East Carolina University

Exploring the World of Shape Note Singing: Religion, Race, and Identity in Sound and Film

Grammy-nominated radical folk singer and ethnomusicologist, Tim Eriksen, will screen and discuss two films about the venerable sacred music tradition of Shape Note Singing--a unique, memorable, and haunting genre that sounds like no other: a celebration of spirit and power. 

Dr. Eriksen will show L. McCrary's film, 'Dewey Williams, 81st Birthday Singing', about black Shape Note singers in Alabama followed by an excerpt from Matt and Erica Hinton's film, 'Awake My Soul', about their white counterparts. Afterward, he will discuss the history and contemporary practice of Shape Note singing and what it has to say about religion, civil rights, and racial identity in American history and the present day. He will likely sing some as well.

See Tim Eriksen’s website, timeriksenmusic.com, for more info. He will be speaking and performing in classes and other venues at ECU during the week of Feb. 19-23. Contact Joseph Hellweg, Whichard Professor in the Humanities (Religious Studies), for further details: hellwegj17@ecu.edu.

Tuesday, February 20 at 7:00pm to 8:00pm

Science and Technology Building, Sci-Tech C307
Greenville, NC 27858-4353

Event Type

Lecture/Reading, Film


Thomas Harriot College of Arts & Sciences, Religious Studies, Student Affairs - Campus Recreation & Wellness, Wellness Passport

Target Audience


Contact Name

Joseph Hellweg

Contact Email


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