The Hip-Hop Paradigm:

Mapping and Transcending its Boundaries

An Academic and Community Meeting 

The University of Michigan

March 23 - 24, 2001

The Hip-Hop and Cultural Studies Collective was conceived in the summer of 1999 by graduate students at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor.  It was imagined initially as a central space, run by an organization of individuals to advance the study of hip-hop culture. This group of scholars determined the mission of the Collective: to collect and synthesize hip-hop scholarship and cultural production, to document the development of the social movement, to promote and diversify the study of hip hop in the academy and to provide community access to comprehensive and valuable information.

In the more than three decades of hip-hop cultural expression, we have seen the emergence of at least four concrete forms of discourse (i.e. dance, deejaying, emceeing, and graffiti art).  However, we have also noticed the explosion of hip-hop aesthetics (i.e. definitions of beauty or quality) in various domains of social life and experience including fashion, literature, cinema, and advertising to name only a few.  At the dawn of the twenty-first century, these developments force us to ask whether and in what ways the boundaries of hip-hop culture can be defined.  Within this culture, what common patterns of thought, action, and expression have emerged?  If there is a hip-hop nation, where does it live, and what is the nature of its constitution?  The Hip-Hop and Cultural Studies Collective invites interested parties to join us in dialogue at our upcoming conference so that we might begin to map and to renegotiate the boundaries of the hip-hop cultural sphere.

This conference will explore the emergence of hip-hop culture as both a site of expression and as a subject of critical analysis.  Through this event the Hip-Hop and Cultural Studies Collective seeks to clarify and to strengthen the relationships between the various arenas in which hip-hop culture is produced and consumed, including artistic, activist and, academic communities.

Submission Guidelines:

Abstracts or brief descriptions of all works should be submitted by February 1st, 2001 and should be of no more than 200 words.  Paper prizes will be awarded with the possibility of publication, and only those wishing to be considered in competition must submit completed papers by March 1st, 2001. The February 1st deadline includes proposals for artistic and audiovisual presentations.  Proposals should entail: a brief description of the contents of the presentation, the number of presenters, and any equipment necessary.We invite paper, panel, and presentation proposals in subject areas including but not limited to:

qBoundaries in Hip-Hop Communities and Cultures

qRace, Class, and Gender Issues in Hip Hop

qRepresentations of Sex and Sexuality

qProduction vs. Consumption in Hip Hop

qFemale Agency and Subjectivity in Hip Hop

qDefinitions of Hip Hop

qViolence in Hip Hop

qArtists as Role Models

qHip Hop in the Capitalist System

qTechnology and the Development of Hip-Hop Culture

qHip Hop in the Academy

qHip-Hop Cinema

qRepresentations of Hip Hop in the Media

qStyle and Fashion

qHip Hop and Black Business

qHip Hop as a Teaching Device

qUnderground vs. Commercial Hip Hop

qThe Globalization of Hip-Hop Culture

qAuthenticity and Minstrelsy in the Performance of Blackness

qHip Hop, Religion, and Spirituality

qThe Generational Divide in Hip Hop

qHip Hop and Community Activism

Please submit materials and current contact information via e-mail at or old school mail to:

The Hip-Hop and Cultural Studies Collective

The University of Michigan

249 Trotter House

1443 Washtenaw Ave.

Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109

Please direct any concerns or questions to Shawan Wade at

UPDATEClick here for information related to travel and accommodations.