navigating (un)sustainability – Conference Information

Organised by IASPM-SEA and ICTM Malaysia 

Supported by Penang House of Music

Date: 2 to 5 March 2023

Venue: Penang House of Music (PHoM), Penang, MALAYSIA

Aside from its function as entertainment, music and the arts have long served as a means to engage with the world around us. Many utilize this form of artistic performance to help make sense of the unravelling sociopolitical climates that are evolving around them. As the climate crisis continues to seep into public consciousness, we are becoming increasingly concerned with the idea of (un)sustainability. While this term has significant merit from an environmental standpoint, we should also consider how sustainability – or lack thereof – can be embodied in terms of industry, practice, culture, pedagogy, community, theory and materiality. 

The idea of (un)sustainability, as we understand it, also extends to: (in)stability, (un)accountability, (in)viability, (dis)continuity, (un)reliability, and so forth. 

As we trudge further into the 21st century, it is time to reflect and focus our lens inwards to consider the vicissitudes of music-based industries, pedagogies, practices and communities. By critically reflecting on music’s modes of (un)sustainability, we hope to mitigate our present situation for future generations. 

This first-ever, jointly organised conference features an interdisciplinary synergy of scholars and practitioners from the fields or popular music and traditional performing arts representing the broad fields of cultural studies, anthropology, ethnomusicology, ethnochoreology, musicology, performance practice, arts education and area studies.

They will present in a variety of formats (panels, roundtables, performances, posters and film screenings) how their research or personal praxis fits into this larger narrative of (un)sustainability, applying critical insights for music and arts studies in Southeast Asia and beyond. 

While proposal submissions are closed, we warmly welcome your active participation in this conference. Please register your attendance here.

For those planning to join us in Penang, click on the button below.

Conference Organising Committee

Tan Sooi Beng

ICTM Malaysia Chair

Universiti Sains Malaysia

Adil Johan


Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia

Paul Augustin

Founding Director

Penang House of Music

Mayco Santaella

Programme Committee Chair

Sunway University

Choong Hueyuen

IASPM-SEA Webmaster and Publications

UCSI University

Krina Cayabyab

IASPM-SEA Secretary

University of Philippines College of Music

Lara Katrina Mendoza

IASPM-SEA Treasurer

Ateneo de Manila University

Connie Lim Keh Nie

Programme Committee Member

Universiti Malaysia Sarawak

Rachel Ong Shu Ying

Programme Committee Member

University of Music and Performing Arts Graz

Shazlin Amir Hamzah

Local Arrangements Committee Member

Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia