REL 263
Giving God a Backbeat: Rap Music, Religion & Spirituality Spring 2024
Division II
Cross-listed AFR 221
This is not the current course catalog

Class Details

On the surface, religion and rap music may seem as if they have little in common. Yet, like other Black musical traditions such as spirituals and the blues, rap is rooted in African American religious traditions. In this course, we will explore the ways in which rap music intersects with the sacred and secular worlds. Through an examination of black religious traditions, lyrics, music videos, and digital media, we will unearth what Anthony Pinn calls the “spiritual and religious sensibilities” of rap music. Grounded in culture-centered criticism, we will investigate the rhetoric of rap and religion through the theoretical ideas of Black Liberation Theology and hip-hop feminism.
The Class: Format: seminar
Limit: 18
Expected: 15
Class#: 3590
Grading: no pass/fail option, yes fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: students will be evaluated on their class participation, Twitter threads, response papers, quizzes, and a final class group project
Prerequisites: none
Enrollment Preferences: First year, sophomore, and juniors
Distributions: Division II
Notes: This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
AFR 221 Division II REL 263 Division II
Attributes: AFR Core Electives
AFR Culture, Performance, and Popular Technologies
AMST Arts in Context Electives

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