ASRC 4402

ASRC 4402

Course information provided by the Courses of Study 2016-2017.

From its inception in the South Bronx in the 1970s, hip hop has been dependent on women's contributions, yet female artists have had to work hard to contest their marginalization and objectification in the music and culture. Today, some of the most heated debates surrounding feminism, identity politics, and Black women are framed within the broad contours of hip hop. This course will explore how women are portrayed in hip hop music and culture, addressing women both as consumers and producers. We will draw on texts that analyze misogyny in hip hop music and music videos, while also looking at how both mainstream and peripheral female artists use hip hop to affirm their sexual power, articulate Black feminism, and create spaces for their artistic expression. The course will utilize Black feminist theory, performance studies, and queer of color critique to complicate the ways in which women, gender, and sexuality are represented in hip hop music. While our analyses will center on music and on the United States, we will also consider art, fashion, and dance within Black, Latina, and Caribbean interactions with hip hop. The course will investigate how youth construct gender and ethnic identities as they negotiate notions of African Diasporic belonging vis-à-vis hip hop. We will employ ethnographic, historical, sociological, literary, and interdisciplinary texts to explore questions such as: What do the sexual politics of rap music reveal about Black women's conceptualizations of feminism? How can we apply early "hip hop feminism" to understand current debates about Beyoncé and Nicki Minaj?  How are hetero-normative gender ideologies reinforced in hip hop culture? What are the relationships between queer theory and hip hop studies? Does hip hop allow spaces for alternative femininities? How do Black girls use hip hop as a pedagogical tool? The course will also address broader questions related to representations of Black femininity, people of color in the media, gender and sexual identity construction.

When Offered Fall.

Distribution Category (CA-AS)

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Syllabi: none
  • 16577 ASRC 4402   SEM 101