Smile Politely

Hip Hop and Punk Feminisms Symposium December 5–6

From the press release:

Hip Hop and Punk Feminisms: Theory, Genealogy, Performance

5-6 December 2013

University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

All daytime events take place at the Asian American Cultural Center

1205 W. Nevada St., Urbana

All nighttime performances take place at Lincoln Hall Theater

702 S. Wright St., Champaign


This conference will bring together artists, activists and academics to stage new conversations about women of color and women of color feminisms across cultural forms too often perceived to be wholly distinct—hip hop and punk. Both hip hop and punk have received significant scholarly attention since the 1970s, but despite their near-simultaneous emergence in global cities wrought anew through multiple, devastating wars and global economic restructuring, rarely are the two brought into conversation with each the other. With this conference, we hope to disrupt status quo narratives and present wholly new analytic and aesthetic investigations about race, sex, and the creation of categories of deviance; queer of color critique and women of color feminist epistemologies; social movements, activism, and art; and much more.

In addition to scholars and activists, including a roundtable helmed by Michelle Habell-Palan from the Women Who Rock Research and Archive Project, the symposium will bring together notable female hip-hop DJs, MCs and punk performers. These guest performers/speakers include: Alice Bag, lead singer of the Bags, the first female fronted punk band to play the Masque during the West Coast punk revolution of 1977, Detroit’s Invincible, Chicago native T.R.U.T.H., and Canada’s first Queen of Hip Hop, Michie Mee. Workshops held during the day include “black feminist beat making” and zine making. For a full schedule, see:

ORGANIZERS: Ruth Nicole Brown, Karen Flynn, Fiona I.B. Ngô, and Mimi Thi Nguyen with Susan Livingston

This symposium is generously paid for by the Student Cultural Programming Fee, the University of Illinois Research Board Diversity Funding Pilot Initiative, the Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities, and the Department of Gender and Women’s Studies; co-sponsored by African American Studies, American Indian and Indigenous Studies, Anthropology, Art and Design, Asian American Studies, EPOL (Education, Policy, Organization, and Leadership), English, History, Latina/o Studies, the LGBT Resource Center, Media and Cinema Studies, and the Women’s Resource Center; and supported by La Casa, the Native American House, and the Unit for Criticism.

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