undergraduate section

Seminar in Composition: Topics in Diversity

ENGCMP 0212 Seminar in Composition: Topics in Diversity

Fall 2018: Hip Hop Writing taught by Khirsten L. Echols

This course investigates hip hop writing, performance, and culture within a US context across the 20th and 21st centuries. The course explores the following questions: How do we understand and define hip hop writing, performance, and culture? What are the aesthetics of hip hop? How do we research and engage with hip hop writing, performance, and culture? How do we construct criticism within and around hip hop? 
Over the course of the semester, we will survey a range of artists, activists, writers, and theorists. Additionally, we will engage a range of texts including, but not limited to, dialogues, creative works, essays, music, interviews, news stories, raps, videos, speeches, and films. We will work consistently to establish and maintain an active writing community where we will openly and respectively engage, exchange, and evaluate ideas, experiences, and writing. Also, we will study various modes of hip hop culture and musical, artistic, and intellectual expression alongside a survey of multi-genre compositions that challenge our understandings of hip hop and its influence on how we compose, what we compose, why we compose, where we compose, for whom we compose, and what are the risks and responsibilities of such compositions. 
More pointedly, this course will: 
  • Expose learners to a range of intersectional presentations of hip hop writing, performance, and culture. 
  • Explore historic, theoretical, and critical approaches to hip hop. 
  • Engage learners in the study of a range of research methods.