Syllabus: Hip Hop Theater.

Author:Branner, Djola

This course examines the influence of Hip Hop music, dance and visual art on the content and character of contemporary American drama. Primary considerations are identifying this "new" aesthetic, its origins and major players, and exploring the convergence of art, culture, politics and community. We will analyze the works of such theatre artists as Will Power, Renita Martin, Rennie Harris, Kamilah Forbes, Marc Bamuthi Joseph and Universes. We will take a close look at the cultural, social, and political conditions in place at the time of Hip Hop's genesis and consider the political nature of Hip Hop as culture and how and when Its political roots are acknowledged by contemporary artists

Course Curriculum:

Chang, Jeff. Can't Stop, Won't Stop: A History of the Hip Hop Generation

Euell, Kim. Plays from the Boombox Galaxy

Week 1

Introductions; Review of Syllabus; What is Hip Hop?

1st Assignment: Each student will bring In something that exemplifies Hip Hop. This could be aural, visual, performative; spoken or written. Limit the presentation to 5 minutes.

Week 2

Share 1st Assignment, Group 1.

Share 1st Assignment, Group 2.

Week 3

Lecture/Discussion--Can't Stop, Won't Stop by Jeff Chang, Chapter 1

Film excerpt: Style Wars

Week 4

Lecture/Discussion--Can't Stop, Won't Stop, Chapters 9 & 10

In-Class Response #1: Last Poets & Gil Scott Heron

Lecture/Discussion--Can't Stop, Won't Stop, Chapter 11

1st Critical Response Due.

Week 5

In-Class Response: "a/coltrane/poem" by Sonia Sanchez and "Black Art" by

Amiri Baraka; Film Excerpt: Style Wars

Lecture/Discussion--for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf by Ntozake Shange (electronic copy)

Week 6

Lecture/Discussion--Can't Stop, Won't Stop, Chapters 18 & 19

"Can You Rock It Like This" by Holly Bass in The Fire This Time, edited by Vivien Labaton and Dawn Lundy Martin (electronic copy)

Peer Review Comments Due

Week 7

Goddess City by Abiola Abrams & Antoy Grant in Say Word: Voices from

Hip Hop Theater, edited by Daniel Banks (electronic copy)

2nd Critical Response: White Chocolate for My Father by Laurie Carlos

Week 8

Spring Break

Week 9

Lecture/Discussion: What is Hip Hop Theater?

"Shango's Mixtape", Introduction to Plays from the Boombox Galaxy by Kim Euell

In Case You Forget by Ben Snyder (electronic copy); group one presents

1st Critical Response, second draft due

Week 10

"Minstrel Reprise: Hip Hop and the Evolution of the Black Image in American Popular Culture" by Jeffrey...

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