD-DVD- photobook series: Cool Running: The Story of Ghana’s Honk Horn Lorries and Por Por Music, a collaboration by Feld with Accra photographer and oral historian Nii Yemo Nunu and German photographerHannah S chreckenbach. Projects in progress for 2023 include New Voices of the Rainforest, a follow-up Bosavi film collaboration with filmmaker Jeremiah Ra Richards and anthropologist Bambi Schieffelin; Horn to Horn Honkout, a CD collaboration with the La Drivers Union Por Por Group and The Texas Horns, a blues-jazz brass band from Austin, Texas; and La recherche comme composition, a book of lectures presented in Paris, in collaboration with French anthropologists Jonathan Larcher, Dammien Mottier, and Florence Brunois.

International chair program