Mark Pottinger

Professor, Department of Music and Theater

Dr. Pottinger is Professor of Music and Chair of the Music and Theater Department at Manhattan College, where he founded the Sound Studies program, an area of research that is at the intersection of musicology, acoustics, audio technology, and performance studies. Winner in 2017 of the prestigious Berlin Prize from the American Academy in Berlin, Dr. Pottinger is the author of a number of publications on the music and cultural life of nineteenth-century Europe and the contemporary listening environment. His current book project, Science and the Romantic Vision in Early Nineteenth-Century Opera, examines the natural sciences in the first half of the nineteenth century and their relationship to the supernatural as found in early German, Italian, and French romantic opera. Noted for his exuberant energy and passionate conversations about the power of music, Dr. Pottinger regularly lectures for the Metropolitan Opera and their HD Live in Schools educational programming. He is currently serving as co-chief editor of Sound Studies Review: An International Peer-Reviewed Music Journal (Brepols Publishers), which is housed in the Music and Theater Department and supported by upper-level students in the Sound Studies program.

Education

  • Ph.D., Musicology: CUNY, The Graduate Center (2005)
  • M.Phil., Musicology: CUNY, The Graduate Center (2002)
  • M.Mus., Opera Studies: University of Leeds, England, UK (1996)
  • B.A. (cum laude): Washington University in St. Louis (1995)

Courses Taught

  • MUSC 150 Roots: Music
  • MUSC 305 Music and French Identity: Paris and Versailles (Study Abroad)
  • MUSC 323 Music and Romanticism
  • MUSC 325 Modern Music and the Avant-Garde
  • MUSC 400 Spl Topic: Opera as Text
  • MUSC 400 Spl Topic: Opera, Religion, and Confinement
  • MUSC 410 Indep. Study: Hermeneutics of Heavy Metal
  • MUSC 410 Indep. Study: Advanced Music Theory
  • MUSC 410 Indep. Study: Education and the Non-Profit in New York City
  • MUSC 410 Indep. Study: Jazz, Hip Hop, and Black Social Justice
  • MUSC 410 Indep. Study: Women and Music of the 1960s 
  • Research
    • Phenomenology, Musicology, History of Science, Opera Studies, Nineteenth-Century France, Sound Studies
  • Publications and Scholarly Activities

    Recent/Forthcoming Publications:

    Forthcoming: "Sound Recordings, Concert Halls, and the Politics of Live Music Listening,” Sound Studies Review: An International Peer-Reviewed Music Journal (Brepols Publishers), Vol. 1., no. 1 (Fall 2022)

    Forthcoming: “Ritter's Musical Aesthetics, Der Freischütz, and the Certainty of Nature in Early Nineteenth-Century Germany," The Germanic Review: Literature, Culture, Theory (Taylor & Francis), Special Issue: "The Role of Uncertainty in Romantic Philosophy, Science, Literature, and Theory," Eds. Jocelyn Holland and Elizabeth Millán

    Forthcoming: Book Review for the Journal of the American Musicological Society (University of California Press), of Kira Thurman, Singing Like Germans: Black Musicians in the Land of Bach, Beethoven, and Brahms (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2021)

    Forthcoming: Book Review for Sound Studies Review (Brepols Publishers), vol. 1, no. 1 (Fall 2022) of Edward J. Gillian, Sound Authorities: Scientific and Musical Knowledge in Nineteenth-Century Britain (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2021)

    May 2022, "Buffalo Bill and the Sound of America During the 1889 World's Fair," America in the French Imaginary, 1789-1914: Music, Revolution and Race, Eds. Diana Hallman and César Leal (Suffolk, UK: Boydell & Brewer), pp. 265-295

    June 2021, “Concert Hall Acoustics and the Sounding Heritage of the Inter-War Period in America: The Coolidge Auditorium (Library of Congress, Washington, D.C., 1925)," Change Over Time: An International Journal of Conservation and the Built Environment (Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press), Special Issue: "Sounding Heritage," Ed. Pamela Jordan, vol. 9, no. 2 (Fall 2019), pp. 214-231 [DOI: 10.1353/cot.2019.0012 ]

