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How Folk Art Shapes Our Identity

WBUR presents Kristin Schwain on modernity’s usable pasts

Kristin Schwain is BU’s Luce Program in Scripture and Literary Arts 2007 Luce Visiting Assistant Professor.

In 1927, three figures of the Harlem Renaissance, African-American author, diplomat, and songwriter James Weldon Johnson, visual artist Aaron Douglas, and illustrator Charles B. Falls, published God’s Trombones, a book to preserve the sermons of “old-time Negro preachers.”

Kristin Schwain, BU’s Luce Program in Scripture and Literary Arts 2007 Luce Visiting Assistant Professor, discusses how the three men’s contributions to the book achieve their goal of reenacting a sermon and of creating an African-American spirit. She delivered the lecture, Modernity’s Usable Pasts: James Weldon Johnson, Aaron Douglas, and Charles B. Falls’ God’s Trombones, at BU on February 22. Her lecture was introduced by Peter Hawkins, a College of Arts and Sciences professor of religion and the Luce Program director.

BU Today
brings the talk to you courtesy of WBUR, Boston University’s award-winning National Public Radio station, which broadcast it on Boston University World of Ideas on March 4, 2007.

Click here to listen to the lecture.