Show and Prove: Tensions, Contradictions, and Possibilities of Hip Hop Studies

Conference coming to UC Riverside, set for April 8-10

Dance performance during the 2012 Show and Prove Hip Hop conference. Photo Courtesy: Amanda ‘Lafotographeuse’ Adams-Louis

RIVERSIDE, Calif. ( – The University of California, Riverside is hosting the Show and Prove Hip Hop Studies conference, scheduled for Friday, April 8 to Sunday, April 10. The conference is free and open to the public, but registration is required. Complimentary parking permits are available at the kiosk near the University Avenue entrance to campus. The themes for this year’s conference are “spirit” and “performance;” and are focused on cultivating the necessary and critical dialogues for the development of hip hop studies.

This is the first year Imani Kai Johnson, assistant professor of critical dance studies at UC Riverside, has coordinated the conference at UCR. She has organized the conference twice, in 2012 and 2014, during her time at New York University.

“As universities have adopted classes about hip hop, and an increasing amount of scholarship gets published, this series was created for those with a vested interest in the culture – including artists and practitioners, students, scholars, and community activists – to interrogate, complicate, and critically negotiate what it means to bring Hip Hop into the academy,” said Johnson.

Show and Prove Hip Hop conference, 2012. Photo Courtesy: Amanda 'Lafotographeuse' Adams-Louis

Show and Prove Hip Hop conference, 2012. Photo Courtesy: Amanda ‘Lafotographeuse’ Adams-Louis

Founded by Johnson, the conference is co-sponsored by the UCR dance department, Center for Ideas and Society, African Student Programs, UC Humanities Research Institute, and UCR’s history, gender and sexuality studies, ethnic studies and theater, film & digital production departments.

Conference events will be held at the ARTS and INTS buildings on the UCR campus, with evening performances at the Barbara and Art Culver Center of the Arts at 3834 Main Street, Riverside, CA.

For the full schedule, and detailed information, please go to the Show and Prove conference website. Here is a short breakdown of events:

Friday, April 8

  • 5-6 p.m. in ARTS 166 – The UCR Department of Dance presents the annual Schlundt Lecture: Excavating the Social in Black Vernacular and Hip Hop Era Dancing.
  • 6-7 p.m. in ARTS 166 – Opening reception with light refreshments.
  • 7-9 p.m. in Culver Center – Film screening of “Dope,” directed by Rick Famuyiwa. A discussion of the film with Rickerby Hinds, Imani Kai Johnson, and Desha Dauchan will follow the screening.

Saturday, April 9

  • 8 a.m. in INTS 1119 – Registration open all day.
  • 8:45-9 a.m. in ARTS 116 – Opening comments by Imani Kai Johnson, founder and chair of conference.
  • 9-10:20 a.m. – Session one includes a workshop, “Cutting & Remixing the Cypher; A Street Dance Composition,” two panels, “Hip Hop as a Social Justice Tool,” and “Agents of Change: Film Shorts on Life & Hip Hop Abroad,” and a master class with DJ Lynnee Denise.
  • 10:20-10:30 a.m. – Break.
  • 10:30 a.m. – 12:10 p.m. – Session two includes a workshop on “Women in Hip Hop Workshop,” two panel discussions, “Hip Hop Heroics at Work: Tactics and Hip Hop Work(s) to Sustain Mind, Body, and Soul,” and “Racial Hierarchies, Criminality, and Resistance,” and a screening of the documentary “Pick Up the Mic!: The Revolution of Homohop.”
  • 12:10-1:10 p.m. – Lunch, provided in INTS 1111.
  • 1:10-2:10 p.m. – Session three includes two discussions, titled, “Hip Hop in Film: Pick Up the Mic!” and “Artists in the Academy.”
  • 2:10-2:20 p.m. – Break.
  • 2:20-3:40 p.m. – Session four includes a workshop titled, “Street Dance Activism,” and three panel discussions titled, “Inter/Trans/National Identity and Rap Music,” “Hip Hop and Literary/Literacy Pedagogies,” and “Rethinking Hip Hop Histories and icons.”
  • 3:40-3:50p.m. – Break.
  • 3:50-5:30 p.m. – Session five includes the workshop “The Black Artemis Project: The Challenges & Possibilities of Writing & Publishing Feminist Hip Hop Fiction,” and two panel discussions on “Call and Response,” and “Other Worldliness in Hip Hop.”
  • 5:30-6:15 p.m. – Break and transport to downtown Riverside.
  • 6:15-9 p.m. – Evening performance and reception. Featuring Rickerby Hinds’ “The Black Male Project,” solo works and excerpts, and a discussion led by Brandon J.

Sunday, April 10 (all sessions will be held in ARTS 166)

  • 9-10 a.m. – Master Class 2: “Freestyle Rocking” with iconic breakdancer, and visiting professor at UC Riverside, Ken Swift.
  • 10-10:10 a.m. – Break.
  • 10:10-11:30 a.m. – “Hip Hop Analytics Refreshed: Psychology, Performativity, and Spectatorship.”
  • 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. – Lunch, provided.
  • 12:30-1:30 p.m. – “Hip Hop Academics, Undefined: Careers in Education and Arts Activism.”
  • 1:35-2 p.m. – Closing remarks.

Media Contact

Tel: (951) 827-5893
Twitter: mojgansherkat

Additional Contacts

Imani Kai Johnson
Tel: (951) 827-5626

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