University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill
UNC Folklore professor Glenn Hinson has long been researching African American expressive culture, with focused investigation of musical, poetic and belief systems in African American communities. Much of his public sector work has been conducted in collaboration with the Smithsonian Institution and the Folk Arts Section of the North Carolina Arts Council. For the last four years, he has served as co-director-along with Dwight Rogers in the School of Education-of the “Curriculum, Music, and Community” project, an educational initiative that is re-centering the curricula in 4th-grade public school classrooms around the study of local musical traditions.
His present research involves working with African American gospel singers and the performed links between public expression and private experience, wherein the church has yielded a broad body of “dream songs” (or “gift songs”) that are said to come from the Holy Spirit. Additional projects address African American vernacular poetics, the play of ethnographic authority in the public presentation of tradition, and—currently—vernacular artistic responses in North Carolina to 9/11 and the wars that have followed in its aftermath.