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GNS Lecture: “Front, Back, Side to Side: The Automobility of the Hip Hop South”

April 1, 2021 @ 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm

Slabs, donks and bubbles are popular vernacular car cultures that have been cultivated within southern Black communities. They have also become commonplace in the lyrics, instrumentation and iconography of the hip hop music that grew alongside them in Southern cities like Houston, Texas, Huntsville, Alabama, and Memphis, Tennessee. In this presentation, I argue that the automobility of southern hip hop reflects the unique histories, folk artistry, desire for self-expression and aspirational goals of Black communities in the south.

Bio: Langston Collin Wilkins, PhD is a Seattle-based folklorist, ethnomusicologist and writer. His research interests include urban folklife, hip hop culture and African American music. He received his PhD in Ethnomusicology from Indiana University in 2016. He also holds a Masters degree in African American and African Diaspora Studies from Indiana University and a Bachelors of Arts in English from the University of Texas at Austin. Langston is currently the Director of the Center for Washington Cultural Traditions, a collaboration between Humanities Washington and the Washington State Arts Commission that seeks to document and preserve the traditional culture of Washington state.

Dr. Langston Collin Wilkin’s website: https://streetfolk.org/about-me/

Sponsored by UW- Madison Anthropology, Mead Witter School of Music, Department of Afro-American Studies, Department of Gender and Women’s Studies, and UW-Madison Folklore Program in the Department of German, Nordic, and Slavic+


April 1, 2021
4:00 pm - 5:30 pm
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