Dr. Melvin Butler, University of Miami—Playing with Fire: Sound, Transcendence, and Protest in African Diasporic Ritual Performance
Playing with Fire: Sound, Transcendence, and Protest in African Diasporic Ritual Performance
By Dr. Melvin Butler, University of Miami
Sponsored by the GU Departments of African American Studies and Performing Arts and the Racial Justice Institute
This talk explores black music as a means of claiming cultural legitimacy and contesting forces of racialized oppression. Drawing on ethnomusicological fieldwork in African American and Caribbean ritual contexts, it examines “heated” music making as an embodied cultural strategy of resistance and protest. Theologies of sound and transcendence lend themselves to creative modes of spiritual warfare, through which practitioners hope to effect positive social transformation in the here and now. Dr. Melvin L. Butler is an Associate Professor in the Department of Musicology at the Frost School of Music at the University of Miami. He specializes in music and religion in Haitian, Jamaican, and African American communities.
Part of the Racial Justice: Art(s) and Activism lecture series, this event honors Georgetown University's recent initiative to highlight art, activism and racial justice by focusing on work by literary, visual and performance artists whose art serves the ongoing struggle to produce new forms of racial freedom.
ALUMNI HOUSE (3604 O Street, NW Washington, DC 20057)
Thursday, March 21 at 3:30pm to 5:00pm
Robert and Bernice Wagner Alumni House
3604 O St., N.W., Washington