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“I am Delivert!”: Black Musical Masculinities and The Art of Enflaming Worship

Join the CAMD Department of Music for another edition of the Leading Voices speaker series, featuring Alisha Lola Jones.

In November 2014, the 107th Church of God in Christ (COGIC) convocation video footage of Andrew Caldwell’s testimony of deliverance was released to the media, prompting discourses surrounding the nature of deliverance rituals in Pentecostal churches during altar call. Within historically black Pentecostal churches that showcase gospel music, “deliverance” is a term that traditionally refers to a release from spiritual oppression and a separation from the sinful lifestyle. While deliverance is used to characterize many types of spiritual healing, many Black congregations and gospel music fans deploy the term in a frequently gendered manner referring to a man’s “struggle” to resist homosexuality. Drawing from Black male musician’s narratives and recordings since the late 1980s, this chapter from Dr. Jones’ forthcoming book ​Flaming?: The Peculiar Theo-Politics of Fire and Desire in Black Male Gospel Performance, will explore a social history of anxieties surrounding the performances of formerly gay men’s deliverance testimonies in Pentecostal gospel music scenes.

A registration is required and can be secured by clicking here or on the button below. 



About the Speaker


Dietmar Offenhuber

Alisha Lola Jones is an assistant professor in the Department of Folklore and Ethnomusicology and faculty director of the Global Pop Music Initiative at Indiana University (Bloomington). Dr. Jones is a board member of the Society for Ethnomusicology (SEM, a member of the strategic planning task force for the American Musicological Society (AMS), and a co-chair of the Music and Religion Section of the American Academy of Religion (AAR). Additionally, as a performer-scholar, she consults museums, conservatories, seminaries, and arts organizations on curriculum, live and virtual event programming, and content development. Dr. Jones’ book Flaming?: The Peculiar Theopolitics of Fire and Desire in Black Male Gospel Performance (Oxford University Press) breaks ground by analyzing the role of gospel music making in constructing and renegotiating gender identity among black men. Her research interests extend to global pop music, musics of the African diaspora, music and food, the music industry and the marketplace, and anti-oppressive ways of listening to black women. For more information, please visit


About the Series

The Leading Voices speaker series features experts discussing their research and experiences in music. Check out January’s Leading Voices Speaker Series episode, “Happy Accidents and Blurred Lines”, featuring Pamela Z here and keep an eye on the CAMD Calendar for upcoming episodes of Leading Voices.