Michelle Urberg

Music History and Theory
After spending a year in Uppsala, Sweden doing dissertation research and another year immersed in teaching, I anticipate a great year at a Martin Marty Center Junior Fellow. During my year at the Martin Marty Center, I will be finishing my dissertation and continuing to hone my teaching skills. Everything I have heard about the Martin Marty Junior Fellows program from previous fellows has been positive. I am equally looking forward to the seminars with the fellows and teaching a class of my own design.
With respect to my research, since finishing my year in Sweden, I have spent a good deal of time thinking and writing about the musico-devotional practices of the Birgittine Order, and look forward to finalizing those ideas in my dissertation. The portion of my research I pursue for the Junior Fellowship suggests that the Birgittines’ vibrant and changing devotional life was influenced by the physical space of a cloister church and in the creation of personal liturgical books. These ideas can only be improved with the feedback from other Junior Fellows.
Likewise, the opportunity to teach a class of my own design will be invaluable as I look toward life beyond the University of Chicago.  Although I have had good experiences as a stand-alone instructor, thus far my teaching has been focused on western music history. I have taken this fellowship as an opportunity to broaden my horizons. I look forward to teaching a class on religion and film this year; two subjects that I am passionate about but have not had the chance to combine in the classroom.
I am truly honored to participate in the Martin Marty Junior Fellows program and look forward to all that will come during this year.