Stetson Hosts Acoustic Ecology Panel Wednesday to Kick-start WFAE Conference

montage of four portraits of keynote speakers

Stetson University will host a panel of keynote speakers on March 22 at 8 p.m. to kick off the World Forum for Acoustic Ecology (WFAE) conference, which begins the next day at Atlantic Center for the Arts (ACA) in New Smyrna Beach. The theme for the panel discussion is, “What can listening teach us in a world of crisis?”

Nathan Wolek, PhD

“Stetson University is one of the partners for the upcoming World Forum for Acoustic Ecology conference and, as part of our participation, we are hosting a truly unique panel discussion the night before the conference,” said Nathan Wolek, PhD, professor of Digital Arts and Music Technology, who is moderating the March 22 panel discussion. 

The panel features writer/biologist David Haskell, sound/performance artist Amanda Gutiérrez, artist/podcaster Claude Schryer, and artist/researcher Jacek Smolicki.

Cultural Credit will be available.

Amanda Gutiérrez

“If any one of these people were coming to campus, I would say it’s a big deal. The fact that we are getting the four of them together on our campus for a conversation about soundscape and environmental responsibility is something people will not want to miss,” he added. “If you care about listening or the climate, you will surely find this diverse set of panelists to be engaging.”

David Haskell

Acoustic ecology, also called soundscape studies, is a discipline studying the relationship, mediated through sound, between human beings and their environment. The “Listening Pasts – Listening Futures” conference marks the 30th anniversary of the founding of WFAE and will be the first international conference on environmental sound studies in the United States.

Claude Schryer

The March 22 kickoff event will bring together the three conference keynote speakers and one Canaveral National Seashore artist-in-residence for a conversation about soundscapes. Topics like noise pollution, bioacoustics and environmental responsibility will be addressed during the panel discussion. 

 The panelists at the March 22 event include:

Jacek Smolicki
  • Amanda Gutiérrez uses a range of media, including sound art and performance art, to investigate how home, belonging and cultural identity set the stage for our experiences and in doing so shape our individual and collective identities. She is currently elaborating on the academic dimension of her work by developing her PhD studies in Arts and Humanities at Concordia University in Canada.
  • David Haskell is a writer and a biologist. His latest book, “Sounds Wild and Broken,” explores the story of sound on Earth. He is a Fellow of the Linnean Society of London, a Guggenheim Fellow, and William R. Kenan Jr. Professor at the University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee.
  • Claude Schryer is a Franco-Ontarian sound and media artist and arts administrator of European ancestry. He holds a MM in composition from McGill University and was actively involved in the acoustic ecology and electroacoustic music communities in the ’80s and ’90s.
  • Jacek Smolicki is a cross-disciplinary artist, designer, researcher and educator. His research explores the history and prospects of field recording and soundwalking practices. He is currently a Fulbright Visiting Scholar at Harvard and the 2023 Artist-in-Residence at the ACA Soundscape Field Station at Canaveral National Seashore.

The March 22 panel event will be held in Stetson’s Lynn Business Center, Rinker Auditorium, 345 N. Woodland Blvd., DeLand, FL 32723. It is free and open to the public. No RSVP is necessary for the panel discussion. 

-Stetson Today