–Carol Muller, Professor of Ethnomusicology at the University of Pennsylvania, to Lecture–

Princeton, NJ, March 1, 2013–Princeton Theological Seminary’s History and Ecumenics Department will host a lecture by Dr. Carol Muller, professor of ethnomusicology in the Department of Music at the University of Pennsylvania, on Wednesday, March 13 at 7:00 p.m. in the Main Lounge of the Mackay Campus Center. The title of her lecture is “Shembe Hymns: A Poetics of Sacred Song.”

According to Muller’s 2010 book Shembe Hymns, the hymns were “Composed by Isaiah and Galilee Shembe between 1910 and 1940. Izihlabelelo zamaNazaretha—Shembe Hymns—is one of the earliest known books in the isiZulu language. Drawing on the poetic traditions of Izibongo, or Praises, as well as the biblical Psalms and local renditions of African American spirituals, these texts speak to conditions of oppression and suffering, but also to the will to joy and hopefulness in such moments.”

carol mullerMuller has published widely on South African music, both at home and in exile.  Her interests include the relationship between music, gender, and religious studies, migration and diaspora studies, and critical ethnography.

She has authored and edited Musical Echoes: South African Women Thinking in Jazz with Sathima Bea Benjamin (Duke University Press, 2011); Shembe Hymns (University of KwaZulu Natal, 2010); Focus: South African Music (Routledge, 2008); and Rituals of Fertility and the Sacrifice of Desire: Nazarite Women’s Performance in South Africa (The University of Chicago Press, 1999). She has also published on South African jazz, religious performance, and traditional and popular musics in a variety of journals that represent her interdisciplinary interests.

Muller has also pioneered two forms of pedagogy—in civic engagement (partnering with the Netter Center for Community Partnerships, see www.sas.upenn.edu/music/westphillymusic) and in online learning. She is director of Penn-in-Grahamstown, South Africa, and the Interdisciplinary Music Minor in Jazz and Popular Music Studies. She is also a seasoned gumboot dancer.   

For more information on the event, please contact Dr. Richard Fox Young, Princeton Seminary’s Elmer K. and Ethel R. Timby Associate Professor of the History of Religions.

Princeton Theological Seminary was founded in 1812, the first seminary established by the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church. It is the largest Presbyterian Seminary in the country, with more than 500 students in six graduate degree programs.