Crossover for Christ: Contemporary Gospel since the 1990s
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Barron, Charrise Monet
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CitationBarron, Charrise Monet. 2017. Crossover for Christ: Contemporary Gospel since the 1990s. Doctoral dissertation, Harvard University, Graduate School of Arts & Sciences.
AbstractBlack gospel music recently (1993) entered a new phase that I have named the “platinum age.” This period was marked especially by both the quantity of sales of gospel music (platinum-selling albums) and by a shift away from discourses rooted in the lived experience of race-based suffering. Instead, gospel artists assumed a post-racial orientation that catered to mainstream audiences whose values and tastes did not always match those of traditional black churchgoers. My dissertation shows that these dramatic shifts are tied to revised theologies of salvation and sanctification that have swept black megachurches (churches with at least two thousand attendees each week). Specifically, Pentecostals’ recalibration of piety has allowed gospel artists to market themselves in ways that appeal to mainstream audiences, while maintaining access to prominent churches whose leaders are no longer prone to condemn the artists’ work as unholy or too “worldy.” My dissertation relies upon historical and ethnographic research methodologies, and makes interventions in the study of African American Pentecostalism as well as the ethnomusicological study of gospel music.
Citable link to this pagehttp://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:41141520
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