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Tue, Mar 02


"Something Within" Tracing a Womanist Legacy of Self-Possession and Musical Sisterhood in the Life of Gospel Foremother

Each year the Pruit Memorial Symposium is made possible by the Pruit Memorial Symposium Endowment that was established in 1996 by Ella Wall Prichard and the late Lev H. Prichard III of Corpus Christi in memory of Helen Pruit Matthews and her brothers, Dr. Lee Tinkle Pruit and William Wall Pruit.

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"Something Within" Tracing a Womanist Legacy of Self-Possession and Musical Sisterhood in the Life of Gospel Foremother
"Something Within" Tracing a Womanist Legacy of Self-Possession and Musical Sisterhood in the Life of Gospel Foremother

Time & Location

Mar 02, 2021, 3:30 PM EST

About the Event

Symposium to Highlight Doris Akers, Lucie Campbell, Fanny Crosby Among Other Female Contributors to Black Gospel MusicThe 2021 Pruit Memorial Symposium at Baylor University welcomes Dr. Mellonee Burnim (Yale University) and Dr. Alisha Lola Jones (Indiana University) along with a panel of distinguished music scholars to explore the contributions of women to black gospel in a series of virtual conversations hosted on Zoom on February 18, February 25, and March 2 at 3:30 p.m.Baylor University presents the 2021 Pruit Memorial Symposium, "Lord, Don't Move the Mountain: Women's Voices in Gospel Songs and Hymns—Doris Akers, Lucie Campbell, and Fannie Crosby" on Feb. 18, Feb. 25, and March 2 at 3:30 p.m.via Zoom.Dr. Mellonee Burnim will deliver the opening keynote addresson Feb. 18 at 3:30 p.m. Burnim, professor emerita at Indiana University-Bloomington, currently serves as visiting professor of ethnomusicology at Yale University. On Feb. 25 at 3:30 p.m., Dr. Horace Maxile, associate professor of Music Theory at Baylor, will moderate a panel, “On Themes of Influence, Innovation, and Invocation,” whichfeatures Dr. Fredara Hadley of The Julliard School, Dr. Cory Hunter from the Eastman School of Music at the University of Rochester, and the Rev. Dr. Braxton Shelley at Harvard University. The symposium will conclude with a keynote address by Dr. Alicia Lola Jones, assistant professor in the Department of Folklore and Ethnomusicology at Indiana University-Bloomington at 3:30 p.m. on March 2.“Women’s voices have long been prominent in the composition and performance of gospel songs and hymns,” explains Pruit Symposium co-chair Kathy Hillman, assistant professor and director of Baptist Collections. “This year seemed an appropriate historical moment to recognize and celebrate the influence, contributions, andrich legacy of Doris Akers, Lucie Campbell, Fanny Crosby and so many other women like them, including Mahalia Jackson who co-wrote ‘Lord, Don’t Move the Mountain’ with Akers.”The Pruit Memorial Symposium brings the perspective of the Christian intellectual tradition to bear on contemporary issues of common concern. Since 2013, the symposium has been dedicated to exploring the black gospel music tradition in conjunction with the Baylor Libraries' Black Gospel Music Restoration Project.Pruit co-chair Robert Darden, professor and master teacher of Journalism, Public Relations and New Media, is the founder of the Black Gospel Music Restoration Project (BGMRP) at Baylor —the world's largest initiative to digitize, scan, and catalog the fast-vanishing legacyof vinyl from gospel music's golden age. "The BGMRP is forever linked with the Pruit Memorial Symposium," Darden said. "We share the same goal of exploring and celebrating one of America's oldest and most influential music genres.""The BGMRP, which provides the gospel music and sermons for the Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture, has become a destination for scholars and music lovers alike and the scholarship generated here—and often shared at Pruit—continues to drive this unique and expanding collection."

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