1st Edition

Hymns and Constructions of Race Mobility, Agency, De/Coloniality

Edited By Erin Johnson-Williams, Philip Burnett Copyright 2024
    274 Pages 32 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Hymns and Constructions of Race: Mobility, Agency, De/Coloniality examines how the hymn, historically and today, has reinforced, negotiated, and resisted constructions of race. It brings together diverse perspectives from musicology, ethnomusicology, theology, anthropology, performance studies, history, and postcolonial scholarship to show how the hymn has perpetuated, generated, and challenged racial identities.

    The global range of contributors cover a variety of historical and geographical contexts, with case studies from China and Brazil to Suriname and South Africa. They explore the hymn as a product of imperialism and settler colonialism and as a vehicle for sonic oppression and/or resistance, within and beyond congregational settings. The volume contends that the lived tradition of hymn-singing, with its connections to centuries of global Christian mission, is a particularly apt lens for examining both local and global negotiations of race, power, and identity. It will be relevant for scholars interested in religion, music, race, and postcolonialism.

    1 Introduction: Constructing Hymns and Race

    Erin Johnson-Williams and Philip Burnett

    Part I: Mobility

    2 Tonic Sol-fa Abroad: Missionaries, Hymn Singing and Indigenous Communities

    Robin Stevens

    3 Chinese Hymns and Worship Practices as Global Mobility

    Huijuan Hua and Shujin Zhang

    4 The Faith and Politics of Emily Kathleen Hooper (1878–1974): Complicating the Analysis of Christian Worship Music and Western Styles of Music in China

    Ellan A. Lincoln-Hyde

    Part II Agency

    5 And Wash the Æthiop White: Whiteness as Salvation and the Reception History of Wesley’s Conversion Hymn

    Daniel Johnson

    6 Anglican Ritualism and Xhosa Hymnody: The Training and Contribution of Reverend Daniel Malgas

    Andrew-John Bethke

    7 We Become What We Sing: Hymnody as Control

    June Boyce-Tillman

    8 Co-Writing our Hymn for Liberation

    Liz Gre

    Part III Coloniality

    9 Performing Race and Place Through Hymn-Singing: A Brazilian Perspective

    Marcel Silva Steuernagel

    10 Translations and Retranslations: Cherokee Hymnody and the Literary Endeavors of Elias Boudinot

    T. Wyatt Reynolds and Abraham Wallace

    11 Sounding Coloniality and Voicing Resistance

    Becca Whitla

    Part IV Decoloniality

    12 Decolonising a Hymn through its Mobility: A Case of Re-Location and Altered Musical Aesthetics

    Kgomotso Moshugi


    13 Hybridizing Heritage: Hymns as Decolonial Practice amongst the Javanese Surinameses

    Jun Kai Pow

    14 Challenging the Hymn Canon of ‘Christian Otherness’: The Nigerian Christian Songs Project as Means of Musical Decolonization

    Monique M. Ingalls, Ayobami A. Ayanyinka, and Mouma Emmanuella Chesirri

    Foreword: Singing Down the Dividing Walls

    C. Michael Hawn


    Erin Johnson-Williams is Lecturer in Music Education and Social Justice in the Department of Music at the University of Southampton, UK.

    Philip Burnett is a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow in Music at the University of York, UK.