Barnaby Conrad and Mary Critchfield Keeney Professor of History and Music


Michael P. Steinberg is the Barnaby Conrad and Mary Critchfield Keeney Professor of of History and Professor of Music and German Studies. He served as president of the American Academy in Berlin from 2016 to 2018, as founding director of the Cogut Institute for the Humanities from 2005 to 2015, and was a member of the Cornell University Department of History between 1988 and 2005. Educated at Princeton University and the University of Chicago, he has been a visiting professor at these two schools as well as at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales in Paris and National Tsing-hua University in Taiwan. His main research interests include the cultural history of modern Germany and Austria with particular attention to German Jewish intellectual history and the cultural history of music. He has written and lectured widely on these topics for the New York Times and at the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, the Bard Music Festival, and the Salzburg Festival. He has received fellowships from the American Council of Learned Societies, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation as well as the Berlin Prize from the American Academy, Berlin.  Books include most recently The Afterlife of Moses: Exile, Democracy, Renewal (Stanford, 2022); The Trouble with Wagner (Chicago 2018) and the edited volume Makers of Jewish Modernity (Princeton 2016, winner of the National Jewish Book Award for non-fiction). He is the author of studies of Hermann Broch, Aby Warburg, Walter Benjamin, and Charlotte Salomon, and of Austria as Theater and Ideology: The Meaning of the Salzburg Festival (Cornell 2000), of which the German edition (Ursprung und Ideologie der Salzburger Festspiele; Anton Pustet Verlag 2000) won Austria's Victor Adler Staatspreis in 2001. Listening to Reason: Culture, Subjectivity, and 19th- Century Music appeared from Princeton University Press in early 2004; Judaism Musical and Unmusical was published by the University of Chicago Press in 2008 and The Trouble with Wagner in 2018.  He serves as a director of the Barenboim-Said Foundation (U.S.A.) He served as dramaturg to the bicentennial co-production of Wagner's Ring of the Nibelung at the Teatro alla Scala, Milan, and the Berlin State Opera (2010-13) and as curator of the exhibition Richard Wagner and the Nationalization of Feeling at the German Historical Museum, Berlin (2022). 


Brown Affiliations