On Tuesday, 4 March 2014, Leslie Dorrough Smith (Avila University) hosted Monica Miller (Lehigh University) for a class discussion entitled “Why Be An Earth When You Can Be a God: Hip Hop, Religion, and Gender”, with an upper level gender course at Avila University (Kansas City, MO), and a public lecture entitled “Why Be An Earth When You Can Be a God: Hip Hop, Religion, and Gender” later that evening. The public lecture was on the lyrical imagination of emcees and Hip Hop artists alike has long focused on what some have called a “God Complex,” where such artists often refer to themselves as deities. This talk explores the changing dimensions and historical roots of Hip Hop’s “God Complex,” analyzes the rhetoric that positions “gods” as men (leaving women as representatives of “earth”), and considers what role gender and identity politics play in such an evolution.
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Monica Miller‘s book Religion in Hip Hop has just been released in paperback. If you don’t already have copy, now’s the time to get one because Routledge is offering a promotional deal: Religion and Hip Hop Flyer.
Take a look at this video to learn a little more about this book and Monica’s work.
“On the Spot” backs members of Culture on the Edge into a corner to talk about their backgrounds, their ongoing work, and what might be gained by an alternative understanding of how identity works.
Q: Identity and identification are words the members of Culture on the Edge are using to stand in for two different, and likely opposed, scholarly approaches to the study of who we see ourselves and others as being; whereas the first presumes a stable inner quality or sentiment only later projected outward into the public world, the latter starts with a series of public practices and social situations that are eventually interiorized. In your own research specialty – Hip Hop culture and rap music in particular, but also the wider field of the study of African American religion — can you illustrate the difference between these two approaches? Continue reading “On the Spot with Monica Miller”