Online writings and discussions (150 Points)
In order to advance our discussions, to push reflection and dialogue, and to otherwise foster engagement, this class will use our course blog space to expand upon course issues. Each person will need to participate in 3 conversations, providing a response to question (out of 35 points) and comments on classmates’ posts (out of 15 points). These will take place on the court blog
Every two weeks, I will post a different question. It will be your responsibility to respond to the question at hand and also respond to at least one peer comment. The key to success here is both self-reflection and engagement with course materials. The questions will, thus, connect to course materials but also push you to think about your own experiences. Below you will see examples of types of questions you may find throughout the course:
- Agree/Disagree (and why): The history of hip hop is a multiracial history
- Why is hip-hop potentially the most lethal (and feared) source of political opposition? Is hip-hop the most viable instrument of the modern civil rights struggle
- Has the commercialization of hip-hop eliminated any possibility of its usefulness within a struggle for political power or social justice?
- Agree/Disagree (and why): “Hip Hop is America. Its only real crime is being so much so. It boils ‘mainstream standards and practices down to their essences, then turns up the flame. Violence, materialism, misogyny, homophobia, racialized agony, adolescent views of sex and sexuality . . . . These are the common, bankable, all-American obsessions. They’re the underbelly items that have always defined this country’s real, daily-life culture. What that means is the top-of-the-line hip-hop and its true artists (be they ‘mainstream’ or ‘underground’) soar on the same terms that America’s real artists – and everyday folk – have always soared: by being un-America, by flying in the face of the fucked up values and ideals that are wired and corroded in this country’s genetic code even as no-lip lip-service is given to notions of equality, justice, and fairness” (Ernest Hardy)
- Agree/Disagree (and why): “Hip hop has no morals, no conscience and ecological concern for the scavenged earth or the scavenged American minds wrecked in its pursuit of new markets” (Tate)