Martha Feldman had a splendid year on a Guggenheim leave, bringing her Bloch Lectures near completion for publication, and finishing other essays. The year brought the stunning news that her 2007 Opera and Sovereignty: Transforming Myth in Eighteenth-Century Italy had won the Gordon J. Laing Award of the University of Chicago Press for the faculty book “published in the previous three years that brings the Press the greatest distinction,” an award made by President Robert Zimmer in an all-University faculty reception last April. Topping it off, in June she was given the endowed Mabel Greene Myers Professorship in Music and the Humanities.
May 2010 took Martha to the Università degli Studi di Pavia at Cremona, where she was a visiting professor in the Department of Scienze musicologiche e paleografico-filologiche. There she was superbly hosted by Professor Fabrizio Della Seta, who had been visiting and teaching in Chicago the previous spring in association with Philip Gossett’s Mellon Achievement Award activities. At Cremona Martha found an inspired and generous group of faculty and students who were probing interlocutors at lectures in Professor Della Seta’s seminar on performance theory, a public lecture on the castrato, and a doctoral seminar on music and identity. Afterwards she traveled to Rome afterwards to do research.
Other highlights of 2009-10 included travels with her partner Patricia Barber to Korea, France, Slovenia, Hungary, Romania, and Germany, planting the Michigan garden with new varieties of vegetables, and teaching their Airedale Myrtle to swim.