JGU American Studies News
22.10.2015: New American Studies Website Officially Launched This Week
The Transnational American Studies Institute is happy to announce the official launch of the new website for American Studies at Mainz. Thank you to all who have contributed to building the pages!
Please note that from now on all information regarding faculty and staff, study programs, and research in American Studies at Mainz will be made available only on http://www.obama-institute.com.
Organized by JProf. Dr. Clemens Spahr
How should we periodize American culture and its relationship to the socioeconomic conditions of the United States in the twenty-first century? Has American culture entered a new phase of cultural production? Has globalization changed the conditions of cultural production? Given Fredric Jameson's adage that we "cannot not periodize," the three-day conference will discuss contemporary American film, TV series, and literature, and relate them to the contemporary historical moment in order to find categories capable of taking in the cultural phenomena taking shape right now.
Keynote speakers are Nicholas Brown (University of Illinois, Chicago) and Phillip Wegner (University of Florida).
Shades of Paradise: Craig Santos Perez's Transpacific Voyages
Tuesday, July 21, 4-6 pm, P7
John Carlos Rowe is USC Associates’ Professor of the Humanities and Professor of English and American Studies and Ethnicity at the University of Southern California, where he has served as Chair of the Department of American Studies and Ethnicity. He is the author of nine books, more than 150 essays and reviews, and editor or co-editor of ten books, including: Literary Culture and U.S. Imperialism: From the Revolution to World War II (2000), A Concise Companion to American Studies (2010), Afterlives of Modernism: Liberalism, Transnationalism, and Political Critique (2011), and The Cultural Politics of the New American Studies (2012).
Wednesday, July 15, 10-12 am, P1
Barbara Hill-Moore is Professor of Voice in Meadows School of the Arts at Southern Methodist University since 1974. As a soprano, she has performed with many orchestras and in many operas throughout the United States and Europe. Professor Hill Moore is going to visit the Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz to give a lecture entitled "True to My Own Voice; Challenges, Choices, Chances, ... and Lots of Luck," in which she will talk about her life as an opera singer.FlyerFor further information, visit her homepage.
Tuesday, June 2, 6-8pm, P 108
Through a discussion of the struggles of the Pointe-au-Chien and the Isle de Jean Charles Band of Biloxi-Chitmacha Confederation of Muskogees (IJC) to gain federal recognition, this presentation explores how the policies and organization of archives work in tandem with the extensive and complicated requirements for federal recognition to create nearly insurmountable barriers for tribal communities. Because archives are commonly figured as neutral storehouses of material from the past, their direct role in constituting and controlling the information of the past has been hidden in the margins of their strict procedures. For the Pointe-au-Chien and IJC, the effects of these procedures and the power of their inherent assumptions threaten their continued existence as tribal communities. With this analysis, this presentation makes an intervention within the field of Rhetorical Studies by calling for archives to be understood as objects of analysis that are rhetorically constructed through their material production.
25.06.-27.06.2015: International Symposium"Biopolitics – Geopolitics – Sovereignty – Life: Settler Colonialisms and Indigenous Presences in North America"Organizers: Dr. René Dietrich (Mainz), Prof. Dr. Kerstin Knopf (Bremen)Theories of biopolitics and geopolitics have developed into an integral instrument to interrogate settler colonialisms and Indigenous presences in North America. This symposium therefore takes issue with biopolitics and geopolitics in the settler nation-states of U.S. and Canada, executed through continuing techniques of dispossession and surveillance of Indigenous peoples, as well as with corresponding forms of sovereignty, agency, and life exercised in the matrix of biopower. Putting forth that life is situated at a crucial junction between bio- and geopolitics, it wants to advance recent work by exploring and theorizing the different epistemologies and politics of life in settler and Indigenous contexts in relation to bio- and geopolitical practices. We thus invite scholars of various disciplines engaged in these issues to discuss ‘life’ as a category for political analysis and critique in settler-Indigenous relations, in evolving formations of sovereignty and agency, and in the struggle for decolonization.
The prospective Obama Institute for Transnational American Studies is pleased to invite you to the special event "Black Poetics & Black History Day." As a part of this event, Professor Ousmane Power Greene will give a lecture entitled "King Cotton's Exiles: Slavery, Abolition, and the Making of an African American Diaspora." In addition to this, Professor Shauna M. Kirlew will give a lecture on "Black Poetics in the 21st Century." Furthermore, the Obama Institute for Transnational American Studies is pleased to welcome Frank X Walker (Kentucky Poet Laureate, 2014 NAACP Image Award Winner) who will seclude the event with a poetry reading (click here for flyer).Further information can be downloaded here.
