Bridging the Gaps: Hip-Hop in the Age of Mass Incarceration and Deportation
February 20-21, 2014
California State University, Northridge
Call for Panels, Performances and Workshops
Abstracts due by January 20, 2014
In 2011, the Hip-Hop Think Tank (HHTT) at California State University, Northridge (CSUN) organized the First Academic Hip-Hop Conference at CSUN. Titled, “L.A. Hip-Hop Beyond Gangster Rap,” the conference provided a space for influential members of the Hip-Hop community to share their experiences and help foster a deeper understanding of Hip-Hop as a tool to advocate for social justice.
On the first day of the conference, we hosted a Hip-Hop film festival, where we featured two documentaries that explored L.A. Hip-Hop by the founder of the Kaos Network and legendary filmmaker, Ben Caldwell. On the second day, we held workshops that explored the four elements of Hip-Hop: MCing, DJing, breaking and graffiti writing. Concurrent with these workshops, there were academic panel discussions on a wide array of topics ranging from Gender in Hip-Hop to an in-depth analysis of the role of Hip-Hop in social justice movements in L.A. and across the globe. We concluded the two-day conference with a showcase featuring L.A. based Hip-Hop artists Blu, Thurz, Yo-Yo, Nola Darling and other performers.
We are currently seeking panels, workshops, and performances for our second conference titled, “Bridging the Gaps: Hip-Hop in the Age of Mass Incarceration and Deportation,” scheduled Thursday and Friday, February 20-21, 2014 at California State University, Northridge. We intend to build upon the previous conference by exploring the various ways the Hip-Hop generation has responded to the rise of the prison industrial complex, anti-immigration legislation, and the criminalization of communities of color. Inspired by the 2010 TRiGGRing Change conference at Hampshire College, the Students Against Mass Incarceration (SAMI) conference at Howard University in 2013, as well as the on-going undocumented and immigrant student activism and advocacy of Dreams to be Heard here at CSUN, our purpose for the conference is to highlight the social injustice of the growing carceral and surveillance state.
While numerous Hip-Hop artists have criticized police brutality, mass incarceration, and the prison industrial complex, there is also a growing list of rappers who have addressed the immigration debate. For example, after Arizona passed SB 1070 in 2010, rapper Talib Kweli released a track entitled “Papers Please,” condemning the anti-immigrant legislation. Also, Public Enemy recently released a song called “Ice Breaker” in 2012, which decried the raids by Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Moreover, there are Latina/o Hip-Hop artists, such as Rebel Diaz, Immortal Technique, and others who not only challenge anti-immigrant discourse in their music and performances, but also speak out against racial profiling and mass incarceration.
By illustrating the connections between “Stop and Frisk” in New York City, gang injunctions in Los Angeles, and the “Papers Please” provisions in Arizona, South Carolina and elsewhere, the conference will challenge the denial of human rights experienced by each of these diverse communities, utilizing Hip-Hop as our main language.
We are currently accepting proposals for papers, panels, workshops, graffiti art exhibitions, and installations from individuals, groups, and community organizations for participation in the upcoming Hip-Hop Think Tank conference.
This year’s conference theme is “Bridging the Gaps: Hip-Hop in the Age of Mass Incarceration and Deportation.” Panel/workshop subjects may include, but are not limited to: Hip-Hop in relationship to Mass Incarceration; Mass Deportation; the War on Drugs; School-to-Prison Pipelines; the Prison Industrial Complex; Political Prisoners; “Know Your Rights”; Immigrant Experiences; Intersectionality; Gender (In)Equality (Patriarchy); LGBTQ movements; Transnationalism; Diaspora; Alternatives to Capitalism, etc.
Along with your name, institutional/organizational affiliation, contact information and presentation title, please send a 150-300 word abstract for a panel (one for the panel subject and one for each panelist), and/or workshop (details below), individual paper, art exhibition, or performance by Monday, January 20, 2014 to email@example.com.
You will be notified of your acceptance by January 27, 2014. You should include any A/V equipment needs. Individual paper presentations should be no longer than 20 minutes per panelist and workshops should not exceed an hour and fifteen minutes. Email us any questions you may have.