Tuesday, November 20, 2012

"Hip Hop as a Necessary Tool in the Classroom"

Professor Rajul Punjabi
Following on the heels of the first ever "Hip Hop and the American Constitution" course offered at a U.S. law school, Professor Rajul Punjabi now writes that using hip hop in the college classroom has become a "necessary tool."  According to Punjabi:

"I can do my best to break a literary concept down to my class, but it doesn't resonate until I contextualize it in an accessible way. And in 2012, I'm confident to say that hip hop as a genre and culture is an integral tool to make almost any text accessible.  Now of course, it's easy to defend my claim in an English-based curriculum. I employ Jay-Z for his abundant usage of metaphor, allusion, and hyperbole to teach figures of speech. Tupac works when we're looking at socioeconomic backgrounds in literature. Lauryn Hill? Indispensable during a lesson on imagery and narration. And don't get me started on our close-reading of the word "swagger" nee "swag" (Shakespeare vs. Soulja Boy). It was a long, loud, two hours but no English instructor worth her salt likes a quiet classroom anyway."

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