Tuesday, June 2, 6-8pm, P 108"Material Culture Studies: Institutional Landscapes and How to Read an Object."This workshop invites participants to try their hand at interpreting historical artifacts using different approaches from material culture studies. After a lecture addressing Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper” and Chopin’s “A Pair of Silk Stockings,” participants will have the opportunity to create their own object lesson. The workshop will provide guidance on how to “read” objects through the lenses of different disciplinary perspectives, such as art history, semiology, anthropology, and social history. The workshop will also offer a general introduction to various research and degree-granting units at the University of Delaware and affiliated institutions that have made material culture studies their focus. Special attention will be given to the way in which material culture studies affect curricular decisions, the form and content of courses, academic degrees and alternative academic career paths, as well as the logistics of implementing material culture studies in departments at or programs ranging from History and English Studies to Art and Sociology.
As part of the seminar "Black Poetry and Poetics in the Twenty-First Century" conducted by Professor Shauna M. Kirlew and Professor Hornung, Frank X Walker will visit the University of Mainz in June and read from his book Turn Me Loose: The Unghosting of Medgar Evers.Frank X Walker is Kentucky Poet Laureate and the 2014 NAACP Image Award Winner.The readings will take place on Tuesday, 16.06.2015, 10.15-11.45, in P103 and on Friday, 19.06.2015, 16.15-17.45 in P6.
Photo by Rachel Eliza Griffiths
As part of the ITAS event "Black Poetics & Black History Day," Professor Shauna M. Kirlew will be giving a lecture on the topic "Black Poetics in the 21st Century." Professor Kirlew is currently teaching an eponymously entitled seminar together with Professor Hornung at the University of Mainz.
The lecture will take place on Wednesday, June 17, 2.15-3.45 pm, in Senatssaal, NatFak.Further Information can be downloaded here.
17.06.2015: Lecture of Ousmane Power Greene
As part of the ITAS event "Black Poetics & Black History Day," Professor Ousmane Power Greene will give a lecture on "King Cotton's Exiles: Slavery, Abolition, and the Making of an African American Diaspora."
The lecture will take place on Wednesday, June 17, 10.15-11.45 am, in P1.
Greg Robinson is Professor of History at the Université du Québec À Montréal, Canada and Obama Fellow. He is visiting the University of Mainz in May and will give several lectures dealing with a variety of topics.
A preliminary program can be downloaded here. Further information about Greg Robinson can be found on his homepage.
The future Obama Institute for Transnational American Studies is sponsoring an annual dissertation prize in the amount of €1000 for outstanding Ph.D. Work in the field of transnational American Studies. Dissertations completed at German and foreign universities, defended within the last two years, in transnational American Studies and related fields are eligible for submission.Further information, including a detailed list of submission requirements, can be found here.
The Society of Early Americanists (SEA) has launched an initiative to collect and distribute to its members annual abstracst of scholarly publications on early American studies from outside the U.S. This effort is aimed at fostering awareness in the United States of early American scholarship taking place abroad, providing a basis for international communications and collaborations. For the first project year, 2015, Oliver Scheiding, Chair of American Studies at JGU, will be overseeing the collection of abstracts of early Americanist scholarship published in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland.Additional Information (SEA Newsletter, PDF)
Franziska Schmid, doctoral candidate at ITAS Mainz, is the recipient of the Ralph Waldo Emerson Fellowship at Houghton Library, Harvard University, for the year 2016. The fellowship carries with it a stipend of $3600 and access to Houghton Library’s extensive holdings of primary archival material. Ms. Schmid’s dissertation project “Education and Learning in the Age of American Transcendentalism” (Advisor: JP Dr. habil. Clemens Spahr) is concerned with the educational theory and practices in American transcendentalism and is supported by a fellowship of the Stipendienstiftung Rheinland-Pfalz.
