Hip-Hop Transcultural: Constructing and Contesting Identiy, Space, and Place in the Americas and Beyond, 28-30 October 2021, online

Dear colleagues,

Registration is now open for the Online Conference “Hip-Hop Transcultural: Constructing and Contesting Identity, Space, and Place in the Americas and Beyond”, which takes place 28th–30th of October, 2021, via Zoom. 

This three-day event is organized as part of an SNF-funded research project, carried out between the Department of Iberian and Latin American History and the Institute of Musicology at the University of Bern, Switzerland. 

The conference program and further information can be found here: 


Keynotes by Martin Lüthe (Freie Universität Berlin) and P. Khalil Saucier (Bucknell University)

Conference organizers:

James Barber, Christian Büschges, Dianne Violeta Mausfeld, Britta Sweers

All those interested are warmly invited to participate in the event’s online panels by sending a registration email to: keith.cann@hist.unibe.ch by October 21st.

We look forward to your participation and a great conference,

Best wishes,

James Barber

Call for Contributions: Re-Sound – Decolonize Hellas

  • Do you write music and songs that do not fit into the “national culture” narrative?
  • Do you feel that your personal and/or social identity is confined under the narrow category of a “Greek artist”?
  • Do you see your artistic concerns as part of your activist action?
  • Do you share the urgency of the global decolonial movements and their struggles against capitalism, racism, sexism and xenophobia?
  • Do you envision more sustainable, inclusive and emancipated futures for you and your art?


Send us your recorded songs, compositions, sound fragments, soundscapes, or audiovisual works (new works or already existing – maximum duration: 10 min.) that can widen the scope of the discussion on music and artistic creation and creators in Greece.

Join your voice, sounds and images with ours in the dëcoloиıze hellάş initiative; together we can intensify the struggle for creativity that goes beyond the boundaries of nation, racial discrimination and gender stereotypes.

You and your creation can join the artistic actions and panel discussions that will be held in the hybrid symposium of our initiative in early November 2021.

You can submit your work here up until October 15, 2021.

For any further information, please contact us at decolonizehellas

Deadline Extension: CfP PANTHEON: Hip-Hop’s Global Pathways to Cultural “Legitimacy”: 4th Network Meeting, Paris 2022

The submission deadline for our upcoming Network meeting in Paris has been extended to 15 October 2021.

We encourage papers and/or workshop proposals from arts practitioners. A number of travel bursaries will be made available for early career scholars and artists with accepted papers.

Confirmed keynotes include our regional representative Karim Hammou and artist Lowkey.

The meeting will be hybrid.

Check out more information on the meeting website!

Call for Papers: PANTHEON: Hip-Hop’s Global Pathways to Cultural “Legitimacy,” Paris 26-27 January 2022

Join us for the 4th Meeting of the European Hiphop Studies Network (EHHSN)!

The fourth meeting of the European Hiphop Studies Network is organized in collaboration with La Place: Centre for Hip-Hop Culture, and La Philharmonie de Paris. The two-day, bilingual English and French Network meeting will lead into a two-day French-language conference on the creation, legitimization, and patrimonialization of hip-hop cultures (28-29 January 2022). Both the Network meeting and conference complement the museum exhibition “Hip-Hop 360” at La Philharmonie, centred on the history of hip-hop and its arrival in France. As such, we welcome all participants to plan their stay in Paris from 26 to 29 January 2022 to take full advantage of the conferences, the museum exhibit, and a series of hip-hop events in the city. 

Content and Issues

Over the past few decades, as hip-hop culture has grown in popular influence and impact, it has increasingly been taken up as both a subject of study and a point of interest in educational and cultural institutions worldwide. Its acceptance into the academic and official realms has led to a popular discourse suggesting that hip-hop culture has been ‘legitimized’ – for better and for worse.

This process of institutionalization and ‘legitimization’ is complex and deeply ambivalent. In her appearance before the student-organized seminar ‘La Plume et le bitume at France’s prestigious École normale supérieure (ENS), rapper Casey preempted any temptation to see the academic seminar as a means of legitimizing rap: 

“Rap – even if it’s good that an association at the ENS takes an interest in it, that today, we can hold a seminar on it – rap doesn’t need to be legitimized by elite academic institutions (grandes écoles). It is an important culture without the ENS, or a chair at Harvard or Oxford taking an interest in it.”

