New York University, Performance Studies Department, 721 Broadway, 6th Fl. New York, NY

Saturday may 22, 2010

"Show & Prove: The Tensions, Contradictions, and Possibilities of Hip Hop Scholarship in Practice"

A Symposium Featuring New Work in Hip Hop Studies

In Hip Hop performance communities, the “show and prove” attitude is one that privileges action over words or the demonstration of skills over merely talking about them.  “Show and prove” can also be read as an indirect critique of academics whose roles, in the simplest of terms, are to write on the actions of others.  But with a growing number of practitioner-scholars and generations of those raised on Hip Hop taking classes, writing, and publishing work on the culture, today’s Hip Hop scholars feel as accountable to the academy as they feel to their own Hip Hop communities, seeking to give back in meaningful ways through their work.  From negotiating the academy alongside varied Hip Hop audiences, these scholars must show and prove themselves in ways that may be conflicting or contradictory while simultaneously struggling against the trappings of academic institutions that have historically objectified and even exploited such communities rather than recognizing them as active subjects in collaborative projects.

This symposium centers recent or unpublished work on Hip Hop by this new generation of scholars.  It will be a forum for students of Hip Hop—whether in the classroom, the studio, the stage, or the streets—to exchange ideas, share their research, and ultimately contribute to an ever expanding body of work on Hip Hop.  As a result, the symposium will showcase the current direction of the still-forming field of Hip Hop Studies.

**A select number of accepted papers will be included in a half-day, small group workshop on Sunday, May 23.  This workshop will be an opportunity to get direct feedback on specific aspects of their projects from an invited scholar in the field.

Key Words:

Aesthetics of dance and visual art

Theory from cultural practice

Methodologies / “Hiphopography”

Dance/ visual art/ music and education

Hip Hop as pedagogy

The complexities of commodification

Commercialization, Media, and Globalization

Hip Hop and community impact/activism

Is it Hip Hop?—e.g. graffiti art, “street jazz”, jerking, etc.

Racial and gender constructions/tensions

Gender and sexual identities in Hip Hop

Hip Hop and political possibilities

Shifting commitments of Hip Hop scholarship over time


Please submit a 200 word abstract and relevant contact information by March 22, 2010 at 5pm EST to

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