The Ecomusicology Special Interest Group (ESIG) of the Society for Ethnomusicology (SEM) received official recognition in 2011. The desire to established the ESIG grew out of discussions held at the 2010 SEM Annual Meeting “Sound Ecologies” held in Los Angeles, CA.
The original proposal to the SEM Executive Board, written by Aaron S. Allen (UNC Greensboro), Andrew Mark (York U), and Alyssa Van Thoen (UCLA), stated that:
The proposed Ecomusicology SIG would be a forum for exploring the intellectual and practical connections between the studies of music, culture and nature (both the socially constructed “nature” and the physical environment). The purposes of the ESIG are to foster discussion on ecomusicology, collaborate and share resources, and build community.
In preparation for the first meeting of the ESIG, held a the 2011 SEM/CORD Annual Meeting in Philadelphia, the ESIG sent a letter of invitation to the SEM membership (via SEM-L) that revised that statement slightly:
The Ecomusicology SIG is a forum for exploring the intellectual and practical connections between the studies of music, culture and nature (both the socially constructed “nature” and the physical environment). The goals of the ESIG are to foster discussion of ecomusicology, to collaborate and share resources, to support environmental justice, and to build community.
In addition to Allen, Mark, and Van Thoen, the other scholars signing on to that letter for planning purposes were William Bares (UNC Asheville) and Nancy Guy (UC San Diego).
Materials (agenda and post-hoc summaries by Allen) and files (slides and poor audio recording) from the 2011 meeting are here. At that meeting it was decided to keep the ESIG as a loosely organized group, with Allen acting as chair / lead contact. Future membership may decide to create formal organizational documents, such as by-laws.