The 2014/2015 Research Society for American Periodicals/EBSCOhost Book Prize for the best academic monograph on the history of American periodicals has been awarded to The Professionalization of the American Magazine: Periodicals, Biography, and Nationalism in the Early Republic (Paderborn: Schöningh, 2013), by Dr. Tim Lanzendörfer of ITAS. The biannual prize is awarded by a committee of periodical scholars and carries with a stipend for travel to the award ceremony at the 2015 annual conference of the American Literature Association in Boston.
Thursday, 12.02.2014, 12.15-13.45, Room 00 151, Audi Max"Eastern Orthodoxy in the United States."Contrary to the traditional narrative of Christianity spreading through the United States brought by European immigrants and spreading from East to west, the story of Eastern Orthodoxy in America begins in the West, with the successful Russian Orthodoxy mission among native Alaskans in the 18th century. For the past century, the Orthodox remain fairly entrenched in different ethnic sub-groups (“Greek Orthodoxy,” “Russian Orthodoxy,” etc.), and tend to be regarded as an exotic form of Christianity–if known at all– to the average American. Nevertheless, there has been a steady flow of converts to the Orthodox Church from other Christian confessions in the US, as some Americans find its rootedness in tradition and resistance to change appealing.Flyer (PDF)
Tuesday, 27.01.2015, 16.15-17.45, Room SB II 01-531
Lecture:"Translation and the Relocation of Global Cultures"Flyer
Thursday, 11.12.2014, 12.15-13.15, Room 00 151, Audi MaxThe Institute for Transnational American Studies (ITAS) and IANAS host this year's Dietz Memorial lecture. The lecture is given by Prof. Gerd Hurm working for the Center for American Studies at the University of Trier. His lecture is entitled "Transnational American Studies: Rethinking Edward Steichen's Epochal Photography Exhibition 'The Family of Man'."The flyer of the lecture can be downloaded here.
Thursday, 04.12.2014, 12.15-13.45, Room 00 161, Audi Max"The Heart Mountain Relocation Center."
Between 1942 and 1945 more than 10,000 Japanese and Japanese Americans were confined in the Heart Montain Relocation Center in north central Wyoming, the result of Executive Order 9066, authorizing the establishment of military zones along the west coast from which citizens could be excluded for any reason. This Order was applied only to those who wore the face of the Asian enemy; more than 11,000 people, two-thirds of them American citizens, were thus relocated in one of the most egregious (but, at that time, legal) abrogations of civil liberties in U.S. history. Their Wyoming settlement, the third largest town in the state, consisted of more than 450 barracks which, at the end of the war, became the building blocks for homesteading schemes in the area. Barrack fragments still dot this transformed landscape: homes, at different times, to two very different populations of settlers. This talk looks at the history of Heart Mountain, traces the barracks as they become part of a familiar, Western landscape, and discusses the importance of these structures in the interpretation of this nationally significant site.
Fakultätssaal, Philosophicum (Jakob-Welder Weg 18)Religion has played a pivotal role in the development of information and print cultures in the United States from the colonial period to the present. Print matter in form of books, pamphlets, tracts, newsletters, newspapers, and magazines disseminated different positions and thus contributed to the formation of communities as well as to the demarcation between competing worldviews. While current scholarship focuses on both, the use of public media by religious actors and the portrayal of religion in public media, relatively little attention has been paid to the religious press itself. This conference explores the relationship between religion, the press, and print culture across a wide disciplinary spectrum. It seeks to open new perspectives on religious print matter in the context of colonialism, nationalism, and globalization.The conference is part of the project “Pluralism, Boundary-Making, and Community-Building in North-American Religious Periodicals,” part of the DFG research Group 1939 Un/doing Differences.The conference program can be downloaded here.For more information, please visit the conference homepage:www.religiouspressconference.uni-mainz.de
October 16, 2014, 3 p.m.
Jakob-Welder-Weg 9 (Rechtswissenschaften), Lecture Hall RW 1
Dr. Auma Obama will be opening the conference on "Obama and Transnational American Studies" with her lecture entitled "You Are Your Future."
The poster of the lecture can be downloaded here.
For more information, please visit the conference homepage.
International Conference on "Obama and Transnational American Studies"
October 16 – 19, 2014
The American Studies division is organizing an international conference on "Obama and Transnational American Studies" from October 16 to 19, 2014. At this conference we would like to look at the concept of Transnational American Studies in light of changes brought about during the Obama presidency from the perspective of the areas of concentration in Mainz American Studies: Early American Studies, Comparative Indigenous Studies, and Transcultural Life Writing. Besides referring to the president, the name of Obama also refers to Michelle Obama and her "Let's Move Campaign" as well as African and Asian siblings, such as Auma Obama and Mark Ndesandjo, and their respective areas of expertise.
