Glenn Hinson will give the keynote address, “Signifying Style: Ecologies of Social Critique in African American Poetics” at the upcoming Department of Music conference: “Communities of Song: Performing Sung Poetry in the Modern World. The keynote address will be at 3:45 p.m. on April 2 in the Person Recital Hall followed by a reception at Top of the Hill.
Organizers of the conference hope to convene a conversation about sung poetry not only for its poetics but for its association with social memory. By singing poems, musicians and other social agents transform poetry into cultural performances. Repertories of sung poetry frequently play a critical role at moments of community formation, be these collective national, ethnic, postcolonial, or otherwise. In practice, sung poetry is instrumental for social action as well as for marking and sculpting geography.