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Scholars Gather at Bowdoin for Symposium on Pentecostalism Apr. 21-22

Story posted April 13, 2012

A distinguished group of international scholars will gather at Bowdoin for the two-day symposium "Black Women and Pentecostalism in Diaspora" Saturday and Sunday, April 21 and 22, 2012. All events take place in Lancaster Lounge, Moulton Union, and are open to the public free of charge.


At the turn of the 21st century, Pentecostalism is the fastest growing sector of contemporary Christianity, with more than 523 million followers—an estimated 9 million conversions annually. Overwhelmingly, growth is evidenced outside of the West with women comprising 75 percent of the membership.

Scholars in the fields of Africana, religious, and feminist studies, history, political science, anthropology, sociology, and ethnomusicology will unpack the elements of Pentecostalism's appeal, the myriad ways adherents shape and are shaped by its beliefs and practices, and the extent to which the global south and minority populations in the global north impact the 21st century world. Symposium participants currently work in the United States, Haiti, Guadeloupe, Brazil, Ghana, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, and Britain.

The symposium will extend current scholarship on Pentecostalism by interrogating continuities and discontinuities of religious practices and experiences at the intersection of three key theoretical frameworks: "race," gender, and diaspora.

Full schedule | Participant information

Saturday, April 21

Panel: "Media, Music, and Aesthetics"
8:30 a.m.-10:30 a.m.

  • Melvin Butler, University of Chicago
  • Judith Casselberry, Bowdoin College
  • Cheryl Townsend Gilkes, Discussant, Colby College

Panel: "Embodiment"
11 a.m.-1 p.m.

  • Paula Aymer, Tufts University
  • Deidre Crumbley, North Carolina State University
  • Yolanda Pierce, Princeton Theological Seminary
  • David Gordon, Discussant, Bowdoin College

Panel: "War and Violence"
2:30 p.m.-4:30 p.m.

  • Elizabeth McAlister, Wesleyan University
  • Linda van de Kamp, Tilburg University, The Netherlands
  • Alexandre Dauge-Roth, Discussant, Bates College

Marla Frederick

Keynote Address
5 p.m.-6 p.m.
Marla F. Frederick, Harvard University

Sunday, April 22

Panel: "Agency and Power"
8:30 a.m.-10:30 a.m.

  • Jane Soothill, The School of Oriental and African Studies, London
  • John Burdick, Maxwell School of Syracuse University
  • Laura Premack, University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill
  • Elizabeth Pritchard, Discussant, Bowdoin College

11 a.m.-1 p.m.

Sponsored by the Office of the Dean for Academic Affairs, the Africana Studies Program, the Edith Lansing Koon Sills Fund, and the departments of Religion and History.

For more information call 207-725-3433.

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