Michael P. Steinberg, Ph.D.
Professor of History and Professor of Music and German Studies
Born in 1956 in New York
Studied History, European Cultural Studies, and Russian Studies at Princeton University and History at the University of Chicago
The School of Listening: Musical Legacies, Global CommunitiesMy project will use the methods and questions of the cultural history of music to examine the predicament of European cultural and intellectual history and historiography in the era of globalization. Both these contexts are concerned with the interrogation of boundaries: the cultural history of music with the boundaries between musical works and their cultural settings, motivations, and meanings; and the broader historiographic context with the boundaries of European subjectivities in a post-colonial age when cultural flows and disseminations may or may not be liberated from traditional patterns of domination and ownership (actual as well as symbolic). The project also has an engaged and practical dimension, accompanying ongoing involvements of mine in Berlin, Nazareth, Ramallah, and Cape Town (as well as in my capacity as Director of the Cogut Center for the Humanities at Brown University) that combine musical education with "education through music", in other words with the building of new modes of civil society and citizenship through collaborative musical work. Listening, understood as a practice and an ethic and not as a metaphor, combines the aesthetic and political spheres at play in these endeavors. Finally, I am keen to use the fellowship time to read in two related fields in which I remain a beginner: neuroscience and attachment theory.
Steinberg, Michael P. Judaism Musical and Unmusical. Chicago, Il.: University of Chicago Press, 2007.
-. Listening to Reason: Culture, Subjectivity, and 19th Century Music. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2004.
-. "Music and Melancholy." Critical Inquiry 40, 2 (2014).