Signifying Scriptures

August 26, 2023

ISS@20-Signifying on Scriptures

n this episode of OP Talks, Dr. Jacqueline Hidalgo talks to fellow religion professor Dr. Vincent Wimbush, Founding Director of the Institute for Signifying Scriptures (ISS), which celebrates its 20th anniversary this year. The organization’s upcoming annual conference in Atlanta—to be held April 11-13, 2024 under the theme of “Marronage”—will also mark the 25th anniversary of the initial conference that inspired the founding of ISS, along with the publication of African Americans and the Bible: Sacred Texts and Social Textures (Continuum, 2000; reprinted with Wipf and Stock in 2012). Edited by Dr. Wimbush, the anthology brought together 68 scholars and experts from a range of disciplines, including: ethnography, cultural history, and biblical studies, as well as art, music, film, dance, drama, and literature. Today, ISS is an independent organization composed of members of varied backgrounds—scholars, researchers, teachers, public intellectuals, artists, community leaders, and social activists—”who are committed to constructing and advancing a new mode of critical inquiry into social–discursive formation.” Here, the term ‘scriptures’ is “used provocatively as shorthand for an illuminating analytical wedge for cross-cultural, disciplinarily-transgressive excavation of and conversation about the politics of meaning.”