Casey hints at what hip-hop scholar Murray Forman has described as, “the dual (and at times dueling) purpose of building academic knowledge while building hip-hop cultural knowledge.” Indeed, knowledge has often been cited as the fifth element of hip-hop. 

Taking inspiration from French rapper Booba’s 2004 album Panthéon, which elaborates links between reverence, national pride, cultural legitimacy, and the famed mausoleum reserved for “great men,” the meeting seeks to explore the role of institutions in hip-hop’s legitimization. We invite reflections (including academic papers, workshops, artistic contributions, or other alternative formats) on the relationship between pathways to knowledge rooted in the cultural and artistic practices of hip-hop, and those that stem from institutional efforts to transmit hip-hop’s history and aesthetics. In other words, what are the roles that hip-hop researchers, practitioners, and activists can undertake to advance hip-hop’s work of knowledge and liberation? What might be the challenges or potentials of collaborations between hip-hop practitioners and the commodified knowledge trade of museums, universities, and conservatories? We invite submissions which may consider, but are by no means limited to, these questions. 

Submissions and Selection Process

To be considered for the Network meeting, please submit the following documents by email to ehhsnparis@gmail.com by midnight CEST, Friday, 1 October 2021

  • A written abstract/description of 250 words including author name(s) and institutional affiliation(s) (if applicable) 
  • Or an audio-/visual text of a maximum of maximum 2 minutes (.mp4)

Please submit all documents as an attachment. All proposals and all videos, as far as possible, will be anonymized before being forwarded to the organization committee. We will inform all applicants about the final decision by Monday, 1 November 2021. A select number of bursaries will be available for accepted presenters.

We accept proposals in either English or French languages. If presenting in French, we ask you to prepare a short accompanying abstract or slides in English. We also invite master’s and doctoral students as well as early career researchers to present their work-in-progress. We especially welcome papers that engage with less-academically-visible work from artists and practitioners from a wider variety of backgrounds. 

Organizing Committee (in alphabetical order):

  • Amir Sadik Abdullah aka. DJ Amir, 180 Proof Records
  • Monique Charles, University of West London, DrMoniqueCharles.com 
  • Paroma Ghose, The Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (IHEID)
  • Sina A. Nitzsche, Dortmund University of Applied Arts and Sciences/University Bristol
  • Griff Rollefson, University College Cork/CIPHER
  • Emily Shuman, New York University

For further information please see (in alphabetical order):

Call for Papers (English/French pdf-version)

Documentaries on Breaking in Greece

Regional Representative Natalia Koutsougera has produced two documentaries on breaking in Greece. If you are interested them, please contact her via n.koutsougera@yahoo.com .

Born to Break (2011) is a co-production of Natalia Koutsougera and Fotini Stefani. The ethnographic documentary focuses on themeanings of being a “breaker”, on the emotions and perceptions of b-boys (breaker boys) and b-girls (breaker girls)about the self and their competitive dance, through a brief tour into the contemporary breakdance scene of Attica and the narratives of the diverse individuals and groups who express themselves in this dance form. Along with the subjectivities and the collectivities of the dancers, the documentary captures the public and private spaces that they occupy in the city of Athens: squares, buildings, dance schools and various training places, as well as dance competitions, “battles” and festivals. It also highlights issues of migration and gender and critically explores the sentiments of “respect” and authenticity which are based on the oral history of hip hop culture. Special ethnographic attention is also given to the body semiotics, body affect and dance techniques, such as special dance moves, gestures, facial expressions and dress codes of the dancers – as well as to their language, codes and verbal expressions – to graphically illustrate the key elements of breakdance culture in Greece. The documentary’s duration is 35 minutes.

The Girls are Here (2015) is an ethnographic documentary produced and directed by Natalia Koutsougera. The film explores ways transnational hip hop, street and urban dance styles are appropriated, embodied and performed by female hip hop and street dancers in contemporary Greece. The documentary captures the everyday lives of two young girls in Athens who fuse hip hop (breakdance, hip hop party dance, popping) with urban/street dance styles (waacking, voguing, house dance). Through their all-styles’ choreographies and battling spirits they manage to build queer and defiant spheres and imaginaries of alternative girls’ performance inside and outside hip hop. Moments of their friendship and their relationship with male hip hop dancers and members of their crews are graphically portrayed and narrated. The camera follows them through different activities ranging from teaching, practicing, travelling to preparing and participating in hip hop competitions, shows and events. Above all, the film unravels aspects and perceptions of their femininity and gender identity in a male-dominated and competitive hip hop dance scene and probes the role that hip hop and street dance plays in the production of sisterhood, female spirituality and team spirit. The film’s duration is 45 minutes.

