Rap, Hip-Hop and Black Politics – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

Rap, Hip-Hop and Black Politics

Discussing racial and neoliberal politics, renowned scholar Lester Spence will open the Fisher Center‘s spring 2010 lecture series on Wednesday, Jan. 27.

Spence’s journey into racial politics extends far and wide.  An assistant professor of Political Science at Johns Hopkins University, Spence specializes in the study of racial politics, public opinion and urban politics.  His first book, “Stare in the Darkness: Rap, Hip-Hop, and Black Politics” (University of Minnesota Press, August 2010), will examine the explosion of hip-hop over the past 30 years  and how hip-hop “not only influences youth attitudes, but also how it reflects and at the same time creates black politics.”

Having earned his bachelor’s and Ph.D. in political science from the University of Michigan, Spence has been published in leading scholarly outlets including The American Journal of Political Science, Political Research Quarterly, Political Analysis, the National Political Science Review, and the WEB Dubois Review; he also can be heard regularly on NPR.  

Spence’s lecture, “Constructing Pookie: The Neoliberal Politics of the Black Male Crisis,” will be held at 7:30 p.m. in the Geneva Room of Warren Hunting Smith Library.  For more information, visit Spence’s blog.

Upcoming Fisher Center events include Israeli film theorist/documentary filmmaker Dorit Naaman’s lecture titled From Mr. Baum to Waltz with Bashir: New Masculinity in Contemporary Israeli Cinema,” on Wednesday, Feb. 17.  Two films, “Walk on Water” and “Waltz with Bashir,” will be screened in the Sanford Room on Monday, Feb. 15, and Tuesday, Feb. 16, prior to Naaman’s Feb. 17 lecture.

Andrea Tone, history professor and the Canada Research Chair in the Social History of Medicine at McGill University, will give a lecture titled “Elusive Elysium: Women, Men and Anxiety Over Time” on Wednesday, March 24.  

To close out the Fisher Center lecture series, filmmaker Johan Grimonprez, who achieved recognition for his film essay “Dial H-I-S-T-O-R-Y,” will deliver a lecture, “Maybe the Sky Is Really Green and We’re Just Colorblind,” on Wednesday, April 14.  “Dial H-I-S-T-O-R-Y” will be screened on Wednesday, April 7 in the Sanford Room in anticipation of Grimonprez’s lecture.

The Fisher Center brings together faculty, students, and experts in gender-related fields in the arts, humanities, and social and natural sciences to foster mutual understanding and social justice in contemporary society.

Building upon their long-held commitment to interdisciplinary liberal arts education for men and women, both separately and together, Hobart and William Smith Colleges established (in 1998) the Fisher Center for the Study of Women and Men to support curricular, programmatic, and scholarly projects which address the question: How do we more nearly realize, through our educational program, scholarship, and presence in the larger community, our democratic ideals of equity, mutual respect, and common interest in relations between men and women?