Georgia M. Roberts
B CUSP 117
Examines an important social issue such as ecology, art, political change, the power of media, educational reform, or the role of science in contemporary culture through interdisciplinary investigation and the lens of the visual, literary, and performing arts. Offered: W.
Let the Rhythm Hit Em: Hip Hop Culture and Politics
Over the past two decades, hip hop culture, and particularly rap music, has become one of the most popular modes of youth expression on the planet. As we acknowledge both the globalization and commodification of the culture, this class also looks at hip hop as the always localized, even neighborhood-based response to the multiple and damaging effects of globalization, including but not limited to, forced migration, economic exploitation, systemic poverty, racial profiling, mass incarceration, etc. So what exactly do we mean when we talk about the cultural aesthetic of hip hop culture, and what, if anything, can we generalize about hip hop’s political imagination? What are some of the features of hip hop's unique social and political imaginary? What are the similarities and differences between rap music and previous forms of popular music?
Student learning goals
To increase student’s understanding of the interactions between the historical, material and political conditions that preceded hip hop culture
To allow opportunities for students to demonstrate engagement with the topic and themes of the course in a variety of forms including large and small group discussions, research, the close-reading of texts, writing about music and visual culture, etc.
To develop student’s awareness of the relationship between culture, power and the construction of knowledge
To find creative ways to put hip hop’s primary discursive practice (rap lyrics) into conversation with other historical, theoretical and literary traditions
To develop student's skills in critical media literacy
General method of instruction
short lectures, documentary films, and class discussion
Class assignments and grading