A preliminary program of the conference can be downloaded here.
For more informartion, please visit the conference homepage.
In order to get a first impression of how Academic Conferences and Symposiums work, students of the American Studies Graduate Program got introduced into the writing of papers for panels, the way to present those papers, and the course of events at academic conferences by Ian Afflerbach. Now, they will present short papers written by them in a mock conference to practice. Visitors are welcome and appreciated.Flyer (PDF)
Conference at Mainz University, November 19-22
Conference HomepageKeynote Speakers: David A. Copeland (Elon University, NC), David Paul Nord (Indiana University,Bloomington, IN), Gisela Mettele (Universität Jena), Candy Gunther Brown (Indiana University, Bloomington, IN)Religion has played a pivotal role in the development of information and print cultures. However, despite the recent rediscovery of religion, relatively few academic studies have focused on religious media themselves. With this conference, we want to address this shortcoming by bringing together scholars working on topics dealing with the religious press and print culture throughout US history. Print matter in form of books, pamphlets, tracts, newsletters, newspapers, and magazines disseminate different positions and thus contribute to the formation of communities as well as to the demarcation between competing worldviews. Print journalism, as a powerful form of communication, has been an influential Instrument in defining news, shaping opinions, and unifying and dividing people. The conference will explore how the study of the religious press can contribute to our understanding of both religions and religious actors, as well as the shaping of culture, politics, and society.We invite scholars working on topics relating to religion, the press, and print culture from across the disciplinary spectrum and at all stages of their careers. The conference is situated within the framework of a project on "Early American Religious Periodicals" led by Professor Oliver Scheiding. It is part of the research project "Un/Doing Differences" funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG).
Postgraduate ForumConference at Mainz University, October 10-12We are happy to announce that the annual young scholars’ conference of the German Association for American Studies, the Postgraduate Forum (PGF), will take place in Mainz this fall, from October 10 to 12, 2014. The conference will at the same time celebrate the PGF's 25th anniversary! This will be a great opportunity for young scholars working in the field of American Studies who have completed their MA (or equivalent) to meet their peers and/or present their current research projects. Please read the Call for Papers on the PGF Mainz website: http://www.blogs.uni-mainz.de/Pgf2014/
Registration is now open and can be accessed through the website where all additional information will be posted soon."
“To End Violence against Children: An International Human Rights Imperative”
Wednesday, June 25, 2014, 6:15 pm, Georg Forster Gebäude, Room 02-701
Prof. Gertrud Lenzer is professor of sociology at Brooklyn College, The City University of New York, and the director of the Children’s Studies Program.
"The Emerging Church Movement and the Quest for a New Evangelical Identity" (German)
Tuesday, June 24, 2014, 2-4p.m., Alte Mensa, Hörsaal 11
Sebastian Schüler is Juniorprofessor of religious studies at the University of Leipzig and the author of Religion, Kognition, Evolution: Eine religionswissenschaftliche Auseinandersetzung mit der Cognitive Science of Religion. He has looked at global phenomena like evangelical prayer-rooms and prayer chains and the so-called “emerging church movement.” Highlighting the American stations and connections of the movement he will talk about the “emerging church” and evangelical identity-work.
"My Life as a Humanist: Reading Freud" - VORTRAG ENTFÄLLT!
Tuesday, June 24, 2014, at 6:15 pm, Fakultätssaal
Prof. Steven Marcus is Professor Emeritus in the Humanities at Columbia University, New York, USA, and holds an honorary degree awarded by Johannes Gutenberg University, Mainz. Everybody is welcome!
"Crazy Brave:Intersections of Poetry and Life Writing in Joy Harjo’s Work."
Wednesday, June 18, 4-6 pm, SB II, 03-144
This talk investigates how Joy Harjo’s memoir Crazy Brave (2012) does not only narratively present theautobiographical narrator as the poet to be by highlighting the crucialimportance of art as a means of survival. By incorporating poems as aconstitutive part of the life narrative, the memoir also explores the role of poetry as an archive (not: a reflection) of autobiographical knowledge.Flyer (PDF)
"'Get Better Together'- Deviotionale Fitness als Medium religiöser Gemeinschaftsbildung."
