Team Members

Rebecca Dirksen (Team Lead)
Indiana University, Department of Folklore & Ethnomusicology
Associate Professor
Rebecca Dirksen is associate professor of ethnomusicology at Indiana University and author of After the Dance, the Drums Are Heavy: Carnival, Politics, and Musical Engagement in Haiti. Among other things, she focuses on music, sacred ecologies, and environmental justice in Haiti. Much of her activist-oriented work and publications have centered around trash and trees, and she holds an ongoing collaboration with Haitian artists and filmmakers to co-create environment-related music videos.
Julianne Graper
Indiana University, Department of Folklore & Ethnomusicology
Visiting Professor
Graper is a multispecies ethnographer whose work focuses on the intersections between sound, music, and science in the “Bat City,” Austin, TX. She will be teaching F253 Music, Community, and Sustainability in Fall 2021.
John H. McDowell
Indiana University, Department of Folklore & Ethnomusicology
Professor Emeritus
John Holmes McDowell is professor emeritus of folklore at Indiana University. He explores spiritual connection to the land in South American settings, realized through artistic performance grounded in local ecological knowledge and based on local expressive traditions; and, he examines how these performances are deployed in scenes of environmental conflict.
Sue Tuohy
Indiana University, Department of Folklore & Ethnomusicology
Professor Emerita
Sue Tuohy was also an adjunct faculty in East Asian Languages and Cultures and in Global and International Studies at Indian University. Tuohy has conducted research on cultural preservation in China for several decades and is pursuing a new research project on local cultural and artistic projects on the Qinghai-Tibetan plateau aimed at promoting an environmental “consciousness”. She will teach a new course on “Music, Culture, Sustainability” in Spring 2016.


Aaron S. Allen
University of North Carolina Greensboro, Geography, Environment, Sustainability
Director of the Environment and Sustainability Program
Aaron Allen is director of the Environment & Sustainability Program and associate professor of musicology at UNC Greensboro. He co-edited Current Directions in Ecomusicology: Music, Culture, Nature (Routledge 2016), which received the Society for Ethnomusicology’s Ellen Koskoff Edited Volume Prize (2018). He is currently co-editing Sounds, Ecologies, Musics for Oxford University Press.
Katherine Borland
Ohio State University, Center for Folklore Studies
Associate Professor and Director
Borland has researched the impact of tourism on local environmental practices in Nicaragua. She is currently engaged in projects with her students on environmental issues in Appalachia.
Rory Turner
Goucher College, Department of Sociology & Anthropology
Professor of Practice
Rory Turner is a Professor of Practice in Goucher College's Center for People, Politics, and Markets and teaches in the Sociology/Anthropology program. He designed, launched and continues to teach in Goucher College's Master of the Arts in Cultural Sustainability Program. Formerly Program Director for Folk and Traditional Arts and Program Initiative Specialist at the Maryland State Arts Council, he co-founded and directed the Maryland Traditions program from 2000-2007. He also founded and subsequently revived the Baltimore Rhythm Festival.
Mark Pedelty
University of Minnesota, Department of Communications and Department of Anthropology
Mark Pedelty is a Professor of Communication Studies and Anthropology at the University of Minnesota and Fellow at the Institute on the Environment. He has published three books and numerous articles about sound and environment. Dr. Pedelty conducts research in Central and North America and directs the media project.
Jeff T. Titon
Brown University
Professor of Music, Emeritus
Jeff Todd Titon, professor of music, emeritus, Brown University, has been affiliated with DERT since 2017. His most recent book is Toward a Sound Ecology (Indiana University Press, 2020). In 2020 he received the American Folklore Society's Lifetime Scholarly Achievement Award.
Lois Wilcken
La Troupe Makandal
Executive Director
Lois Wilcken researches the music of Haitian Vodou. As a full-time public scholar, she develops education and performance programs, including The Drum and the Seed: A Haitian Odyssey, a neo-folktale with an ecological message. Dr. Wilcken curates the Frisner Augustin Memorial Archive and is writing Master Drummer Augustin’s biography.

Graduate Students

Ben Bridges
Indiana University, Department of Folklore & Ethnomusicology and Department of Anthropology
PhD Student
Ben Bridges is a dual PhD student in Folklore and Anthropology at Indiana University. He studies artmaking in the context of ecological change and subsistence regulations in Southeast Alaska, working with Tlingit, Haida, and Tsimshian artists as they navigate ongoing environmental dilemmas through their creative forms.
Isaiah E. Green
Indiana University, Department of Folklore & Ethnomusicology
PhD Student
His research focuses on musical expression in Pagan spiritual practices and their connections to the environment. He has presented on topics of ecomusicology at the annual meeting of the American Musicological Society and will be presenting on environmental justice at the 2021 annual meeting for the Society for Ethnomusicology. He is currently conducting fieldwork with Pagan musicians and practitioners from around the US.
Douglas D. Peach
Indiana University, Department of Folklore & Ethnomusicology
PhD Candidate; Folklife Specialist, Sandy Spring Museum
Douglas D. Peach is an ethnomusicologist and public folklorist. He has worked with DERT since 2017 to conceptualize, fundraise, and organize public programs, for which he was awarded the Distinguished Service Award from Indiana University’s Department of Folklore and Ethnomusicology in 2020. At the request of DERT in 2019, Peach also presented his own research on land ontologies and music among Gullah Geechee people in coastal South Carolina.