CFP: [Cultural-Historical] Writing and Representin' Hip Hop Culture

full name / name of organization: 
Todd Barnes
contact email:

Title: Writing and Representin’ Hip Hop Culture
Date: April 17-18, 2009
Location: University of California, Berkeley

Hip Hop scholarship has come to a new juncture that draws on the social
sciences as well as the humanities, blurring the boundary in between the
two quite often. At the same time, scholars are faced with new challenges
in how to theorize and to represent the Global Hip Hop Nation, its local
articulations, and its multiple connections to various other places in
formal and informal economies. This recent move has pushed us to use, for
instance, a wide array of methodological approaches. At the same time, when
using methodological tools such as ethnography and interviews, we as
scholars are pushed to reckon with and articulate a position towards the
politics of representation: politics that affect and effect our position in
the academic community as well as our positions within our respective
fieldsites of study. Our goal in this conference is to begin a critical
dialogue on writing and representin’ Hip Hop Culture in academe, and in
particular, how the constraints of academe prompt us to develop new and
innovate existing scholarly strategies (e.g., establishing citation chains,
describing methods, expressing significance of work to disciplinary
audiences, etc.) for legitimizing Hip Hop Culture and representing Hip
Hop’s theories and praxis. In addition, this conference will bring together
scholars and practitioners over two days in order to place theories posed
by both scholars and Hip Hop practitioners in conversation. Our objective
is to engage with multiple perspectives on the broader challenges of
writing the ‘partiality’ of an embodied cultural experience, a concern that
cuts across and thereby unites multiple disciplines. Potential topics for
papers can include, but are not limited to:

• Is it possible to develop texts that treat our research subjects
        not as human subjects in research but also as intellectual
        partners in the process of research?
• What is the relationship between Hip Hop scholarship and youth?
• How do we write genealogies of Hip Hop that speak from diverse
        perspectives on gender, sexuality, ethnicity, etc.?
• How do we represent the articulation of local, translocal, and
        global scales in Hip Hop practices, and what evidence does this
• How are we pushed to reckon with the constraints of ‘traditional’
        styles of academic writing to continue to legitimate Hip Hop as an
        appropriate object of inquiry?
• How do we represent the various language and embodied practices of
        our research participants and ourselves in a way that can be
        understood by both the academic and non-academic audiences for our
• How do we grapple with the complex nature of reporting our
        findings on Hip Hop culture while at the same time aiming to write
        against stereotypes of particular groups?

Please email your abstract of no more than 350 words to (as a .doc or .pdf) no later than Monday,
December 1, 2008. Please list any equipment you will need for multimedia
presentations. Proposals of lecture/demonstrations and panels are welcome.
 Applicants will receive a reply no later than January 12, 2009.

For more information on this conference, please contact Nathaniel Dumas at
ndumas[at]Berkeley[dot]edu or Kendra Salois at ksalois[at]Berkeley[dot]edu

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Received on Mon Nov 24 2008 - 17:47:44 EST

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