Hip Hop History: Virtual Book Poster Exhibit

In Spring 2021, students in Hip Hop History and Culture gathered in virtual space and physical space to present posters highlighting the work and arguments of scholars of hip hop. Here are some of their virtual creations, engaging with several works via thinglink, a virtual, interactive presentation platform. Embedded on these visualizations are the required elements of the poster assignment, as detailed below.

The Assignment

This course aims to have students make acts of scholarship and art in public. In this assignment, we will be highlighting central works in the field of hip hop history to the Fitchburg State community and beyond. 

Your task: select a book* (not an article) [list provided], or propose another. To find these, go to the library’s website and search — you will likely find an e-book version.

Read it, and create a virtual (using ThingLink) AND/OR physical poster for display. You also have the option of researching a book related to the contexts in which hip hop developed, including but not limited to immigration to New York City and other regions, political economy and policy, the African diaspora and culture, Latinx culture, history of policing and communities, or urban history.

There is a structure for this as well, with two paragraphs that have specific controlling ideas and functions, as noted below. These paragraphs seem like they are simple to write, but they are deceptively simple. You need to create an effective summary and characterize the argument/contribution of the work of scholarship, connecting it to the conversations we have in class about hip hop historiography.

Your poster should:

  • Have a paragraph that highlights the subject of the book with a summary in your own words. (1 paragraph)
  • Have a paragraph that explains the key argument(s) and contribution to knowledge of and interpretations of hip hop history. (1 paragraph)
  • Highlights two quotes from the book that stand out
  • Provide three sources with an explanation of how the book’s interpretation treats them (songs, images, music videos, performances, historical events related to hip hop).

The Results

For STUDENTS: Upvote (ignore the downvote option) your three favorite submissions and submit the form at the bottom of the page.

Joe Austin, Taking the Train: How Graffiti Art Became an Urban Crisis in New York City (Columbia University Press, 2002)

Regina Bradley, Chronicling Stankonia: The Rise of the Hip-Hop South (UNC Press, 2021)

Kathy Iandoli, God Save the Queens: The Essential History of Women in Hip Hop (Harper Collins, 2020)

Cheryl L. Keyes, Rap Music and Street Consciousness (University of Illinois Press, 2004)

Marcus J. Moore, The Butterfly Effect: How Kendrick Lamar Ignited the Soul of Black America (Atria Books, 2020)

(note: hitting play will launch a sound over the image)

Imani Perry, Prophets of the Hood: Politics and Poetics in Hip Hop (Duke University Press, 2004)

Eithne Quinn, Nuthin’ but a “G” Thang: The Culture and Commerce of Gangsta Rap (Columbia University Press, 2004)

The RZA, The Tao of Wu, (Penguin, 2009)

Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, Race for Profit: How Banks and the Real Estate Industry Undermined Black Homeownership (UNC Press, 2019)

Exploring Tupac’s Poetry through Articles

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