photo by kevin penton

photo by kevin penton

Greetings from Riverside!

Welcome to “Show & Prove” (S&P).  Show & Prove is a conference series that has grown out of the collective interests of scholars and students of Hip Hop cultures around the world to be in dialogue and exchange with one another.  Your active participation is important and welcome!

The April 2016 conference was an incredible one.  Check out the pics!

The Show & Prove 2018 Conference was amazing!  Pictures soon to come!

As people mobilize around the world to combat various institutionalized and culturally embedded forms of racism, misogyny, homophobia, transphobia, xenophobia, and the like, S&P acts as an inclusive forum that enacts the possibilities of exchange and dialogue across various forms of difference in an effort to build something substantive.  And while it matters that we gather, it also matters how we gather—with a generous intent to listen, critique, share, and develop our work both individually and collectively.  In doing so, we create an international community of scholars, artists, students, and activists. 

We continue to grow, and hope to do so from now on with you!


Imani Kai Johnson, Ph.D.
Founder & Chair of the Show & Prove Hip Hop Studies Conference Series
Assistant Professor of Critical Dance Studies, UC Riverside


photo by Amanda 'Laphotographeuse' Adams-Louis

photo by Amanda 'Laphotographeuse' Adams-Louis

Dr. Imani Kai Johnson is an interdisciplinary scholar whose research focuses on African diasporic ritual cultures, Hip Hop dance in global circulation, and intersections of race, nation, and gender.  Her manuscript on breaking cyphers and their epistemological possibilities is forthcoming with Oxford University Press, and is titled Dark Matter in Breaking Cyphers:  Africanist Aesthetics in Global Hip Hop.  Through an examination of Africanist aesthetics within Hip Hop and specifically breaking culture, the manuscript looks to the ritual dance circle—the cypher—to illuminate the layers of political, cultural, and spiritual understanding embedded in the practice. Using the physics metaphor of “dark matter,” the manuscript addresses histories of exclusion, marginalization, and invisibilization that fundamentally shape the aesthetic sensibilities of b-boying culture, and the ways that such aesthetics inform the current circulation of Hip Hop dance transnationally.  She has published articles in Dance Research Journal, Alif, Women & Performance, and the Cambridge Companion to Hip Hop.  Dr. Johnson is the founder and conference chair of the “Show & Prove” Hip Hop Studies Conference Series.  She is currently Assistant Professor of Critical Dance Studies at UC Riverside.