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Faculty Forum: Dr. Paul Robertson
"Herrenvolk Beats: Country Rap, the Alt-Right, and [Not So] Creeping Fascism"

This talk examines the recent turn, corresponding to the rise of Donald Trump and the hyper-reactionary national impulses he inspires and facilitates, of country rap to unambiguously articulated right wing nationalism and extreme social conservatism, up to and including organized paramilitary violence. This talk will discuss both the overtly ideological content of lyrics, along with the stylized signification of the music videos that promote the tracks. Why, in 2020, might a heavily-armed young, white right-wing protestor enthusiastically describe himself as a “hip hop-head,” as a means to deflect accusations of racism? How are Black hip hop artists used as justification props, both referentially and physically, in country rap productions? The talk will also compare the appropriation, by a right wing ideological extreme, of potentially liberatory (sub)cultures like hip hop, to punk rock and American folk music—two other music-related subcultures with fascist splinters persisting to the contemporary moment.

Feb 22, 2022 02:00 PM in Eastern Time (US and Canada)

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