Renowned hip hop scholar Tricia Rose launches spring semester at Half Year Program

January 14, 2009

Tricia Rose Ph.D., a professor of Africana Studies at Brown University, was the keynote speaker Jan. 13 during a daylong series of events that engaged the Wheelock community with issues of culture, education, diversity, gender, and media.

Rose’s first book, “Black Noise: Rap Music and Black Culture in Contemporary America” broke new ground in 1994 with its study of the emergence of hip hop culture. It is considered a foundational text for the study of hip hop, one that has defined what has eventually become a serious field of study.

Her newest work, “The Hip Hop Wars: What We Talk About When We Talk About Hip Hop--and Why it Matters” explores the evolution of hip hop culture and examines the rhetoric on each side of the public debate about hip hop.

Rose’s lecture was followed by panel and roundtable discussions.

After a World’s Fair luncheon, students, faculty, and staff resumed the hip hop dialogue with a screening of the film Beyond Beats and Rhymes at the newly-opened Campus Center and Student Residence. The film explores the conflicting attitudes toward hip hop in popular culture: accusations of glorifying violence, misogyny, and homophobia on one hand, and praise for its artistry and ability to simply “tell it like it is” on the other.

The film’s director, Byron Hurt, facilitated the screening and the following discussion.

An evening showcase of performances by Wheelock students and other artists from the community capped off the program.

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