Faculty, staff, and a alumnus of the Center will participate in the [Re]Defining Liberal Arts Education in the 21st Century Conference on the Liberal Arts next week at Jackson State University. The Conference, to be held October 6 – 8, will include a keynote address by Dr. William D. Adams, Chair of the National Endowment for the Humanities.
On three Wednesdays this fall, the Center is partnering with Shelter on Van Buren to screen films made by Center institutes the Southern Documentary Project and the Southern Foodways Alliance. The first screening is this Wednesday, September 14 at 6pm, and will include a screening of Longleaf by Rex Jones and Otha, made from archival footage by Ava Lowrey from the Southern Foodways Alliance.
The Gilder-Jordan Lecture in Southern Cultural History will take place at 7pm on Wednesday, September 7 in Nutt Auditorium on the UM campus. The 2016 lecturer is Edward L. Ayers of the University of Richmond, and his talk will be “When History Doesn’t Move in a Straight Line: The Civil War Then and Now.”
Beginning in the late 1980s, southern hip-hop and rap effectively trumped contemporary R&B as the foremost popular urban music trend. A regional response to the then-burgeoning East and West Coast hip-hop scenes, purveyors of southern rap simultaneously surfaced in cities ranging from Atlanta and Miami to New Orleans, Memphis, and Houston. Although many older music fans downplay the significance and artistic credibility of the genre, southern rap—created by an MC, or rapper, and a DJ, or producer—has emerged as a primary motivator in the youth market, influencing fashion, language, the mass media, and other facets of commercial and popular culture. Similarly, southern rap artists have become avatars of pop culture in their own right, receiving consistent radio airplay, crossing over to film and television roles, and emerging as popular personalities in the marketing and advertising fields.
Up today, an academic article by new Southern Studies faculty member Brian Foster. His article “Everybody Gotta Have a Dream”: Rap-centered Aspirations among Young Black Males Involved in Rap Music Production – A Qualitative Study” was published in 2014 in Issues in Race and Ethnicity: An Interdisciplinary Global Journal.
In honor of our Friday conversation and concert with Marco Pavé and Alfred Banks, we’re going to share some articles by scholars who do work on hip hop. Up first, Zandria Robinson’s entry on “Crunk and Hip-Hop” for the Music volume of the New Encyclopedia of Southern Culture, published in 2008. Robinson is Assistant Professor of Sociology at Rhodes College. Author of This Ain’t Chicago: Race, Class, and Regional Identity in the Post-Soul South, she was a professor of Southern Studies and Sociology at the Center from 2009 to 2012.
The Center will present “Bar-b-que and Gumbo: Hip-Hop Politics in Two River Cities,” a discussion with Marco Pavé of Memphis and Alfred Banks of New Orleans as part of their River Kings Tour on Friday, September 2 at 2pm in Lamar Hall 326 on the UM campus. Kiese Laymon will moderate the conversation. Co-sponsors include the UM Department of Music, UM African American Studies Program, the UM Department of Sociology and Anthropology, and the Winter Institute.