    July 2020:  “Lucia and the Auscultation of Disease in Mid-Nineteenth-Century France,” Nineteenth-Century Music Review (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press), Special Issue: “Music, Medical Science and the Body," Ed. Mark A. Pottinger, Vol. 19, No. 1 (April 2022), pp. 55-84 [DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1017/S1479409820000075]

    September 2019:  “French Music Criticism in the Nineteenth Century, 1789-1870,” The Cambridge History of Music Criticism, Ed. Christopher Dingle (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2019), pp. 125-146

    April 2019: Book Review for Music & Letters (Oxford University Press), vol. ix, no. 4 (November 2018), of Grand Opera Outside Paris: Opera on the Move in Nineteenth-Century Europe, Ed. Jens Hesselager (London and New York: Routledge, 2018)

    August 2017: “Deep Listening: Selling and defining the experience of ‘live’ music,” The Berlin Journal, American Academy in Berlin, online edition, Fall 2017 (https://www.americanacademy.de/deep-listening/)

    December 2015:  “Wagner in Exile: Paris, Halévy and The Queen,” Nineteenth-Century Music Review, vol. 12, no. 2 (Dec. 2015), pp. 253-284

    May 2013:  Book Review for Music & Letters, vol. xciv, no. 1 (February 2013), pp. 170-172, of Blackness in Opera, Eds. Naomi André, Karen M. Bryan, and Eric Saylor (Chicago, IL: University of Illinois Press, 2012)

    December 2012:  “Black Robe, White Collar: Achieving Tenure at a Catholic Liberal Arts College in New York City,” Mentoring Faculty of Color: Essays on Professional Development and Advancement in Colleges and Universities, Eds. Dwayne Mack, Michelle Camacho, and Elwood Watson (Jefferson, NC: McFarland Publishing, 2012), pp. 17-26

    October 2012:  "Revolution and the Art of History in France: Daniel Auber’s Gustave III, ou, le bal masqué,” Studia Musicologica, vol. 52, 2011, pp. 393-418

    Recent Conference Papers:

    October 2019:  Chair and Respondent to Paper Session, “Transnationalisms,” France: Musiques, Cultures, 1789-1918 Pre-Meeting of the American Musicological Society (AMS) Annual National Conference, The Westin Boston Waterfront Hotel, Boston, Massachusetts

    March 2019: “Sounding Space / Sounding Self,” Imagination, Integrity & Innovation Conference (The Maxine Greene Institute), Manhattan College, Riverdale, New York

    September 2018:  “Deep Listening: The Politics of the Live Music Experience in the Age of Post-Truth,” International Music Conference, “Music and Musicology in the Age of Post-Truth,” University College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland

    July 2018:  “The Sound of Invisible Light: Der Freischütz and the Romantic Science of Johann Wilhelm Ritter,” 20th Biennial International Conference on Nineteenth-Century Music, University of Huddersfield, Huddersfield, England

    March 2017:  “Science and the Sound of Disease in Lucia di Lammermoor (Paris, 1837),” Music and the Body Between Revolutions: 1789-1870, The Heyman Center for the Humanities, Columbia University, New York, New York

    March 2017:  Respondent in Roundtable Discussion, “After Idealism: Sound as Matter and Medium in the 19th Century,” Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Science and Humanities, Cambridge University, Cambridge, England

    July 2016:  “Physiology and the Science of Hysteria in Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor," 19th Biennial International Conference on Nineteenth-Century Music, University of Oxford, Oxford, England

    November 2013:  Chair and Respondent to Paper Session, “Opera and Voice in Nineteenth-Century France,” American Musicological Society (AMS) Annual National Conference, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

    June 2012:  “Romantic Science: Meyerbeer’s Robert le diable and the ‘magnetic storm’ in France,” 17th Biennial International Conference on Nineteenth-Century Music, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, Scotland

