Ethnomusicology student Joseph Alpar has accepted an appointment as Visiting Faculty for 2019-2020 at Bennington College in Vermont. Joe recently defended his dissertation, “Music and Jewish Practice in Contemporary Istanbul: Preserving Heritage, Bending Tradition,” based on twenty-two months of fieldwork with Turkey’s largest Jewish community. The dissertation examines the musical activities of cantors (hazzanim) and rabbis in Istanbul as they endeavor to preserve local sacred music traditions while addressing the spiritual needs and changing musical preferences of a growing population of observant Jews. Joe will return to Istanbul in summer 2019 to continue his research, supported by a fellowship from the American Research Institute in Turkey.
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