Thursday, September 16, 2010

CFP: Multi-Contributor Anthology of hip-hop essays

CFP: Multi-Contributor Anthology of hip-hop essays

Hip hop has always been, and continues to be, so many things to so many people. With roots in the past and yet at the same time a revolutionary style of music and expression it offers a rich mix of topics, viewpoints, meanings and inspirations. Hip hop has finally begun to be embraced by scholars and is still eminently important to the public that consumes it and this project hopes to appeal to both ends of that spectrum. This anthology aims to look at the 30-40 year (depending on who you are and when you consider hip-hop 'born') catalogue of hip-hop music, the artists that created and continue to create it, the issues that have influenced it and continue to be prevalent in the music, the past from which it was drawn, the future that it will continue to inhabit. The aim is to show hip hop's past, present and future, where it has come from, where it is now and where it will be ten, twenty or thirty years from now. The past section thus far will include an essay on the connections between beboppers and hip hoppers, a connection between Robin Hood ballads and hip-hop, and an essay addressing the ways in which hip hop artists make use of history and memory (musically, lyrically and visually) to create their version of history. The future section thus far includes an essay on the Australian incarnation of hip hop and addresses hip hop's future in the globalization of the art form, and an essay addressing the political/activism aspect of the hip hop generation and what is required to make it work. The present section is at this point empty, and all sections are in need of many more submitals. The following list is just a few possibilities for topics and if your interest area overlaps with someone else's paper that will not rule out its inclusion as I envision an anthology that can be used to show multiple angles/opinions in one place.

Hip hop's connection to any previous musical style/tradition.
Hip hop's respect for its own past.
The founding days of hip hop.
Changes in hip hop 'uniforms' in terms of fashion connected to the message/music.

The state of hip hop today, is it dead as Nas suggests, in a period of transition/reinvention, is it strong as ever?
What is hip hop saying about current social status?
How has hip-hop impacted/been impacted by events like Hurricane Katrina/Gulf Oil Spill?
Is President Obama our first hip hop president?
Would Wyclef be the answer Haiti needs?

Should hip hop be introduced to the classrooms? How? In what ways shouldn't it?
What is the future of hip hop as a genre?
In what ways will globalization change what we think of as hip hop?
In what ways can hip hop be used as a political vehicle? To what ends?

The publishing company that I am working on this project with would like a book proposal in a month or two, at this point I am collecting abstracts that include an approximate page length to be able to give the publisher an accurate idea of how long the entire project it will be. That being said, I will also be submitting sample chapters so if anyone has a paper written already or can have a paper written in a month or two I would love to have as many sample chapters as possible. As mentioned previously, I want this collection to have broad appeal, if you are interested in doing more opinion piece than research paper feel free to do so, if you have the desire to do interviews instead of any kind of article that would be fantastic. The background is of no difference as I want this project to be as diverse as possible, sociology, music history, African-American studies, popular culture studies, fashion, psychology, history, any and all are welcome. Please submit any abstracts, address any questions to, and feel free to contact me at

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