Black Musical Masculinities and the Art of Enflaming Worship

The Ithaca Music Forum presents Dr. Alisha Lola Jones of Indiana University, who will present a lecture entitled "Black Musical Masculinities and the Art of Enflaming Worship" on Feb. 12 at 5 pm via Zoom.  See below for Zoom registration link.

talk description:

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 musicians’ narratives and recordings since the late 1980s, this chapter from Dr. Jones' 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.

speaker biography:

Alisha Lola Jones, PhD is an assistant professor in the Department of Folklore and Ethnomusicology at Indiana University (Bloomington). Dr. Jones is a graduate of University of Chicago (Ph.D.), Yale Divinity School (M.Div.), Yale Institute of Sacred Music (ISM),and Oberlin Conservatory (B.M.). Dr. Jones is a council member of the Society for Ethnomusicology (SEM) and the American Musicological Society (AMS). She is also a co-chair of the Music and Religion Section and the SEM liaison to the American Academy of Religion (AAR). Additionally, as a performer-scholar, she consults with seminaries and arts organizations on curriculum, programming, and content development.

            Dr. Jones’ book, Flaming: The Peculiar Theo-Politics 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 writings on African American religious music, gender, and sexuality in ethnomusicological research appear in various publications. Her work has been featured in Liner Notes magazine, The Afro-American newspaper, Black,,,, Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and Vogue. She is a contributing writer for HEED magazine and  For more information see

Dial-In Information

Click here for Zoom registration link

Friday, February 12 at 5:00pm to 6:30pm

Virtual Event

Individuals who would like to request accessibility accommodations should contact We ask that requests be made as soon as possible to ensure they can be met.

Event Type



Culture/Race/Ethnicity, LGBTQIA+ , Music, Religion/Spirituality


School of Music





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(607) 342-8994

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