AFCA 295 - Seminar in Africana Studies
Credits: 3 credits in fall or winter, 4 in spring
Prerequisite: Completion of FW requirement. Students in this course study a group of African-American, African, or Afro-Caribbean works related by theme, culture, topic, genre, historical period, or critical approach. In the Spring Term version, the course involves field trips, film screenings, service learning, and/or other special projects, as appropriate, in addition to 8-10 hours per week of class meetings. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.
Winter 2019, AFCA 295A-01: Seminar in Africana Studies: The Art and Politics of Rap Music (3). Since its emergence in the 1970s, hip-hop culture has changed the United States and the world, with rap music playing a significant role in those changes. Looking at rap as an art form, a political expression, and a commodity, this course studies how, from 1988 to 2018, rap music used end-rhymed verse and sampling to refine black self-expression. Analyzing singles and albums, we explore the socio-historical context out of which the music arose, the diverse creative strategies that its practitioners employed, and the major shifts in the art form's development. Additionally, we think about the eras in rap music's history and the prospects for its future. This course provides a space to meditate on the relationship between cultural products, racial identity, political progress, and economic destiny and, more specifically, invites students to confront the myths and the truths surrounding one of the late 20th century's more controversial artistic permutations. Hill.
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