The August/September #250 issue of Living Blues celebrates the blues of Clarksdale, Mississippi and the 30th anniversary of the Sunflower River Blues & Gospel Festival.
A conversation about the South and hip-hop music is set for Friday, Feb. 10 at 2 p.m. in Barnard Observatory’s Tupelo Room. The Center for the Study of Southern Culture hosts a conversation between Regina Bradley and Kiese Laymon, “When the South STILL Got Something to Say: A Conversation about Hip Hop in the South.” The event, which will be introduced by Brian Foster, is free and open to the public, with a reception afterward in the lobby.
Brian Foster, Assistant Professor of Sociology and Southern Studies, is teaching Honors Southern Studies 102 this semester. The interdisciplinary course is structured as an examination of southern protest culture, and organized like a mixtape. See excerpts from his syllabus below. This is part of an occasional series in which we share syllabi from Southern Studies courses.
Brian Foster knows his way around the University of Mississippi. In fact, he won the Center’s Peter Aschoff Award for the best paper on Southern music in 2011 with his BA Honors thesis, “Crank Dat Soulja Boy: Understanding Black Male Hip-Hop Aspirations in Rural Mississippi.” This fall, the Center for the Study of Southern Culture and the Department of Sociology and Anthropology welcome him back as a new assistant professor of sociology and Southern Studies. Foster returns to the university from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where he earned his MA and began his PhD work. Prior to entering UNC-Chapel Hill Foster earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Mississippi.
Brown Bag Lecture Series Analyzes Songs Sept. 28 The Brown Bag Lunch and Lecture Series continues Wednesday, Sept. 28 with three faculty members who offer 10-minute analyses of individual songs of their choice. The format is an experiment to see what scholars can accomplish in a short time. Presenters, who will announce their songs as… Read More >
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.