Talking Back: Hiphop Through Research and Practice, Online Event, 16-18 June 2021

Hiphop has become a worldwide cultural phenomenon and has impacted a large international community. 

Talking Back: Hip Hop Through Research and Practice is grounded in feminist and critical theorist Bell Hook’s idea of “Talking Back”. This three  day event will open up a space to learn more about the five pillars of Hiphop (Knowledge, Graffiti, break dance, Djing, Emceeing) and will allow artists and researchers to sit down and discuss their practice  and reflect on their research. The hope is that each session will explore the importance of Hiphop  and its cultural, social, political and economic value in some capacity.  Talking Back  opens up online dialogical spaces for people to come together, learn, share, question, reflect, dream and gather different perspectives to current research streams in the field.

The event will be of interest to people hoping to engage in culturally relevant discussions and also students and artists looking for networking opportunities, and anyone seeking to learn more about Hip Hop culture.

The three-day event will include conversations with Dr Alex Mason (University of Sheffield), Otis Mensah, Frieda Frost, Robert Hylton, Dan (Lyrix  Organix), Love SSega (UK), Axel Gossiaux (BE), Marius Mates (RO/UK), Adil “Dj KhanFu” Khan (UK), Robin Bodéüs (BE), David Diallo (FR), Dr Monique Charles, Street Factory, and Jade Ward. Each morning there will be a short sharing  of  a performance that will kick-off the day. This may include a film or a dance workshop. The symposium is free and open to the public.

Open registration for RPPW – online rhythm workshop

The registration for non-presenting participants are now open for the 18th Rhythm Production and Perception Workshop. This time, a fully online workshop hosted by the RITMO Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies in Rhythm, Time and Motion at the University of Oslo.

The RPPW will feature a host of talks and posters (in dedicated poster-zoom-rooms) on the production and perception of rhythm. The workshop is slanted towards very technical studies of rhythm as a perceptual phenomenon, but there are also some talks and posters that specifically address musical rhythm.

Website for the workshop, with registration here: https://www.uio.no/ritmo/english/news-and-events/events/conferences/2021/RPPW/index.html

Call for Contributions: The Fifth Element in Hiphop Culture, Global Hiphop Studies

Deejaying; emceeing; breaking; graffiti: these are commonly considered hip hop’s four
core elements. While hip hop contains multiple elements beyond its core, many hip
hop artists, activists and fans worldwide understand and recognize a ‘fifth element’
as knowledge. This naming practice shows us how hip hop communities understand
the importance of the history, values and artistry of the culture beyond their own
temporal-spatial borders. With roots in the Universal Zulu Nation in the 1970s
(Chang 2005), hip hop’s fifth element includes aims of self-realization (‘knowledge of
self’), empowerment and information about the history of the genre as well as its key
practitioners (Gosa 2015; Alim, Haupt, Williams 2018).

The fifth element is somewhat elusive in terms of definition and systematic study
because of its multimodal nature: knowledge manifests itself through live performances
and cultural texts ripe for academic study, such as recordings, films, music videos and
social media. Rappers often refer to metaphors of education, such as KRS-One as ‘The
Teacha’, ‘backpack rappers’ and ‘schooling’ someone, in addition to emphasizing the
importance of sharing hip hop histories and social messages. Knowledge also appears
in educational practices, such as artist–scholar knowledge exchanges, (critical) hip hop
pedagogy, and the very field of hip hop studies (Chetty and Turner 2018; Turner 2017;
Emdin 2010; Lamont Hill 2009; Love 2019; Petchauer 2011; Söderman 2011; Snell and
Söderman 2014). Rollefson demands that knowledge in hip hop must ‘be accessed
through local knowledge and practice’ (2017: 233).

Until now, full recognition of the fifth element has faced two challenges. First,
academic studies of the flows of hip hop knowledge are either absent or reserved
for a small number of those working in education departments. Second, practitioners
outside the academy often view hip hop scholarship and other institutionalized
knowledge practices (often justifiably) with a certain level of scepticism. This
Special Issue of Global Hip Hop Studies thus addresses questions about the role
of knowledge in global hip hop culture: how is it mediated across other elements,
social groups and cultural borders? How is knowledge passed on from one hip
hop generation to another? What is the role of hip hop knowledge in educational
institutions around the globe and how can it be used for the benefit of artists and the
community? What can we as researchers, activists and artists learn from knowledge
practices in global hip hop culture?

