Aaron S. Allen

Aaron S. Allen, Ph.D., F.A.A.R., is director of the Environment & Sustainability Program and associate professor of musicology. A native of rural Appalachia, he earned his B.S. (environmental studies) and B.A. (music) at Tulane University. Dr. Allen then earned a Ph.D. in music at Harvard University. He received the Paul Mellon Post-Doctoral Rome Prize for 2011-12 and is a Fellow of the American Academy in Rome. Dr. Allen published Current Directions in Ecomusicology: Music, Culture, Nature (Routledge 2016), which won the 2018 Ellen Koskoff Edited Volume Prize from the Society for Ethnomusicology. Before being appointed Program director in 2015, Dr. Allen served as UNCG’s first Academic Sustainability Coordinator. He worked with faculty to increase and improve sustainability throughout UNCG, especially through workshops on how to incorporate sustainability into the curriculum. Dr. Allen worked with the Office of Sustainability to bridge academic and operations efforts, created the “Introduction to Sustainability Studies” (then ENV 110, now GES 162) and “Sustainable Campus Operations” (ENV 350, GES 360) courses, established the Sustainability Faculty Fellows Program, and helped to institutionalize the UNCG Green Fund. Dr. Allen also co-lead the effort to create the new Department of Geography, Environment, and Sustainability (established 2018) and the new M.S. in Sustainability & Environment (established 2020). His environmental leadership began with three years as president of the student environmental organization at Tulane, where he led efforts to institutionalize sustainability. As an undergraduate, he was twice selected as a Udall Scholar in part for his work to green Tulane via his undergraduate honors thesis, “Greening the Campus: Institutional Environmental Change at Tulane University.” Dr. Allen continues to serve on the executive committee of the UNCG Sustainability Council. He is also a member of the board of directors of Population Connection. Dr. Allen co-founded and for five years chaired the Ecocriticism Study Group (ESG) of the American Musicological Society, and he co-founded and chaired the Ecomusicology Special Interest Group (ESIG) of the Society for Ethnomusicology. These two organizations co-host and co-established the “Ecomusicologies” conferences and the Ecomusicology Review. Dr. Allen’s conference presentations on ecomusicology include venues in music scholarship (e.g., the American Musicological Society and the Society for Ethnomusicology), interdisciplinary studies (e.g., 19th-Century Studies Association), and environmental studies (e.g., American Society for Environmental History, Association for the Study of Literature and Environment, Association of Environmental Studies and Sciences). He has given invited lectures at institutions in North America, Europe, and Asia. After completing a dissertation on Beethoven reception in nineteenth-century Italy, Dr. Allen has continued to develop this unusual field of reception studies. He has delivered conference presentations and invited talks and has published papers on the topic. He is slowly working on a book tentatively entitled Fidelio in Italy: Beethoven Reception, Historiography, and the Crisis of 19th-Century Opera. Dr. Allen travels to Italy frequently and offers a unique travel class that combines music and sustainability studies. Aaron is originally from rural West Virginia, and his interests as an outdoorsman, environmentalist, and woodworker result from his time on the family farm, where he recently hand built a solar-powered log cabin with and for his parents. Schedule appointments via asallen.youcanbook.me. Dr. Allen’s office is in Graham 128-129. Contact him via email at asallen@uncg.edu or phone at 336.256.1415. For more information see https://ges.uncg.edu/person/allen/ .

There are 27 included publications by Aaron S. Allen :

