Neumann Lecture on Music: Music After Oil

March 20, 2023, 7:30 PM
Ukrop Auditorium

Dr. Sherry D. Lee

Associate Professor of Musicology, University of Toronto

Director, Northrop Frye Centre

Sherry Lee (University of Toronto) is a musicologist and sound studies scholar whose recent research focuses on issues of music, sound, and environment in modernist cultures. Her lecture brings together music studies and the environmental humanities, to raise questions about the place of music in the context of environmental crisis and vital energy transitions. Our lives today are fundamentally shaped by fossil fuels, yet we know that oil is finite. How is music implicated in our culture’s modern dependencies on a petroleum economy? Do music and soundmaking have roles to play in re-imagining petrocultures, and in just transitions to new forms of energy? These questions recognize that energy transition does not only involve issues of technology, policy, or the economics of supply: rather, it is a human and a social issue at the core of our values about the way we live. Invoking the idea of a world after oil may seem like invoking an apocalyptic future, but what if it’s a promise?

Sherry Lee is associate professor of musicology at the University of Toronto. She is a fellow of Trinity College and Victoria College, and currently serves as the director of the Northrop Frye Centre. Her research and teaching interests include music and modernist culture, music and philosophy, sound media and technology studies, and discourses of music, sound, landscape and environment. She is presently leading an international research cluster (IDC) in the environmental humanities, in partnership with Oxford University and the University of Pennsylvania, and she is co-editing the volume Music, Sound, and Global Modernism for Cambridge University Press.

The Neumann Lecture Series is offered as part of the Department of Music Free Concert Series 2022 - 2023 Season. No tickets are required for this event.