2 Post-Doctoral Researchers in Global Hip Hop Studies Wanted

Position Summary

Two Post-Doctoral Researcher posts in Hip Hop Studies, are available at the Department of Music in the School of Film, Music, and Theatre at University College Cork. The positions are funded by the European Research Council and are associated with the research project CIPHER: Hip Hop Interpellation. This study of global hip hop knowledge flows will synergize ethnographic and computational methods to examine how hip hop “unlocks the global through the local.” The principal investigator of the project is Professor J. Griffith Rollefson.

We look to hire two Post-Doctoral Researchers with specialization in the hip hop cultures of any world culture region(s) outside of Europe and North America. Especially welcome (but not necessary) will be hip hop scholars with specialisms in two or more cultural/musical/linguistic areas (e.g. Japanese and Mandarin; Wolof, French, and Arabic; Spanish, Tagalog, and English).

This study of global hip hop knowledge flows will synergize ethnographic and computational methods to examine how we might conceive of hip hop as a form of “bottom-up globalization.” The successful candidates may have a disciplinary background rooted in any of the four traditional “elements” of hip hop (DJing/turntablism, MCing/rapping, graffiti/street art, bboy/bgirl dance) or any university discipline, but must demonstrate a deep knowledge of and commitment to hip hop’s “fifth element”: knowledge (of self). The postdoctoral scholars will also demonstrate knowledge of the theory and methods of ethnographic fieldwork and/or community engaged scholarship and have an established track record in such work. The successful candidates will have linguistic, musical, and cultural specializations in one or more geographic communities and an ability to do community-engaged work across various cultural sites and scenes. In their project proposal, the candidates are expected to outline how their research record, interests, and skills align with the CIPHER project – namely, how they might explore hip hop’s localizations in their field(s) of cultural specialization. Citing specific “gems” of local hip hop knowledge in the context of the proposal will be particularly advantageous.

The Post-Doctoral Researchers will work closely with J. Griffith Rollefson, as well as doctoral student researchers, a team of Computational Analysts with specializations in social media, big data, stylometry, and sonic analysis, an Advisory Board of established global hip hop scholars, and an Artistic Council of global hip hop artists.

The successful candidates will have access to dedicated funds for research and conference travel, and assist with the organization of CIPHER’s international conferences and publications.

The successful candidates are expected to live in Cork, Ireland and become part of the research environment/network of the university and contribute to its development. The Post-Doctoral Researchers are expected to publish independently and together with the CIPHER team, present research papers at workshops and international conferences, and contribute to popular dissemination of the research results.

In the evaluation of the applications, emphasis will be placed on:

  • the candidate’s scholarly merit, research-related relevance, and innovation
  • demonstrated knowledge of hip hop music and culture in local and global perspective
  • demonstrated experience in ethnographic and/or community-engaged research in one or more cultural, geographic, or linguistic field sites
  • the applicant’s estimated academic and personal ability to carry out the project within the allotted time frame and contribute to the research project CIPHER
  • good co-operative skills, and the ability to successfully join in academic collaboration within and across disciplines.

Post Duration: 2 years

Salary: €37,221 – €44,266 p.a. (IUA Salary Scale)

Project: CIPHER: Hip Hop Interpellation

Key Duties and Responsibilities

This title will apply to newly qualified Post-Doctoral Researchers and will be considered as a period of training as the researcher will have dual goals in terms of the research project and their own career development. The researcher will be mentored by a Principal Investigator (PI). It is expected that a researcher would spend not more than 3 years at the Post Doctoral level, subject to the term of the project and would then be eligible to compete for a Senior Post Doctoral post advertised by the University.

The primary focus of the Postdoctoral Researcher will be research however a particular emphasis during this stage should include;

  • To conduct a specified programme of research under the supervision and direction of a Principal Investigator/Project Leader.
  • To engage in appropriate training and professional development opportunities as required by the Principal Investigator, School or College in order to develop research skills and competencies.
  • To gain experience in grant writing.
  • To engage in the dissemination of the results of the research in which they are engaged, as directed by, with the support of and under the supervision of a Principal Investigator.
  • To become familiar with the publication process.
  • To acquire generic and transferable skills (including project management, business skills and postgraduate mentoring/supervision).
  • To engage in the wider research and scholarly activities of the research group, School or College.
  • To interact closely with postgraduate research students who are studying for a Masters or a PhD and possibly have an agreed role in supporting these students in their day to day research in conjunction with an academic supervisor.
  • To carry out administrative work to support the programme of research.
  • To carry out additional duties as may reasonably be required within the general scope and level of the post.
  • To contribute to costing research grant proposals and assist in the financial management of a research project.


