Elon hosts 4th Media & Religion Conference

The conference was held on campus April 12-13 with two dozen scholars presenting research.

The Rev. Mary Brown addresses the conference during a luncheon in Television Studio B.
The 4th Elon University Media & Religion Conference was held Friday and Saturday, April 12 and 13 on campus. The conference – a joint effort of the School of Communications, The Truitt Center, and the Center for the Study of Religion, Society, and Culture – hosted some two dozen scholars who presented research on topics ranging from Anne Frank’s diary to Pastors on Facebook.

The Friday evening keynote address by Professor Robert Darden of Baylor University was titled “Nothing But Love in God’s Water: The Influence of Black Sacred Music on the Civil Rights Movement.” Darden is directing the Black Gospel Music Restoration Project

According to the project’s website, “The purpose of this project is to identify, acquire, preserve, record and catalogue the most at-risk music from the black gospel music tradition. This collection will primarily contain 78s, 45s, LPs, and the various tape formats issued in the United States and abroad between the 1940s and the 1980s.”

Amanda Sturgill moderates a panel with Colin Donohue (Elon), Michael Smith (Campbell), Dan Stout (UNLV), and Myna German (Delaware State).
Darden’s wife, Dr. Mary Darden, Dean of Concordia University Texas’s San Antonio campus, addressed a group of pastors and religious leaders at Elon Community Church on Saturday.

The Rev. Mary Brown, Director for Philanthropy and a Web Content & Development Consultant with the Odyssey Networks, gave the conference’s luncheon address on Saturday. 

Participants came from a wide range of institutions across the country, including University of Nevada, Las Vegas; Phillips Theological Seminary; Buffalo State College; Texas A&M; Baylor University; Regent University; Campbell University; and Delaware State.

Communication professors Lucinda Austin, Amanda Sturgill, Colin Donohue, Youseff Osman, and Anthony Hatcher had roles as moderators, presenters, and planners. Dean Paul Parsons and Associate Dean Don Grady also spoke at the conference. Dr. Hatcher’s Religion and Media students also took part in the conference, attending sessions, greeting attendees and writing about the speakers.

Elon University Associate Professor Anthony Hatcher (left) with Baylor University Professor Robert Darden.

Other Elon participants were Religious Studies professor Lynn Huber and Pamela Winfield, and Chaplain Janet Fuller.