Tuesday, June 17, 2-4p.m., Fakultätssaal, Philosophicum
Martin Radermacher, our second speaker in the lecture series “Religion and Media: Evangelicalism in the United States”, is a researcher and doctoral student in the department of Religious Studies at the University of Münster. In his dissertation, he analyses Christian dieting and fitness programs in the United States. Martin gathered data as a participant-observer of various Christian health programs and will present a case study of devotional fitness as a medium for religious community-building.
17.06.2014: Auftaktveranstaltung DFG-Graduiertenkolleg"Life Sciences - Life Writing"Lesungen, Vorträge, Diskussion mit Siri Hustvedt & Carl DjerassiDienstag, 17. Juni, 18:00 Uhr, Großer Hörsaal Chirurgie (Flyer/Programm)(Gebäude 505, Campus der Universitätsmedizin, Langenbeckstr. 1)
Die US-amerikanische Bestseller-Autorin Siri Hustvedt setzt sich im Sinne des Life Writing mit ihrer eigenen Körperlichkeit und den biomedizinischen Zugängen zur eigenen Person auseinander und versucht damit, das eigene Schreiben auf biomedizinische Deutungssysteme zurückwirken zu lassen. Carl Djerassi, Biochemiker und Literat, bearbeitet durch das von ihm geprägte Genre "Science in Fiction" die Projektionsfläche, auf der sich Individuum, Lebenswissenschaften und Biomedizin begegnen und erschließt so einen neuen Zugang zum wechselseitigen Verhältnis zwischen dem Leben und den Lebenswissenschaften. Mit der Begegnung dieser beiden herausragenden Persönlichkeiten wird offiziell das neu eingerichtete DFG-Graduiertenkolleg "Life Sciences - Life Writing: Grenzerfahrungen menschlichen Lebens zwischen biomedizinischer Erklärung und lebensweltlicher Erfahrung" eröffnet. Die Sprecher des Kollegs, Univ.-Prof. Dr. Norbert W. Paul und Univ.-Prof. Dr. Mita Banerjee, laden Sie herzlich zu diesem - musikalisch durch den bekannten Cellisten Sonny Thet begleiteten - Abend mit Vorträgen, Lesungen und Gesprächen mit Siri Hustvedt und Carl Djerassi ein.
"Contemporary Native Issues in North America"
Wednesday, June 4, 10-12a.m., SB II, 03-152 (Flyer)
Roger L. Nichols is Emeritus Professor of History and Affiliate Professor of American Indian Studies at the University of Arizona. His talk will be part of the seminar "Multi-Ethnic America in Hollywood Film".
All students and faculty welcome!
"Poetry Reading and Discussion"
Wednesday, June 4, 4-6p.m., SB II, 03-144
Dr. Gwen Nell Westerman (Dakota), poet, scholar and director of the Native American Literature Symposium, reads and talks about her book of poetry Follow the Blackbirds (Michigan State UP, 2013).
Dr. Westerman and Glenn Wasicuna, director of Dakota Studies at Tiospa Tzina Tribal School, also talk about the experience of teaching Dakota culture, language, and ways of life.
"Junot Díaz's Dark America"
Monday, June 2, 12-2p.m., SR05 (BKM, Kantstraße 2)
Global south’s literature takes possession of what has been dispossessed: taking Quijano and Wallerstein's idea of Americanity to The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, Saldívar sees the novel as a response to the planetary realities of of Americanity and suggests that it turns colonial difference into its favor.
At its recent meeting, the Executive Committee of the American Studies Association (ASA) appointed Professor Oliver Scheiding to the International Committee of the ASA until June 2017.
"Artifacts of Unsettlement: (Post)Colonial Liberalism, Biopolitics, and the Settler Imaginary in Australia"
Tuesday, May 27, 6-8pm, Senatssaal (Nat.Fak.)
Episodes of evaluation and adjudication over indigenous identity have a history and a genealogy in the technologies of settler colonial biopolitics. Analyzing the “artifactuality” of such biopolitical imaginaries this talk recounts how mainstream liberalism in the settler colony cannot account for the mode of temporality by which settler subjects imagine their putatively postcolonial nation-state, and how so-called “others” belong within and to it.