TitleDateViewsBrief Description
Active Listening via Soundwalks 2013 12 Composer and soundscape artist/scholar Hildegard Westerkamp (1974/2001) defines a soundwalk as “any excursion whose main purpose is listening to the environment.” I would add that only slightly secondary purposes are listening to one’s self and one’s...
Activities of the ESG & ESIG in New Orleans 2013 8 Following the events of Ecomusicologies 2012 (see the Review on page 13), the Ecocriticism Study Group (ESG) of the American Musicological Society (AMS) together with the Ecomusicology Special Interest Group (ESIG) of the Society for Ethnomusicology ...
Anthropocentric and Ecocentric Perspectives on Music and Environment 2020 24 In both French and English, the word “environs” means near, in time and/or in space: be it an approximate amount of chronology, some roughly measurable distance, or a place near a specific or general location. This idea of being “around” or “circumsc...
Beethoven and George Thomson: A New Letter Fragment from 1816,? 2008 3202 In his 1956 summary of the correspondence between Ludwig van Beethoven and George Thomson, Donald MacArdle noted parenthetically that Thomson's letter of October 20, 1816, to Beethoven ".. . as it appears in Thomson's Letterbook is apparently incompl...
Beethoven’s Natures 2017 10 Beethoven loved nature. The composer was not entirely unusual in this regard: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart before him admired birds and wrote pastoral music (cf. Beckerman 1991: 93-102; Heartz 1991: 107-115), and Gustav Mahler after him was actively engag...
Bruce Cockburn: Canadian, Christian, Conservationist 2013 272 Since his first album was released in 1970, Canadian singer-songwriter Bruce Cockburn has produced 30 more, 20 of which have gone gold or platinum. His institutional honors includes 13 Juno awards, seven honorary doctorates, induction into both the C...
Ecomusicologies 2016 396 What is ecomusicology? The question deserves a succinct answer, such as: Environmental studies plus music/sound studies equal ecomusicology. Our conceit, however, is that one plus one equal more than two: There is no one ecomusicology but many ecomus...
Ecomusicology 2013 266 Ecomusicology, or ecocritical musicology, is the study of music, culture, and nature in all the complexities of those terms. Ecomusicology considers musical and sonic issues, both textual and performative, related to ecology and the natural environme...
Ecomusicology between Poetic and Practical 2016 240 Ecomusicology, or ‘ecocritical musicology,’ is a field that considers the complex relationships between culture, nature, and music/sound. This chapter provides an overview of ecomusicology in four parts. First, I elaborate on that definition and prov...
The Ecomusicology Bibliography via Zotero: A Dynamic and Emerging Scholarly Resource, 2012 1195 The Ecomusicology Bibliography is a unique and unparalleled bibliography of books, articles, newspapers, websites, blogs, and multimedia sources. It is available to anyone with a computer and internet connection by using the free software Zotero, w...
Ecomusicology: Bridging the Sciences, Arts, and Humanities 2012 572 Paul Ehrlich is a key figure in modern environmental studies. In addition to ecological research, Ehrlich is known for his warnings about human overpopulation (Ehrlich, 1968). In the 1970s, he made a well-known wager with economist Julian Simon: Ehrl...
Ecomusicology: Ecocriticism and Musicology. (colloquy). 2011 914 As environmental awareness has become more widespread, an increasing number of musicological works have engaged with this subject. Some of the aims of this new (if not always explicitly named) ecomusicology resonate with concerns expressed in previou...
Ecomusicology: Music, Culture, Nature . . . and Change in Environmental Studies? 2012 847 The five senses: touch, taste, smell, sight, hearing. We rely on them daily, professionally, and personally — each can inform our understanding of the world and evoke memories of places and times, both distant and dear. Public policy and science, how...
Greening the Curriculum: Beyond a Short Music History in Ecomusicology 2017 178 Most of the ecomusicology literature deals either with music of and, especially, after the nineteenth century or with music/sound of non-Western cultures. What about the historical music of the Western tradition before the nineteenth century? This ...
Institutional Change and Campus Greening at Tulane University. 2000 1441 A case study of Tulane University that examines the institutional change process is presented in this paper. Agents of change can use the examples and conclusions as a basis for making changes at any institution. The inability for Tulane to make the ...
Of Ecomusicological Interest at AMS Pittsburgh 2013 10 In addition to a variety of individual papers that hold or hint at ecomusicological interest, there are also five full sessions, one outing, and one business meeting at AMS Pittsburgh 2013.
One Ecology and Many Ecologies: The Problem and Opportunity of Ecology for Music and Sound Studies 2019 13 The “problem of ecology” for music and sound studies, as I see it, is the invocation of ecology to mean something other than what ecological scientists mean by it. At the same time, however, this “problem” is an opportunity because, since its 19th-ce...
A Preview of Ecomusicologies 2012 and Related Activities at the Joint Annual Meetings of the AMS, SEM and SMT 2012 10 As the co-editors of a volume entitled Ecomusicology: A Field Guide, we have searched widely for potential authors, interesting chapters, and new topics. And we will also scour the main AMS/SEM/SMT meeting in New Orleans looking for interesting work....
Prospects and Problems for Ecomusicology in Confronting a Crisis of Culture 2011 279 The environmental crisis is not only the fault of failed engineering, bad science, ecological misunderstanding, poor accounting, and bitter politics. It is also a failure of holistic problem solving, interpersonal relations, ethics, imagination, and ...
Review of Music in Renaissance Cities and Courts, 2003 946 Music and Musicians in Renaissance Cities and Towns. Edited by Fiona Kisby (New York, Cambridge University Press, 2001) 188 pp. $59.95 It is high time that historians and musicologists (a.k.a. “music histori-ans”) start sharing ideas in an accessibl...
Review of The Organ as a Mirror of Its Time. 2004 775 The Organ as a Mirror of Its Time is directed at two primary audiences— organists (due to the jargon and detailed organ speciacations) and historians of music, religion, intellectual trends, and technology. The pipe organ is an inherently interdiscip...
A “Stubbornly Persistent Illusion”? Climate Crisis and the North, Ecomusicology and Academic Discourse 2020 9 The climate crisis impacts the northern polar regions in disproportionate ways, and ecomusicology is an academic discourse. In bringing these two seemingly unrelated pairs together, I argue for academic discourse in ecomusicology that makes connectio...
The Study of the Music & Culture of the Environmental Crisis: Interview with Aaron S. Allen 2013 15 Aaron S. Allen is Associate Professor of Musicology at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. He serves on the faculty committee for the Environmental Studies Program. As UNCG’s Academic Sustainability Coordinator, he works to increase and i...
Sustainability 2014 137 Term encompassing issues of respectful management of natural resources and corresponding ecologies so that they endure. Unsustainable depletion of resources through excessive use or misuse, habitat destruction, climate change, and associated cultural...
Sustainability and Sound: Ecomusicology Inside and Outside the University 2014 274 Established in 2005, the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) is a North American organization that empowers institutions to become more sustainable and, in turn, create a more sustainable world through the po...
Sustainable Futures for Music Cultures: An Ecological Perspective (edited by Huib Schippers and Catherine Grant, Oxford University Press, 2016) [book review] 2017 277 In Sustainable Futures for Music Cultures, 14 specialists contribute to a tightly woven book illustrating diverse musical practices from around the world using a theoretical framework regarding the preservation of endangered traditions. The volume is...
Symphonic Pastorals 2012 2055 A popular misunderstanding of the symphony is that the genre is devoid of the meanings conveyed in texted music such as songs and choruses. The idea of the symphony as ‘absolute music’ – ‘abstract’ or ‘pure’ sound, music for its own sake, in contrast...