  • PhD in relevant humanities and social science field that offer a solid foundation for research in hip hop studies (e.g. ethno/musicology, ethnic/area studies, cultural studies, anthropology, education, media studies, African American studies, sociology, art history, etc.). The doctoral dissertation must have been submitted for evaluation before the application deadline.
  • Experience in ethnographic and/or community-engaged research.
  • The candidate’s research must be closely engaged with the field of hip hop studies and/or aligned with the CIPHER initiative’s methods, aims, an ethos.
  • Appropriate technical competence and accomplishment.
  • A capability of working within a project team to achieve results.
  • Good communication, organisation and interpersonal skills.
  • A commitment to gaining practical experience working on a research project.
  • Ability to work well within a team.
  • Personal suitability and motivation for the position.
  • Please note that Garda vetting and international police clearance check may form part of the selection process.

For Informal Enquiries on the post candidates should contact:

Name: J. Griffith Rollefson

Title: Professor of Music

Email Address: cipher@ucc.ie

Telephone: +353 (0)21 490 4530


To Apply:

Applicants must submit the following attachments in pdf format, to J. Griffith Rollefson, Professor of Music, cipher@ucc.ie, +353 (0)21 490 4530, on or before the closing date 9 September 2019.

  • Application Letter (max 2 pages) describing the applicant’s qualifications and motivation for the position
  • Curriculum Vitae (complete list of education, positions, teaching experience, administrative experience and other qualifying activities, including a complete list of publications)
  • Project description (max 3 pages). The project description should address the following questions: (1) How will your work synergize with and/or augment CIPHER’s theory and methods? Please use a specific example or examples of hip hop knowledge from the music, lyrics, dance, imagery, or performance from your region(s) of specialization. How do these examples align with or complicate the theory of Hip Hop Interpellation outlined in the CIPHER proposal; (2) How will you draw upon your disciplinary, artistic, and theoretical background and previous research or practical experience when working on the project? How will that background benefit the project?; and (3) what will be the details of your methodological approach, and how will you deal with potential practical and ethical challenges.

Please note that all documents must be in English.

The short-listed candidates will be invited to an interview by Skype or at UCC. Details of interview will be finalised at a later date. It is envisaged that the posts will start between January and May 2020 and run for two years. It is also envisaged that a further 1-2 postdoctoral posts will be advertised in years 2-3 of the five-year CIPHER study.

Official Details: https://www.ucc.ie/en/hr/vacancies/research/full-details-1006048-en.html

Stay Informed: @GlobalCipher and http://www.ucc.ie/cipher (we’ll go live soon!)


“Elements Bristol”: Registration Now Open!

I’m excited to announce that the website for the European Hip-hop Network conference is now live! Go to: https://eurohiphop2019.blogs.bristol.ac.uk/ for information about registration, schedule, places to stay and eat and other bits of information. Note that the different tabs are at the top of the site in black if you are having trouble finding it.

In addition to talks and workshops we will also have a screening of Girl Power about women graffiti artists at the Cube cinema on the Fri and a performance by Kid Be Kid on Saturday evening. There will also be social events and performances on the Thurs and Sat so quite the packed schedule! I look forward to welcoming you to Bristol.

Justin Williams

The Hip Hop Dance Almanac Vol. 1 Out Now!

The Hip Hop Dance Almanac was initiated by Ian Abbott and aims to collect and preserve knowledge about dance culture. It

presents primary accounts of people who are both active and an integral part of the broad diaspora of the Hip Hop dance community in the UK.

Volume 1 features inteviews by the following artists:

  • Botis Seva
  • Ella Mesma
  • Nathan Geering
  • Shanelle Clemenson
  • Gemma Connell
  • Wilkie Branson
  • Duwane Taylor
  • Kendra Horsburgh
  • Victoria Shulungu
  • Kloe Dean and
  • Frankie J.

Volumes 2-5 will be released until 2023.

