Hiphop culture grew out of the South Bronx in the 1970s and 1980s when young people of color combined their genius with available materials to produce the four original elements of hiphop: deejaying, graffiti art, breakdancing, and rapping. Since then, a confluence of young Blacks, American Indians, and Latino/as have used hiphop to reimagine everyday practices, discarded technologies, and public spaces. Marcos Del Hierro will explain and contextualize the role non-Western ways of knowing play in developing communicative practices unique to hiphop, as well as how those practices combat systematic oppression. By looking at hiphop culture’s non-Western roots, Del Hierro will provide insight into how hiphoppers produced sustainable models for recycling knowledge and technology to produce art, criticism, and pleasure, allowing them to respond to social discourses that represent young people of color as inferior and deviant. Modes of expression like mixtapes, rap songs, ciphers, subway art, and hiphop fashion not only set trends, but also speak about issues like urban blight, political marginalization, racism, and colonization. This interactive presentation will invite the audience to participate in a "cipher," or hiphop circle, as a way to experience one example of how knowledge is made in hiphop communities. Young and old audiences are invited to engage with one of the most influential and funky cultural forces of the last forty years.

Marcos Del Hierro is an Assistant Professor of English at the University of New Hampshire. He received his PhD from Texas A&M University in 2014. His research focuses on intersections among Rhetoric and Composition, Race and Ethnic Studies, and Hiphop Studies. He is interested in how Black, Latina, and indigenous cultures influence hiphop rhetorics and technologies. His essay, "Fighting the Academy One Nopal at a Time," appeared in El Mundo Zurdo: Selected Works from the Meetings of The Society for the Study of Gloria Anzaldúa in 2012. He is currently working on his first monograph, Homegrown Critique Through Hiphop Rhetorics.

Read more about Professor Del Hierro on his UNH faculty bio
Watch a video of  "The Use of Hiphop to Fight the Criminalization of People of Color"
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