Abigail Fine is a music historian specializing in German and Austrian music culture of the nineteenth century. She received her PhD from the University of Chicago in 2017. Prior to her appointment at UO in 2019, she served on the faculty at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. She teaches survey courses in nineteenth- and twentieth-century music and opera history, as well as cultural-historical seminars on material studies, canon-formation, memory, the ethics of staging, and celebrity.
In her research, Fine endeavors to put music-historical questions in dialogue with materials that lie at the margins of traditional musicology, such as visual ephemera, amateur lyric, keepsake albums, objects, and obscure print materials such as biofictional novels and feuilletons. Fine is currently working on a monograph project that explores art-religion in practice, as late nineteenth-century devotees coveted the earthly traces of composers (relics, shrines, pilgrimage sites) to cultivate new forms of material intimacy with Beethoven, Mozart, and others. She has published articles in 19th-Century Music and the Yale Journal of Music & Religion. Current article projects include an interpretation of the Albumblatt genre as kitsch, and a study that situates anecdotes about Beethoven’s eccentricity in a broader social history of manners.
Fine regularly presents her work at conferences and invited symposia in the U.S. and abroad. Recent presentations include the American Musicological Society annual meeting (2019, 2017), the Beethoven-Geflechte symposium in Vienna (2020), the Sound and Secularity symposium at Stony Brook University (2019), After Idealism in Cambridge, UK (2017), and Music and the Middlebrow in London (2017).
Fine welcomes MA and PhD applicants in musicology whose research interests intersect with her expertise in cultural studies, celebrity studies, German and Austrian studies, archival ephemera, biography and historiography, critical reception, and materiality, with a preference for advisees working on 19th-, 20th-, or 21st-century topics. Secondary areas of advising expertise include Jewish identities in Germany and Austria, memory and heritage studies, museology, history of tourism, visual studies, and late style criticism.
“Beethoven’s Mask and the Physiognomy of Late Style,” 19th-Century Music 43:3 (2020): 143-169. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1525/ncm.2020.43.3.143
“Assimilating to Art-Religion: Jewish Secularity and Edgar Zilsel’s Geniereligion (1918),” Yale Journal of Music & Religion, 6:2 (2020), Special Issue: Sound and Secularity, 10-32. DOI: https://doi.org/10.17132/2377-231X.1169