Vaughn Booker Honored by the Council of Graduate Schools for His Book on Black Jazz Musicians

Vaughn A. Booker, an associate professor of religion and African American studies at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire, received the Gustave O. Arlt Award in the Humanities from the Council of Graduate Schools during an award ceremony held at the association’s 62nd annual meeting in San Franciso. The Arlt Award recognizes a young scholar-teacher who has written a book deemed to have made an outstanding contribution to scholarship in the humanities.

Dr. Booker is the 52nd recipient of the award. He was honored for his book, Lift Every Voice and Swing: Black Musicians and Religious Culture in the Jazz Century (New York University Press, 2020).

Lift Every Voice and Swing, a finalist for the 2021 Religion and the Arts Award given by the American Academy of Religion, focuses on a set of prominent figures that include Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, Dizzy Gillespie, and Mary Lou Williams. Dr. Booker explores the complex landscape in which African American jazz musicians functioned as prominent figures representing “the race” to a broad American and international public and who also participated in shaping Black public culture and discourse about religion, racial identity, politics, and culture.

Dr. Booker is a graduate of Dartmouth College. He holds a master of divinity degree from Harvard University and received a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in religion from Princeton University in New Jersey.

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