    June 2012:  Chair and Respondent to Select Papers, “Opera as Spectacle,” International Symposium on Italian and French Nineteenth-Century Opera, University of London, London, England

    Recent Special Lectures/Invited Talks:

    May 2022: "Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor and Nineteenth-Century Female Madness," The Metropolitan Opera Guild, New York, New York

    May 2022: "The Certainty of Nature in Early Nineteenth-Century Germany: Der Freischütz and the Romantic Science of Johann Wilhelm Ritter," Special Faculty Lacture: The Dante Seminar, Manhattan College, Rivedale, New York

    April 2022: "Code-Switching in Mozart's Le Nozze de Figaro," Bennington College, Bennington, Vermont (Virtual Presentation)

    April 2022: ""il dolce suono:" Lucia di Lammermoor in the Rust Belt," The Metropolitan Opera National Educators' Conference, The Metropolitan Opera, New York, New York (Online Presentation) (YouTube Clip)

    April 2022: "Opera and the Identity of the Self," Gettysburg College, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania (Virtual Presentation)

    April 2022: "The Certainty of Nature in Early Nineteenth-Century Germany: Der Freischütz and the Romantic Science of Johann Wilhelm Ritter," The Baker-Nord Center for the Humanities, Case-Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio

    October 2021: "Fire Shut Up in My Bones: Opera and the Art of Narrative Interiority," The Metropolitan Opera, HD Live in Schools, Book Club, New York, New York (Online Live-Streaming Presentation) (YouTube Clip)

    October 2021: "Excavating Eurydice: Breaking Open the Orpheus Myth," The Metropolitan Opera National Educators' Conference, The Metropolitan Opera, New York, New York (Online Presentation) (YouTube Clip)

    January 2021: "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad Bride! The Romantic World of Lucia and the Science Behind Her Madness," The Metropolitan Opera National Educators' Conference, The Metropolitan Opera, New York, New York (Online Presentation) (YouTube Clip)

    December 2019: “Empathetic Listening,” Advent Service Personal Reflection, A Festival of Lessons and Carols, Manhattan College, Riverdale, New York

    February 2019: “Moving into Administration,” Professional Seminar, Social Science Research Council-Mellon Mays Ph.D. Professional Development Conference, Columbia University, New York, New York

    February 2018:  “Teaching Statement, Portfolio, Student Evaluations,” Professional Seminar, Social Science Research Council-Mellon Mays Ph.D. Professional Development Conference, Kimpton Eventi Hotel, New York, New York

    January 2018:  Panelist for Winter Festival: America Inspiring, New Jersey Symphony Orchestra at the Richardson Auditorium, Princeton Univeristy (19 January) and the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark, New Jersey (21 January)

    May 2017:  “Science and the Romantic Vision in Early Nineteenth-Century Opera,” Nina Maria Gorrissen Fellow of History Lecture, American Academy in Berlin, Germany (Vimeo Clip)

    May 2017:  “Deep Listening,” A conversation with Christoph Lieben-Seutter, Director of the Elbphilarmonie Harmburg, on the hyper-acoustics of concert halls and the materiality of sound in today’s listening experience, Consulate General of the United States, Hamburg, Germany

    March 2017:  “The Voice of the People: Max Lorenz,” Introduction to Pulitzer-Prize winning Journalist Manuela Hoelterhoff, American Academy in Berlin, Berlin, Germany (Vimeo Clip)

    April 2016:  “Men and the Science of Women: Hysteria in Lucia di Lammermoor,”  Special Faculty Lecture, Women and Gender Studies (WAGS), Manhattan College, Riverdale, New York

    February 2016:  “Finding your Authentic Self in a Diverse World,” Special Lecture, Agape Latte (Campus Ministry & Social Action), Manhattan College, Riverdale, New York

