Steven Feld is a filmmaker, sound/performance artist, Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Anthropology at University of New Mexico, and Senior Scholar at School for Advanced Research, Santa Fe. After studies in music, film, and photography, he received the Ph.D in Anthropological Linguistics at Indiana University in 1979. From 1976 he began a research project in the Bosavi rainforest of Papua New Guinea. Results include the monograph Sound and Sentiment (republished 2012 in a 3rd and 30th anniversary edition), a Bosavi-English-Tok Pisin Dicitionary, and essays, some published in his co-edited books Music Grooves and Senses of Place. From this work he also produced audio projects including the CD Voices of the Rainforest. Key theoretical themes developed in this work are the anthropology of sound and voice; acoustemology, particularly regarding eco-cosmology as relational ontology; emotive sensuality; and experimental, dialogic writing, recording, and filmmaking.
Work after 2000 has concentrated on related themes in the study of bells in Europe, Japan, Ghana, and Togo, published in CDs, DVDs, and books like The Time of Bells, Skyros Carnival, and Santi, Animali, e Suoni. His most recent project concerns jazz in West Africa, published in the twelve CD, five DVD, and book set Jazz Cosmopolitanism in Accra. Feld’s work has been supported and honored by MacArthur, Guggenheim, SAR, and CASBS fellowships, as well as the Fumio Koizumio Prize, and three book and two film prizes.
Jazz Cosmopolitanism in Accra, the book companion to the Jazz Cosmpolitanism films, was published in 2012 by Duke University Press. It received the 2013 Elliot Skinner Prize from the Society for Africanist Anthropology. The CD compilation, published in 2012 by VoxLox, is available from CDBaby and VoxLox websites