"If I Can't Say a Word, I'll Just Wave my Hands": Exploring a Womanist Geography of Sermons

Authors: Shaundra Cunningham*, University of Tennessee
Topics: Religion, Cultural Geography
Keywords: Cultural geography, sound, emotional geography
Session Type: Paper
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In this project, I explore the multi-faceted and complex ways that Black women engage with and encounter sermons. More succinctly, I’m curious about the emotional landscapes evoked in the midst of the sound, cadence, and content of the sermonic moment and thereafter. In particular, I will explore the ways in which certain themes, tropes, topics, rhythms, and symbols proffer hope and sustenance, or not, in the midst of oppressive, hegemonic systems. What kinds of co-constitutive world-making unfold in response to the sermon? Utilizing theology, discourse analysis, and homiletic case studies, this paper will explore the sermon as a sonic geography of justice and interiority.

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