If you would like to be interviewed or wish to nominate someone else within the Hip Hop dance community please contact Ian Abott via itabbott(@)gmail.com

Call for Membership: TRANS-RURAL HIP-HOP

Hip-Hop Obscura: Revealing Histories Through Ethnomusicology and Cultural Theory

Adam de Paor-Evans, University of Central Lancashire, UK

Developing Social Change and Connectivity
in Rural Areas Through Hip-Hop Culture

In Western and Eastern Europe, areas remote from major cities and/or of a rural nature are commonly perceived by those dwelling in large town, cities and areas of high urban density as of less value economically, but also socio-culturally. This perception is based on the bias that rural/remote dwellers live in a context which is too traditional, old-fashioned or outdated to hold any relevance to the globalised world (i.e. the global network of major/capital cities), that their rituals and cultural practices are also outdated, and that rural folk are disinterested in urban issues.

However, large numbers of rural/remote dwellers draw upon much contemporary culture which is commonly perceived to be solely urban. There is no more distinct portrayal of urban distinction than in global music cultures such as hip-hop, and what is significant to this project is that in rural and regional areas, music cultures like hip-hop- represented as urban in the media- thrive, and feeds off transglobal as well as national and regional music productions. Furthermore, in many cases these areas develop their own praxes, relating directly to their cultural-geographic context locally, regionally, nationally and internationally. Here, the music is sympathetic to its urban counterparts but also develops through processes distinct to the rural/regional realms.

It is the intention of this project to initiate significant social change in attitudes held by city-dwellers towards rural/regional people. Additionally, the project will initiate understanding and increased visibility of rural/regional hip-hop culture firstly in Western and Eastern Europe and then globally, and concurrently facilitate the development of a mutual understanding between city and country within the context of hip-hop. This mutual understanding will form the basis for a progressive trans-urban and trans-rural approach to music processes and production which will speak to the changing needs of the global community.

Who and Where?
We are seeking 14 academics with an interest in rural/remote European hip-hop culture.

When and What?
Phase One of the project will start with a meeting in Preston, UK scheduled for early July 2019 entitled: Social Change and Hip-Hop Culture: Towards and Rural-Urban Mutual Understanding where members will be invited to informally discuss ideas surrounding rural/remote hip-hop. Phases Two and Three will take place between 2019 and 2021.

Why and How?
This project is significant as the social problem it will address is non-obvious, and largely invisible, yet it affects rural and regional areas in many countries across the globe. Through this new Project Membership, publications, reading rooms and discussion groups, it is believed that real social change can be fostered developing a mutual understanding between rural/remote and urban/city communities.

Further Information and Contact
If this project is of interest to you, please email Adam de Paor-Evans, University of Central Lancashire, UK.

Call for Book Chapters: Hip-Hop Archives: The Politics and Poetics of Knowledge Production

Hip-Hop Archives: The Politics and Poetics of Knowledge Production
Edited by Mark V. Campbell (Ryerson University)
Murray Forman (Northeastern University)

As editors of this book, we seek contributions that critically address hip-hop archives (both digital and physical) and the processes of archivization, encompassing theoretical and analytical perspectives and exploring globally dispersed cases. We particularly welcome contributions from individuals who are in some way actively engaged in the development or operation of hip-hop archives in any medium and at any stage or scale, whether independent collections or institutionally supported enterprises. We also value the various ways in which hip-hop culture is engaged from historical and material perspectives, allowing for examination of the archive as a historical apparatus as well as a contemporary physical assemblage of artifacts.

This book focuses on the culture and politics involved in building, maintaining, and researching hip-hop archives. It addresses practical aspects, including methods of accumulation, curation, preservation, and digitization and critically analyzes institutional power, community engagement, urban economics, public access, and the ideological implications associated with hip-hop culture’s enduring tensions with dominant social values.

Roughly forty-five years since hip-hop culture emerged, a broad and sizeable array of material artifacts, recorded materials, and various cultural ephemera has accumulated. Pioneering artists, life-long fans, industry mavens, and keen collectors have amassed collections of artifacts that are essential to the definition of localized hip-hop scenes, providing crucial insights onto the people, places, aesthetics and other often-obscure details that trace the arc of cultural development. Included in these collections are photographs, event flyers and posters, recordings (in multiple configurations), video materials, magazines, clothing and other stylistic signifiers, personal papers and notebooks, and oral history recordings. These materials, and their archival existence, have thus far received only scant scholarly attention within a sustained critical framework and, thus, this book seeks to enhance an understanding of hip-hip culture more widely by expanding our knowledge and understanding about the emergent role of hip-hop archives.

