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Title: Break and Flow: Hip-Hop Poetics in Brazil, Cuba, and Haiti
Authors: Hankin, Charlie
Advisors: PriceCarvalho, RachelBruno LM
Contributors: Spanish and Portuguese Languages and Cultures Department
Keywords: African diaspora
sound studies
Subjects: Comparative literature
Latin American studies
Issue Date: 2021
Publisher: Princeton, NJ : Princeton University
Abstract: “Break and Flow: Hip-Hop Poetics in Brazil, Cuba, and Haiti” introduces an archive I have built of hundreds of rap songs to analyze hip-hop as a source for unprecedented “information trafficking,” as Brazilian rappers put it. Ubiquitous in Global South cities, hip-hop has received recent scholarly attention as an expression of the African diaspora. Few studies, however, explore its implications as a community writing project. Drawing on two years total of ethnographic fieldwork, formal analysis, and critical theory, I argue that hip-hop functions as a resource for performing transnational poetic citizenship around colonial legacies of place, writing, and time. Part one, “World Hip-Hop: Uprooting and Marginality,” treats rap as a history- and place-making project. I argue that the decolonial histories that circulate about and through hip-hop point to cosmopolitan notions of urban marginality that eschew resurgent nationalisms. Part two, “Writing: Literacy and Violence,” analyzes how artists establish new poetic genealogies and redefine rap as a writing project. Engaging with scholarship on the politics of literacy, I demonstrate the way rap disavows the colonial violence of letters and urbanization. Part three, “Deixis: Raplove and Yearning,” considers rap’s political implications. First, I explore antecedents in Afro-Caribbean poetic and religious practices and European ars poetica for the recursive gesture I call raplove (rapping about rap). Finally, I turn to black feminist and market yearnings—for better worlds and material earnings. At the intersection of sound studies and Afro-diasporic poetics, “Break and Flow” aims to shed light on how knowledge is produced and distributed in the Global South by means of new media to refine our understanding of poetry and popular music at the turn of the millennium.
Alternate format: The Mudd Manuscript Library retains one bound copy of each dissertation. Search for these copies in the library's main catalog:
Type of Material: Academic dissertations (Ph.D.)
Language: en
Appears in Collections:Spanish and Portuguese Languages and Cultures

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