    January 2016:  Concert Talkback for Winter Festival: Symphonie Fantastique, New Jersey Symphony Orchestra at the State Theatre in New Brunswick (23 January) and the Mayo Performing Arts Center in Morristown, New Jersey (24 January)

    February 2015:  Interview facilitator with Broadway Actor Ben Vereen, a public conversation on the importance of life balance in Hollywood, Black History Month, Manhattan College, Riverdale, New York

    Fall 2014:  “The Theory and Practice of Musicology,” Special Lecture (Department of History: “Introduction to History”), Manhattan College, Riverdale, New York

    Spring 2013:  “Art Allows Us to See,” Keynote Speaker, 25th Annual Art Expo, LaSalle Academy, New York, New York

    January 2013:  “Perspectives on Tenure and Promotion,” Panel Discussion, Social Science Research Council-Mellon Mays Graduate Initiatives Conference, Postdoctoral Fellows Retreat, San Diego, California

    Fall 2012:  “Find your Passion,” Keynote Speaker, New Student Convocation, Manhattan College, Riverdale, New York

  • Professional Experience and Memberships

    Current Board and Committee Assignments

    Fall 2022–Fall 2023: Chair of the Committee on the Annual Meeting (CAM) for the American Musicological Society's 89th Annual Meeting, Denver, Colorado, 9-12 November 2023

    Member of the Committee on the Annual Meeting (CAM) for the American Musicological Society's 88th Annual Meeting, New Orleans, Louisiana, 10-13 November 2022, held jointly with the Society for Ethnomusicology and the Society for Music Theory

    Fall 2021–Spring 2022: Member of the Steering Committee for the "Theorizing African-American Music" Conference, Case Western-Reserve University, June 16-18, 2022

    Fall 2020 - Member of the Board of Directors, The Maxine Greene Institute

    Fall 2020 - Arts Faculty Representative to the School of Liberal Arts Core Committee, Manhattan College, New York

    Fall 2018 - Faculty Representative/Deputy to the Title IX Committee, Manhattan College, Riverdale, New York

    Fall 2018 - Visual & Performing Arts Faculty Representative to the Robert Christen Fund, Manhattan College, Riverdale, New York

    Fall 2018–Spring 2022: Alvin H. Johnson AMS (American Musicological Society) 50 Dissertation Fellowship Committee


    Professional Memberships

    • American Musicological Society (AMS)
    • College Art Association (CAA)
    • College Music Society (CMS)
    • International Association for the Study of Popular Music (IASPM)
    • The Royal Musical Association (RMS)
    • The Centre for Ninteenth-Century Studies
    • France: Musiques, Cultures, 1789-1918
  • Honors, Awards, and Grants
    Research Awards/Fellowships
    • Fall 2022–Spring 2023 - Manhattan College Sabbatical for Scholarly Research
    • Spring 2017 - Berlin Prize Fellowship, Nina Maria Gorrissen Fellow of History, American Academy in Berlin, Berlin, Germany [https://www.americanacademy.de/person/mark-a-pottinger/]
    • Spring 2017 - Manhattan College Sabbatical for Scholarly Research
    • Summer 2012 - Scholar-in-Residence at La Casa Zia Lina, Elba, Italy, awarded by the Dr. Robert and Lina-Thyll Dürr Foundation, Stansstad, Switzertland 
    • Fall 2010–Spring 2011 - Manhattan College Sabbatical for Scholarly Research
    • Spring 2010 - Elected into the Pen & Sword Honors Society, Manhattan College
    • Spring 1993–1995 - Andrew W. Mellon Minority Undergraduate Fellowship (MMUF), Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri

    Grants

    • Summer 2019 - Manhattan College Summer Research Grant
    • Summer 2014 - Manhattan College Summer Research Grant
    • Winter 2003 - CUNY Doctoral Students in Music Dissertation Research Travel Grant
    • Fall 2001 - Finalist in the Institute of International Education (IIE), US Student Fulbright Program to France
    • Summer 2001 - Woodrow Wilson Research Grant for Dissertation Reserach