#MyVoiceMyBody: Minoritized Bodies in the Pulpit at Duke Chapel (2019-2020)

This Bass Connections project team reviewed sermon transcriptions to confirm accuracy and consider innovative ways to map these sermons beyond the liturgical frameworks of church year, appointed readings or name recognition to discover research directions for future users. This work expanded the archive’s utility to include new approaches—for example, to the fields of History, Women’s Studies, Performance Studies, Ethnography, Sociology, Literature and Philosophy—mitigated through the history of one pulpit located in the American South.

Activating the archive for a broader academic community advanced the conversation about sermons’ potential to move local, national and international narratives toward inclusion and justice. The team launched a website that curates the Duke Sermon Digital Repository for use in homiletic classrooms. The work from this project is also being used to publish a peer reviewed article, present at conferences and update a historical archive of Black preachers from the Divinity School.


Fall 2019 – Spring 2020

Team Outputs

Jerusha Matsen Neal. 2021. "Migrating Giants: Digital Memory and Dislocation in Preaching Formation." Taylor & Francis 36(2):18-25.

Living Tradition Website

This Team in the News

A Look into a Living Tradition of Preaching at Duke Chapel

Duke Senior’s Sermon Feb. 23 to Find Equality Before God

See related Story+ summer projects, #MyVoiceMyBody: Minoritized Bodies in the Pulpit at Duke Chapel (2019) and Preaching and Protest: Sermons from Duke Chapel during the Civil Rights Era (2018).


Image: Desmond Tutu at Duke Chapel, courtesy of Duke University Archives

Desmond Tutu at Duke Chapel, courtesy of Duke University Archives.

Team Leaders

  • Peace Lee, Divinity School–Th.D. Student
  • Jerusha Neal, Divinity School
  • Luke Powery, Divinity School

/graduate Team Members

  • Krystal Bracy, African/African Am St-Cert
  • Howard Kim, African/African Am St-Cert
  • Austin Maynor, Divinity-MDV, Baptist Studies

/undergraduate Team Members

  • Crystal Chiu, Chemistry (AB)
  • Elizabeth Grantland, English (AB)
  • Muhammad Nadeem, Program II (BS)

/yfaculty/staff Team Members

  • Thomas F. DeFrantz, Arts & Sciences-African and African American Studies
  • Olie Gnagno, Womens Center
  • Marcia Rego, Arts & Sciences-Thompson Writing Program
  • James (Bradley) Rogers, Arts & Sciences-Theater Studies