Riley Scholars Lecture Series presents Charrise Barron, Department of Music Title: GREAT GOD, GOD'S FRIENDS, AND THE GLOBAL DISCOURSES OF CONTEMPORARY PRAISE AND WORSHIP MUSIC Wednesday, April 5, 2017 Bemis Lounge 1200-100pm
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Riley Scholars Lecture Series presents Felicia Chavez, Departments of English and Film & Media Monday, April 3, 2017 Bemis Lounge 1200-100pm Title: DIGITAL STORYTELLING (OR WHY TECHNOLOGY HAS RUINED EVERYTHING) This presentation explores the music and performance of gospel artists Israel Houghton and Donnie McClurkin in order to highlight shifts toward post-racial religious expression in praise and worship music among black gospel artists. Few gospel artists traverse (white) Christian music and (black) gospel music boundaries as effortlessly as Israel Houghton. While Israel Houghton’s music can be placed squarely in the trajectory of black gospel music history, the language of his lyrics calls for a global religiosity that downplays race and class. This presentation examines the lyrics of representative works from Israel Houghton’s praise and worship repertoire to reveal a theology that emphasizes friendship with God and transcendence of racial constructs. Donnie McClurkin is an internationally recognized gospel singer who has been a fixture on Christian television network TBN. Like Houghton, McClurkin emphasizes a singular, universal Christian identity in his rhetoric and music. Houghton and McCurkin’s post-racial discourses point to the black gospel industry’s current emphasis on crossing over to white Christian and mainstream markets, and some churches’ use of praise and worship music as a means to attract and retain racially diverse congregations.