Singing Justice

September 1, 2021 – December 31, 2023

Singing Justice: Recovering the African American Voice in Song will center the creative contributions of Black musicians, poets, singers, and composers through song (words and music). It will also experiment with new forms of scholarly production. The project will develop an innovative format for musical expression—the “Seminar Recital”—that casts musical performance as an act of research and involves listeners as collaborative participants in the creation of knowledge. It will also develop an experiment in ebook publishing with a new form of interactive monograph that is tentatively titled Black Song: A Manifesto in Eight Lyrics. This team of renowned performers and scholars aspire to “disrupt” longstanding and limited narratives in musicology. 

Team members include co-PI (Year 1) Naomi André (Professor, Department of Afroamerican and African Studies, Residential College, and Women’s and Gender Studies); co-PI (Year 1) Louise Toppin (Professor, Department of Voice); PI (Year 2) Stephen Berrey (Associate Professor, Department of American Culture, Department of History); Mark Clague (Associate Professor, Musicology, American Culture, DAAS); Christie Finn (Managing Director, Hampsong Foundation); Thomas Hampson (Distinguished Visiting Artist, Department of Voice); and Caroline Helton (Associate Professor, Department of Musical Theatre).

Graduate student team members include Tyrese Byrd (SMTD), Cody Jones (SMTD), Traci Lombre (American Culture), and Samantha Williams (SMTD).

Photo: Dorian Dillard II and Anjani Briggs singing Minette Fontaine by African American composer William Grant Still.