The American Studies division is honored to welcome Prof. Zhang Longxi, Chair and Professor of Comparative Literature and Translation at the City University of Hong Kong. Prof. Zhang will be Center for Intercultural Studies (ZIS) visiting professor in the Department of English and Linguistics in May and June 2014. Professor Zhang earned his MA degree from Peking University and his PhD degree from Harvard University. He will present lectures on diverse topics in Mainz and Germersheim. The list of lectures including date, time, and place can be downloaded here
Herrn Univ.-Prof. Dr. Alfred Hornung wurde von der Ministerin für Bildung, Wissenschaft, Weiterbildung und Kultur eine Forschungsprofessur für drei Jahre verliehen. Diese Professur wird sehr selten und nur an ausgewählte Forscherpersönlichkeiten vergeben, die damit für ihre herausragenden wissenschaftlichen Leistungen ausgezeichnet werden. Im Rahmen dieser Forschungsprofessur wird Herr Hornung am DFG-Graduiertenkolleg “Life Sciences, Life Writing: Grenzerfahrungen menschlichen Lebens zwischen biomedizinischer Erklärung und lebensweltlicher Erfahrung“ (GRK 2015/1) und am Aufbau des Obama-Institute for Transnational American Studies mitarbeiten sowie drei Buchprojekte (American Literary Culture, ChinAmerica, Biographie zu Jack London) zum Abschluss bringen.
Media in the 1960s: A Journalism History
The Department of Journalism, Prof. Dr. Karl N. Renner, is offering five places for B.A. American Studies/B.Ed. English Studies students in a block seminar taught by Prof. Thomas J. Hrach, University of Memphis. Credit will be trasnfered by Dr. Frank Obenland; please apply at the office of Prof. Scheiding's assistant, Anette Vollrath (Email).Information Leaflet (PDF)
Prof. Dr. Oliver Scheiding has declined an offered appointment as W3 Professor of North American Literature and Cultural History at Eberhard-Karls-University, Tübingen.
31.01.2014: Lecture Prof. Paul Arthur, University of Western Sydney
Friday, January 31, 2014, 10.15 - 11.45 a.m., P15
Paul Arthur is Professor of Digital Humanities at the University of Western Sydney, where he leads the UWS Digital Humanities Research Group. His recent books include Virtual Voyages (2010) and the edited collections International Life Writing: Memory and Identity in Global Context (2013), Australian Dictionary of Biography Volume 18 (2012, Deputy General Editor), Recovering Lives (2011) and, with Geoffrey Bolton, the award-winning Voices from the West End (2012).
21.01.2014: Lecture Prof. Shirley Geok-lin Lim, University of California, Santa Barbara
Life Writing and Troubling U.S. Ethnic Identity: Some Intersections of Genre, Gender, Genetics
Tuesday, January 21, 2014, 4.15 - 5.45 p.m., P 207
The seminar will map out a few questions rising from readings of U.S. ethnic autobiographies and memoirs, chiefly Asian American and Native American, that bring into intersection issues of genre, gender and genetics ("blood," natal bonds, race biologism-essentialism) for discussion. These questions will be read through selected passages, beginning with Frank Chin"s theory of autobiography as a Eurocentric genre, interpretations of Maxine Hong Kingston"s memoirs as feminist, and N. Scott Momaday"s The Way to Rainy Mountain as genetically indigenous, to how other ethnic memoirs continue to reproduce these constructions (David Mura, Turning Japanese) or turn away from them (Sui Sin Far, "Leaves from the Mental Portfolio of an Eurasian," Li-Young Lee"s The Winged Seed). Somewhere during this seminar we will address how the logic of transnational discourse has reframed U.S. ethnic life writing.
16.01.2014: Lecture Ian Afflerbach
"A Rose through Concrete: Reading Compton as a Field of Cultural Production in Kendrick Lamar's Good Kid, M.A.A.D. City"
Thursday, January 16, 2014, 6-8pm, P 2The appointments of rappers 9th Wonder (a fellow at Harvard) or ?uestlove (at NYU) have opened the way for producers and rappers to teach their firsthand experience with rap music to a new generation of listeners and students.We need to get past crude moral judgments and treat it as seriously as we would any other form of cultural production. In other words, we need to learn to read hip-hop albums the way we read novels. This talk provides a model for what this kind of reading can look like. Our goal will be to read the album not just as a "symptom" of social problems, but as both its own poetic accomplishment as well as an historically-conscious text.