Margot Fassler, Keough-Hesburgh Professor of Music History and Liturgy at University of Notre Dame


“Where the Hudson Meets the Nile: Coptic Chant and Liturgy in Jersey City”

Monday, March 11

4:30pm, Woolworth 102


Fassler is a music historian who gives the liturgy primary emphasis in her scholarly publications and her teaching.   Fassler’s books, edited volumes, and articles focus on the Latin Middle Ages from around 800-1300, but she has strong interests in contemporary sacred music and ritual, and in American song, singers, and song collections.  Fassler is a documentarian, and has made films of a variety of musical/liturgical practices, including studies (with Jacqueline Richard) of the St. John Passion of JS Bach, and the teaching of the music in the Coptic tradition: “Where the Hudson Meets the Nile.”  Her most recent book, The Virgin of Chartres: Making History through Liturgy and Arts (Yale University Press, 2010), demonstrates how the past was constructed in medieval Christian communities, arguing for the centrality of the liturgy and liturgical arts.   She is now writing a book on Hildegard of Bingen and completing a textbook on medieval music.  Fassler’s American Music and Worship course has a strong fieldwork component involving local religious communities,and potential film making ventures.

Courses in her rota include: “Making History with the Saints”; “Christian Repertories and Worship Traditions in the USA”; “Getting Medieval:  Music and Technology in the Latin Middle Ages (800-1400)”; “Hours of Prayer in the Christian Tradition”; “Music, Ritual, and the Documentary”; and (in the First Year Curriculum) “Songs and Songsters in the USA: from Indians to Indie.”


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