Archives are generally a response to a need to actively preserve a culture, allowing for present and future citizens to access and interpret the evolution of a people’s innovations and endeavors. Archives encompass facets of heritage and legacy, merging the temporal past with present and future implications. They are repositories of cultural histories and, as such, they are also sites for the amplification of narratives and other representational forms that, in their diversity, disseminate symbolic values and meanings. At the current cultural moment, digitization also amplifies the ubiquity and importance of archival processes in relation to hip-hop’s ongoing vitality. The archiving of hip-hop culture consequently offers a powerful initiative that simultaneously celebrates the achievements of cultural forebears while critically engaging with ideologies, social and political issues, economic forces, and artistic creativity, repositioning the once-marginal practices and attitude associated with hip-hop at the center of larger debates about the character of our urban environments and cultural priorities.

The book aims to present rigorous scholarly research that critically and theoretically examines hip-hop’s archival turn, including interrogating the distinctions between small, independent archives and collections as well as those that feature larger holdings and that are institutionally located in public and university libraries or national spaces such as the U.S. Smithsonian Institute. Further emphasis will be placed on the ways in which hip-hop archives mobilize community involvement, facilitating engagements that take various shapes and have diverse implications for how local hip-hop scenes envision themselves and their relationship to the wider hip-hop culture.

Of this latter point, the book strongly advocates for a global perspective. We invite chapters with a pronounced international foundation, seeking to draw on the insights and archival practices enacted in multiple national contexts, exploring the constraining and enabling factors that arise in dispersed locales.

Deadline for Proposals: April 1st, 2019 (250 words max.)
Proposals can be submitted in word.doc format to:
Mark V. Campbell or Murray Forman

Conference: Hip-Hop in the Golden Age, 16-17 February 2019, Indiana University

In honor of black history month and in celebration of the 30th anniversary of De La Soul’s groundbreaking album 3 Feet High and Rising, the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music  with support from the the IU Department of African American and African Diaspora Studies  will present an interdisciplinary conference, entitled “Hip-Hop in the Golden Age.” Record producer and recording artist Prince Paul (Paul Huston) has been announced as the keynote speaker.

Hip-hop’s golden age (ca. 1988–95 in the US) was a time of unprecedented creativity. Having crossed over into mainstream culture but not yet bound by the restrictions of major labels, rappers and producers explored seemingly limitless avenues of beat production, flow, and lyrical topics. This conference will explore any and all aspects of the golden age of hip-hop, including the historical circumstances that gave rise to it, and its impact on later artists: thus, paper presentations need not deal explicitly with hip-hop produced during that time. We envision this as an interdisciplinary conference, and welcome proposals from scholars in a variety of different disciplines, including those outside music.

For those unable to attend the conference in person, all papers and events will be streamed live at https://music.indiana.edu/iumusiclive/ and the organizers will have a Twitter hashtag for those who wish to ask questions or participate remotely.

Read more on the program, registration, and conference committee.

CIPHER: HipHop Studies Goes Global

Congratulations to Griffith Rollefson, lecturer in the Department of Music at the University College Cork and member of the European HipHop Studies Network, and his team for securing a €2m research grant from the European Research Council!

The grant was awarded for the project CIPHER: Hip Hop Interpellation. CIPHER is an acronym for Le Conseil International pour Hip Hop et Recherche – The International Council for Hip Hop Studies. Prof. Rollefson and a team of researchers will investigate how and why hip-hop as a highly localized African American music has translated so easily to far-flung communities and contexts around the globe. The award will fund a five-year project to study hip-hop on six continents.

Over the next five years, the Council will help steer the strategic vision and promotion of the project as well as taking part in conferences, publications, and community-engaged work. A 12-person global advisory council has been selected to steer the strategic vision of the world’s first global study of hip-hop music and culture. The CIPHER Advisory Board is made up of academics from around the world with specializations in hip-hop ranging from the USA, UK, France, and Germany to Brazil, Jamaica, Senegal, South Africa, Japan, Aotearoa/New Zealand, the Philippines, and beyond.

Griffith Rollefson (jg.rollefson@ucc.ie) is the author of the first monograph on European hip-hop, titled Flip the Script: European Hip Hop and the Politics of Postcoloniality. The seeds for the CIPHER initiative can be found in the conclusion to that 2017 book – as can Prof. Rollefson’s love of Irish hip-hop.

Read more about CIPHER:

UCC Press Release

CIPHER website

CIPHER on Twitter: @GlobalCipher

Griffith Rollefson on Twitter: @cybergriff