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Musicology Professor Dr. Barbara Haggh-Huglo Wins NEH Fellowship

Dr. Barbara Haggh-Huglo
Wed, Dec 11, 2013

Congratulations to Musicology Professor Barbara Haggh-Huglo, who received a Fellowship for University Teachers from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) for her topic, “Of Abbeys and Aldermen: Music in Ghent to 1559.”  Professor Haggh-Huglo’s research is one of 202 humanities projects to receive an award from the NEH for 2014.

With the support of the fellowship, Dr. Haggh-Huglo will complete her research and write a scholarly book that illustrates how music participated in several profound historical changes in the city of Ghent, now in Belgium. When asked why her research focuses on Ghent, she says, “For two reasons: Ghent was the most populous northern city after Paris in the late Middle Ages, and rich documentation survives, such as complete city council records, making it possible to learn the role of music in daily life and in major events in detail uncommon for this time.”

In addition to the book, Dr. Haggh-Huglo will develop a free, online database that lists the 500 most substantial benefactions for music registered in Ghent between 1329 and 1559. She also plans to arrange a series of performances in Belgium and at the University of Maryland, College Park, which will feature the music she discovered through her research.                                                                                                           

Dr. Haggh-Huglo believes her project can lead to a fresh understanding of music from other times and of the place it has – or could have – in today’s world. “Music played an important role in the major turning points in Ghent’s history,” she says. “There are implications for our modern culture, arts patronage, and in using music to make positive changes in society. I hope my findings give new ideas for other research that can tell us more about who we are.”