Scripturalizing Here and There

Scripturalizing Here and There – Guidelines for Seminar Presentation
January 25, 2018
ISS Institutional Affiliates Status
February 9, 2018

Scripturalizing Here and There


Dear Members and Friends of ISS:

I am thinking of all of you–scattered across the U.S. and around the world. I hope you are well and are doing what you can to say safe in these anxiety-filled and stressful times.

You are aware that the Fifth Annual Meeting planned to be held in Toronto in April was canceled. We continue to work on ways to facilitate ongoing informative and illuminating conversations and exchanges in spite of the cancellation.

With this gift I offer all of you I am also announcing, inaugurating and modeling a special feature (“Scripturalizing Here and There: Ethnographies of the Scriptural” on ISS website and Facebook) that in addition to our journal I think will advance our thinking and conversation. All members are invited to make submissions for consideration.

Please do take some time in these stressful moments we all share to enjoy and be inspired and challenged by the music presented on video. It will be refreshment for your eyes, ears, mind/soul. When I turned to it I simply could not take myself away from the concert. I was transfixed and transported, elevated and appropriately disturbed. You may not be able to watch and listen at one time. Take your time. But do go there! You will be richly rewarded. (Take special note of: “Seven Last Words of the Unarmed” [26.15], by Atlanta-based composer Joel Thompson; “I am The Voice” [55.00]; and [Yoruba/African American-written, Olatunji/Whalum], decades-long favorite of audiences “Betelehemu” [1.02.00]).

There is so much in the performance. It is enough to simply to be refreshed. But I can hardly take off my director’s hat or repent of my teacherly ways…

So I also challenge you as you watch and listen to make yourselves aware of the ways in which music as language/discourse is here made to be mostly (racialized: black-male-inflected) hyper-mimetics. There is in the performance striking evidence of the mimetic conscious, of the scripturalizing play with, through, and over against, the scriptural-ized/scriptural-ization that is the western symphony orchestral “classical” tradition. The result is altogether fascinating and moving and instructive. As theorists and analysts of the scriptural in culture we should join the performers in making the point–especially in the world of the contagion–that the shape of the politics of the ongoing mimetic scripturalizing is up to all of us.

I invite your comments. Through

Enjoy. And stay safe and in touch.

Vincent L. Wimbush, Ph.D.
Institute for Signifying Scriptures


“Seven Last Words of the Unarmed” by Atlanta-based composer Joel Thompson

“I Am the Voice” [55:00]-by Mark Butler
“Betelehemu” [1:02:00]-by Via Olatuni and Wendell Whalum


The Politics of Meaning

A collaborative project on discourse and power

ISS is uniquely positioned to facilitate wide-ranging critical social-cultural analysis and commentary. As ongoing collaborative project, “Scripturalizing Here and There” is opportunity for such a compelling project for the times we share. (Focus is on analyzing any/all accessible human/social dynamics in terms of scriptural social psychologics and politics.)

For more details (project description | guidelines | example Analysis Paper, click HERE

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