Congratulations to Steven Moon on being named a 2019 Fulbright Award recipient! Moon will use his Fulbright year to complete research on his dissertation “Sound, Science, Islam: Music as Healing in Istanbul.” In describing his research, Moon writes,
“Turkish medical professionals are currently studying biomedical uses of Ottoman-era classical music in state-run medical facilities. While rooted in Ottoman-era musico-medical treatises, these biomedical studies often ignore key cultural, political, and musical anachronisms such as shifting notions of ‘health’ and ‘body’ following Turkey’s Europeanization in the 1920s, or the shift in musics’ materiality from live performance to recordings. My ethnography deconstructs contemporary notions of ‘health’ through the lenses of illness/disease, perceptions of wellness, and religiosity, as well as across multiple languages and diverse global institutional structures. I examine biomedical research and alternative forms of healing in a dialectical relationship, wherein neither is supplementary, nor done in order to prove or disprove the other. As such I demonstrate 1) the ways in which historical musical healing practices in Ottoman territories reveal the plurality of health, and 2) how health functions as a social heuristic. This dissertation is the first ethnomusicological project on musical healing that examines biomedicine and alternative healing practices as inextricable practices, a framework widely applicable beyond Turkey.”
Steven Moon’s work broadly focuses on the intersection of music, haptics, and scientific/medical research. He earned is MA at Pitt with a thesis titled "Listening, Elsewhere: Enacting Affective Exodus in Gay Azerbaijan," which explores the lives and listening practices of college-aged gay men in Baku, Azerbaijan, and elucidates the relationship between gender and technological embodiment. He has presented at regional and national meetings of SEM and AMS, as well as international meetings of ICTM on his dissertation work as well as American popular music, critical race theory, and queer theory. Moon has twice received the Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowship, as well as the Critical Language Scholarship, for Turkish study, in addition to a third FLAS for Ottoman Turkish. You can find Moon’s work in current or forthcoming issues of Current Musicology and Etnomüzikoloji Dergisi, the journal of the Association for Ethnomusicology.