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The Hip-Hop Paradigm: Mapping and Transcending its Boundaries
Ann Arbor, March 2001

The Hip-Hop Paradigm: 
Mapping and Transcending its Boundaries

An Academic and Community Meeting

The University of Michigan
March 23 - 24, 2001

The Hip-Hop and Cultural Studies Collective was conceived in the summer of 1999 by
graduate students at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor.  It was imagined
initially as a central space, run by an organization of individuals to advance the
study of hip-hop culture. This group of scholars determined the mission of the
Collective: to collect and synthesize hip-hop scholarship and cultural production,
to document the development of the social movement, to promote and diversify the
study of hip hop in the academy and to provide community access to comprehensive
and valuable information.

In the more than three decades of hip-hop cultural expression, we have seen the
emergence of at least four concrete forms of discourse (i.e. dance, deejaying,
emceeing, and graffiti art).  However, we have also noticed the explosion of
hip-hop aesthetics (i.e. definitions of beauty or quality) in various domains of
social life and experience including fashion, literature, cinema, and advertising
to name only a few.  At the dawn of the twenty-first century, these developments
force us to ask whether and in what ways the boundaries of hip-hop culture can be
defined. Within this culture, what common patterns of thought, action, and
expression have emerged?  If there is a hip-hop nation, where does it live, and
what is the nature of its constitution?  The Hip-Hop and Cultural Studies
Collective invites interested parties to join us in dialogue at our upcoming
conference so that we might begin to map and to renegotiate the boundaries of the
hip-hop cultural sphere.

This conference will explore the emergence of hip-hop culture as both a site of
expression and as a subject of critical analysis.  Through this event the Hip-Hop
and Cultural Studies Collective seeks to clarify and to strengthen the
relationships between the various arenas in which hip-hop culture is produced and
consumed, including artistic, activist, and academic communities.

Submission Guidelines: 

Abstracts or brief descriptions of all works should be submitted by February 1,
2001 and should be of no more than 200 words.  Paper prizes will be awarded with
the possibility of publication, and only those wishing to be considered in
competition must submit completed papers by March 1, 2001.  The February 1
deadline applies also to proposals for artistic and audiovisual presentations.  
Proposals should include a brief description of the contents of the presentation,
the number of presenters, and any equipment necessary.

We invite paper, panel, and presentation proposals in subject areas including but
not limited to:

* Boundaries in Hip-Hop Communities and Cultures
* Race, Class, and Gender Issues in Hip Hop
* Representations of Sex and Sexuality
* Production vs. Consumption in Hip Hop
* Female Agency and Subjectivity in Hip Hop
* Definitions of Hip Hop
* Violence in Hip Hop
* Artists as Role Models
* Hip Hop in the Capitalist System
* Technology and the Development of Hip-Hop Culture
* Hip Hop in the Academy
* Hip-Hop Cinema 
* Representations of Hip Hop in the Media
* Style and Fashion
* Hip Hop and Black Business
* Hip Hop as a Teaching Device
* Underground vs. Commercial Hip Hop
* The Globalization of Hip-Hop Culture
* Authenticity and Minstrelsy in the Performance of Blackness
* Hip Hop, Religion, and Spirituality 
* The Generational Divide in Hip Hop
* Hip Hop and Community Activism

Please submit materials and current contact information via postage or e-mail to:

The Hip-Hop and Cultural Studies Collective
249 Trotter House - The University of Michigan
1443 Washtenaw Ave.
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109

Please direct any questions or concerns to Shawan Wade at