'It's Bigger Than Hip Hop'

The Aesthetics and Politics of Rap, Riot Grrrl and Straight Edge Punk Subcultures
Course Instructor: Byron McCrae

Proving that music-driven subcultures can do more than help youth find a sense of belonging or aesthetic identity, the hip-hop, riot grrrl and straight edge punk music genres have promoted youth activism in the United States and around the world. Not overlooking the importance of aesthetics or style in these movements, this course considers how the performances of "alternative" identities inspire and inform youth social agendas and resistance efforts. As music-driven youth subcultures struggle against commercial forces to maintain authenticity, this course will also consider how new technologies might serve to diffuse, promote, or even reboot youth subcultures altogether. While hip-hop, riot grrrl and punk subcultures serve as anchors for our analysis, "goth," surf, and skate subcultures may also be examined.