Made Instrument, Made Flesh, Made Blackqueer
This event will take place online via Zoom. Registration is required here
Ashon Crawley, Associate Professor of Religious Studies and African American and African Studies at the University of Virginia
From ongoing research that combines oral history, musical analysis, social commentary and cultural critique, this talk takes the Hammond organ—invented in the 1930s and is now part of Americana’s sound and symbolism—as the specific object through which a conversation about sex, sexuality and spirituality converges. What does listening to this specific instrument within the particular occasion of Black Church religiosity reveal to us about a general renouncing of the possibility for imagination, for relation, for care?
Ashon Crawley is Associate Professor of Religious Studies and African American and African Studies at the University of Virginia. He is author of Blackpentecostal Breath: The Aesthetics of Possibility (Fordham University Press), an investigation of aesthetics and performance as modes of collective, social imagination and The Lonely Letters (Duke University Press) an exploration of the interrelation of blackness, mysticism, quantum mechanics and love. He is currently working on a third book, tentatively titled “Made Instrument,” about the role of the Hammond Organ in the institutional and historic Black Church, in Black sacred practice and in Black social life more broadly. All his work is about otherwise possibility.
Presented by the Berkeley Center for the Study of Religion and the Graduate Student Working Group.
Photo credit: Joe Mabel