Religion and race scholar Josef Sorett will examine the influences religion has had on recent Black music in the talk, “Between Blessings and Light Beams: Surfing the Sacred /Secular Divide in Black Popular Music.” This event will be held on Wednesday, October 5, 5:30pm, in Taylor Hall, room 203. It is free and open to the public.
In this talk, Sorett will examine the trajectories of religion in recent Black music across a range of genres—including gospel, hip hop and praise and worship music—to invite a discussion about religion, race and media in the contemporary moment. This talk is part of the Vassar’s Frederic C. Wood Lecture Series and is sponsored by the Department of Religion with co-sponsorship from the Africana Studies and American Studies Programs.
Sorett is an associate professor in the Religion Department and the Institute for Research in African-American Studies at Columbia University, where he also directs the Center on African-American Religion, Sexual Politics and Social Justice. As an interdisciplinary scholar of religion and race in the Americas, Josef employs primarily historical and literary approaches to the study of religion in black communities and cultures in the United States. He is the author of Spirit in the Dark: A Religious History of Racial Aesthetics, which examines how religion has figured in debates about black art and culture across the 20th century. His new book, The Holy Holy Black: The Ironies of an African American Secular is forthcoming, and he is editing an anthology tentatively titled The Sexual Politics of Black Churches.
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Vassar College is a highly selective, coeducational, independent, residential liberal arts college founded in 1861.