Conference Schedule

With the exception of Imani Uzuri’s Keynote/Performance on February 3, all conference events will take place in Paine Hall, Music Building, 3 Oxford Street, Cambridge, MA.

Also check out our full conference program.

Friday, February 3


2:30pm | Opening Remarks
Ian Copeland & Laurie Lee, Conference Co-Chairs

2:45pm | Paper Session 1: Representation and Resistance
Emily Dolan, Chair

  • Representation as Resistance: How an Activist Orchestra Redresses the Push-out of Black Practitioners from Classical Music
             Eun Lee, Executive Producer, The Dream Unfinished
             Ashley Jackson, Deputy Director, The Dream Unfinished
             Eric Lemmon, Artistic Personnel Manager, The Dream Unfinished
  • Teaching Choral Music of the African Diaspora: Toward a Living Black History
             H. Roz Woll, City University of New York
  • Call and Response: K’naan, Ilhan Omar, and the Fight for Representation in Minnesota’s Somali Communities 
             Meera Sury, University of Minnesota Medical School


break at 4:15pm


4:30pm | Faculty Roundtable: Academia, Responsibility, and the Movement for Black Lives
Krystal Klingenberg, Moderator

  • William Cheng, Dartmouth College
  • DiDi Delgado, Black Lives Matter Cambridge Chapter
  • Treva Lindsey, The Ohio State University
  • Matthew D. Morrison, New York University


break at 6:00pm 


8:00pm | Keynote/Performance: Imani Uzuri*
"Come By Here My Lord" - The Hush Arbor: Spirituals, Soundscapes and Songs of Resistance
Holden Chapel, Harvard Yard

*N.B. Due to overwhelming demand and space constraints, entry to this keynote performance will require tickets. Tickets for this performance will be free, and distributed on a first-come-first-serve basis in the Paine Hall foyer between 6pm and 8pm Friday evening.

Hush Arbors were hidden sanctuary spaces created by enslaved African Americans in wooded areas throughout the southern United States as a place to secretly worship, commune and strategize rebellion.

For the performance portion of the evening, Uzuri will be accompanied on piano by Yayoi Ikawa.


Saturday, February 4


9:00am | Paper Session 2: Black Religion, Black Space, Black Speech
Suzannah Clark, Chair

  • When The Walls Have Fallen and The Prophets Are in the Streets: Locating Sacred Song in Tight Times
             Imani e Wilson, Independent Scholar
  • “Can I Preach for a Minute?”: Sounding Transcendence in Public Protest
             Braxton D. Shelley, University of Chicago
  • “Throwing Ugly”: Soul and the Organization of the Black Public Sphere
             Wade Fulton Dean, University of California, Los Angeles


break at 10:30am


10:45am | Paper Session 3: Improvisation, Struggle, and Liberation
Ingrid Monson, Chair

  • Black Representation in the Emerging Generation of Jazz Experimentalists in New York
             Cisco Bradley, Pratt Institute
  • Black American Improvised Music and Community Uplift: Can #BlackLivesMatter Learn from the Black Arts Movement?
             Luke Stewart, Independent Scholar
             Jamal Moore, Coppin State University
  • The Performance of James Brandon Lewis as Black Matter(s)
             Randall Horton, University of New Haven
  • Ankhrasmation: The Praxis of Ishmael Wadada Leo Smith
             Ganavya Doraiswamy, University of California, Los Angeles


break at 12:45pm


2:15pm | Paper Session 4: Vernacular Culture and the Power of Celebrity
Chelsea Burns, Chair

  • The Life and Death(s) of Blind Tom
             Lindsay Wright, University of Chicago
  • “Sorry/I Ain’t Sorry”: Beyoncé’s Lemonade, Southern Gothic Temporality, and Reclaiming the Angry Black Woman 
             Kimberlee Sanders, Harvard University
  • Transformative Darkness: Fear, Vigilantism, and the Death of Trayvon Martin
             ​​​​​​​Abimbola Cole Kai-Lewis, NYC Department of Education / University of California, Los Angeles

3:45pm | Piano Performance, Mother Emanuel: Charleston 2015
Karen Walwyn, Howard University


break at 4:15pm 


4:30pm | Keynote Lecture: Matthew D. Morrison

Please visit those organizations with displays in the foyer to learn more about their ongoing work and how to become involved.