Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Baldblogger Interviews Edward J. Blum, Part 7

This post, unfortunately, brings us to the end of Baldblogger's interview with Ed Blum. The book was a fascinating read for me personally, and I learned a ton about Du Bois. This interview, I must say, has been in so many ways equally enlightening.

A special thanks to Ed for sharing his thoughts and his time--please keep the conversation going. I think the comments about music and writing are really intriguing; what tunes inspire you?

Baldblogger (BB): What projects are currently in the works for you, and when might these works be available for interested readers?

Ed Blum (EB): Future projects are always hard to determine because I’m never quite sure where my passion will go. Right now, I’m writing a book with the fantastic southern historian Paul Harvey on Jesus Christ and race in American society and culture. It examines how ideas about Jesus and what he looked like played a role in everything from slavery and Native American removals to white flight, suburbanization, and anti-Communism. It also looks closely at how African Americans, Native Americans, and others have related to Christ in American history. We’re building off of Stephen Prothero’s, Richard Wrightman Fox’s, and Kelly Brown Douglas’s tremendous studies of Jesus in American culture. Ultimately, we want to show scholars, ministers, laypeople, and others that race and religion cannot be understood separately in American history. This won’t be available for a while because it is a pretty mammoth topic.

BB: Any closing comments, or other topics of discussion?

EB: One thing I wish more authors would talk about is what music they listen to (if they listen to any) when they write. Many books and chapters have soundtracks – and they inspire the shape of the work, I think. For my Du Bois book, for instance, I was inspired by “Redemption” a song by the band Jars of Clay for my fourth chapter on lynchings and black Christs. Oftentimes I listen to movie soundtracks to write as well – like A Beautiful Mind. I find this fascinating because I think writing prose is very similar to writing music – that one should try to write musically, to hear the rhythm of the syllables, to groove to the spirit of narrative. I guess I hope that people can hear a little bit of music in my writing.

Thanks so much for your questions. This has been a blast.


Anonymous said...

This has been a great series wtih J. blum...thanks for some good reading.


Phil said...

Hey Robert, thanks for stopping by. I'm glad you've enjoyed the interview. I've also enjoyed many of your postings as well. I'll continue to attune my ears to the music...