PSCI 212 Fall 2013 Hip-Hop and Political Theory

Cross Listed as AFR207
This course is an introduction into the theoretical underpinnings of the genesis and evolution of hip-hop, a late modern phenomenon whose forms are routinely referred to as a movement, a culture, a music, and a politics. Since its emergence in the South Bronx during the late 1970s, what constitutes the organizing definitions and philosophical bulwarks of hip-hop are often underexplored. The course illuminates such submerged, neglected, and contested bodies of knowledge by focusing on eight concepts: justice, rights, recognition, freedom, equality, democracy, love, and judgment. Through these principles, students are able to address how we frame questions of race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, class, authenticity, the public sphere, incarceration, and globalization. Our meetings consider the popular and the underground, the originally forged and the remixed, the utility of nomenclature bifurcating conscious and radical hip-hop on the one hand and alternative modes following the logic of neoconservatism and neoliberalism on the other, examining throughout the interplay among language, aesthetics, and form. We investigate as well whether hip-hop in the United States and around the world is intrinsically a political, anti-political, or neutral force in the realm of politics. Written texts, lyrical thought, breaking, film, music videos, and guest lectures by rappers, R&B singers, DJs, academics, and graffiti artists are interwoven in assignments and in-class discussions. Through these mediums and select experiential education opportunities outside the classroom, students have an opportunity to render evaluations on the political theory of hip-hop between past and future.
Class Format: lecture
Requirements/Evaluation: attendance and participation, two 5- to 7-page essays, and choice of a final 10-page paper or final project; students opting for a final project must receive instructor approval and convey the contours of a core course concept
Additional Info: through one of the following mediums:video interviews with visiting artists and scholars, a PowerPoint presentation, original song, mixtape, or combined multimedia presentation
Additional Info2: may not be taken on a pass/fail basis
Prerequisites: none; open to all
Enrollment Preference: none
Department Notes:
Material and Lab Fees:
Distribution Notes:
Divisional Attributes: Division II
Other Attributes:
Enrollment Limit: 25
Expected Enrollment: 20
Class Number: 1940
CLASSES ATTR INSTRUCTORS TIMES CLASS NUMBER
PSCI212-01(F) LEC Hip-Hop and Political Theory Division 2: Social Studies Neil Roberts
MR 2:35 PM-3:50 PM Griffin 7 1940
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