We invite contributions from a variety of disciplines, including musicology, pedagogy,
cultural studies, ethnomusicology, visual studies, media studies, history, sociology and
other relevant fields. We are particularly keen to bring artists and scholars together
to co-produce new methods for hip hop education while welcoming a wide range
of perspectives and definitions around the intentionally broad concept of hip hop’s
fifth element.

Submissions may consider, but are not limited to, the following topics:

  • knowledge and hip hop’s origins;
  • knowledge and the other ‘four elements’ (graffiti, breaking, deejaying, emceeing);
  • distinctions between ‘old school’, ‘new school’, ‘true school’ and indices of authenticity;
  • forms and sites of informal (i.e. street) knowledge;
  • knowledge of ‘Self’ in rap music, audio-visual and social media;
  • local, regional, global and glocal perspectives on hip hop knowledge;
  • hip hop’s ‘uses’ in primary, secondary or tertiary education;
  • tradition vs. innovation in hip hop education;
  • racial, gender and class politics of hip hop knowledge and education;
  • hip hop’s role in the ‘decolonization’ of curricula;
  • knowledge exchange in artist–scholar collaborations;
  • heritage, lineage and passing down of knowledge in global hip hop communities.
  • hip hop and digital learning

Types and scope of written and visual texts

  • articles: 6,000–8,000 words maximum excluding bibliography;
  • artist statements and interviews: 3,000–5,000 words;
  • book reviews: 1,000–2,000 words;
  • media reviews: 1,000–2,000 words;
  • ‘Show and Prove’ pieces: high-res images (one of which will be chosen for the cover) and 400–2,000 words reflection and explanation;
  • syllabi for classes, workshops, summer schools at any level: 1,000–2,000 words.


To be considered for this Special Issue of Global Hip Hop Studies, please submit the following via this Google Form by 1 October 2021 (deadline extension):

  • an abstract of 150–250 words including author name(s) and institutional
  • affiliation(s) (plus references, if necessary); and
  • a brief bio of 150 words including author(s)’s positionalities in relation to their topic.

If your abstract is accepted, we will expect to receive the full article or statement
uploaded via Intellect’s online submission portal by 1 August 2022. For a journalspecific
style guide, please visit Intellect’s website. This Special Issue has an extended
research term to provide sufficient time for those who would like to pursue funding for
their projects.

Editors (in alphabetic order)

Darren Chetty, University College London, UK
Sina A. Nitzsche, Dortmund University of Applied Sciences and Arts, Germany
Justin A. Williams, University of Bristol, UK



Online Conference: Hiphop & Higher Education in the UK and beyond, 15 July 2021

We are excited to inform you about our upcoming Hip Hop & Higher Education online conference on the 15th July 2021, which is free and will take place on Zoom from 9am-6pm (BST).

This conference will celebrate Hip Hop’s creativity, criticality and communality, interrogate its marginalisation in UK universities, and explore the merits and dangers of incorporating it into formal sites of higher education. In accordance with the five pillars of Hip Hop, the conference will incorporate MCing, graffiti art, breakdancing, DJing and knowledge production in the form of presentations, performances and workshops. Featuring a combination of researchers, educators, artists, activists and members of the Hip Hop community, this promises to be a rich and rewarding experience for anyone interested in Hip Hop and/or education regardless of background or discipline. 

Presentation topics include:

  • #HipHopEd in the UK;
  • connecting higher education with the Hip Hop community;
  • UK Christian rap music and the power of testimony;
  • challenging ableism through breakdancing and beatboxing;
  • race and sexuality in Frantz Fanon & Tyler, The Creator;
  • Hip Hop & Musicological Discourse Analysis;
  • Black women in the music industry; and
  • Hip Hop Studies at the University of Mumbai.

The link to sign up to attend is here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/hip-hop-higher-education-conference-tickets-143569497231

Platform: Zoom (a link will be sent to those who sign up nearer the time)

Cost: Free

If you have any questions about this event please contact alex.mason@sheffield.ac.uk.

Hope to see you there!

Alex, Otis, Parise and Stuart