The Napkin: Hip Hop & Higher Education Across the Globe

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The HipHopNapkin: and Higher Education Across the Globe

Contributor: Hannah Jo Groves

Dr. C.Keith Harrison with Dr. Marcis Fennell
Table of Contents 1. Executive Summary…………………………3 2. Pioneers of Hip Hop Education in Higher Education…………………………………4-5 3. Hip Hop Higher Education Programs……...6 4. Hip Hop Degree and Certificate Programs………………………………….7-14 5. 4-year University and College Hip Hop Courses…………………………………..15-55 6. 2-year Community College Hip Hop Courses…………………………………..56-62 7. Hip Hop Courses Overseas………..……63-68 8. References…………………………………69 2

Executive Summary

The Hip Hop Innovation Research Lab and Studio Napkin presents an exhaustive exploration of the pedagogical initiatives incor porating anthropological, historical, and sociological examinations of the constructs of hip hop in higher education. Commemorating the 50th anniversary of Hip-Hop, the napkin illustrates the impact and influence of Hip Hop, reaching beyond performance and entertainment. The napkin presents a list of academic programs and courses offered by colleges and universities. The presented list illuminates the sociological influence of hip hop culture, from the Bronx to the Ivy League. Grounding hip hop culture within their program curriculum, six four-year institutions have established major and minor programs. Aligned with the hip hop value of community , these programs pedagogically empower their students to critically examine theoretical and practical constructs of hip hop culture in local, national and international communities. Two institutions have established certificates which supplementarily present courses which expose students to hip hop culture within their disciplined curricula.

The educational imprint continues to expand within higher education, indicating positive trends to creating inclusive learnin g environments as well as the sociocultural influence of hip hop. The Hip Hop Innovation Research Lab and Studio Napkin seeks to serve as a resource which achieves the following: 1) Illuminates the culture of Hip Hop, 2) Serve as a resource for potential higher education st udents seeking to study hip hop, and 3) Empower administrators, educators, and students to continue to critically explore the constructs of hip hop culture through expansion of established programs and courses as well as the creation new programs and courses. The power of hip hop is grounded by education, formal and informal. The empowerment process is metaphorically correlated to the physiological and psychology effects of a marathon race. Reflection within the marathon produces the innovation required to recognize that the “sky is the limit”.


Pioneers of Hip Hop in Higher Education


Pioneers of Hip Hop in Higher Education


Hip Hop in Higher Education


Minor Programs

Columbia College


Temple University

University of Arizona

SUNY Brockport

Certificate Programs


University of Colorado

Bachelor’s Programs

North Carolina Central University

Loyola University

New Orleans


Columbia College Chicago

Hip Hop Studies Minor

Rooted in community engagement and student-led, practice-based learning. Engaging students across academic departments and within local Chicago Hip Hop community.

Highlighted Courses


164 Hip-Hop: A Sonic History

Centers hip-hop as a musical culture, exploring the social conditions of the music’s emergence and the factors that have facilitated its broad dissemination. Explores hip-hop’s musical language through close listening and intensive analysis of a broad selection of musical examples, and study of the musical techniques and aesthetics of hip-hop artists.

DANC 130 Hip-Hop Studies Symposium

Incubation space for students interested in Hip-Hop Studies to build relationships and spark ideas for collaboration through critical thinking and dialogue. Holds lectures, workshops, jams and seminars around Hip-Hop history, culture, ethics, and practice both on and off campus.


Temple University

Minor in Hip Hop Dance and Culture

Invites undergraduate students to address broader social concepts, including race and racism, cultural appropriation and commodification, oral history traditions, and African American heritage and values.

Highlighted Courses

Hip Hop Entrepreneurship

Examines the intersection between hip hop and entrepreneurship and how to develop methods to sustain artistic pursuits and professional skills in hip hop culture.

Hip Hop History and Performance

Examines the communities of origin in which hip hop dance and culture developed. Considers how hip hop dance has circulated across popular television shows, fiction and documentary film, music video performance, concert dance performance, competition battles, and social media


University of Arizona

The Africana Studies’ Minor in “Hip- Hop Cultures”

Introduces students to the main themes represented in hip-hop cultures: appropriation and defense of spaces, mixing of different cultures, migrations, multilingualism, race, class, gender, religions, sexuality, nationality, politics and the economy, and, the search for identity.

Highlighted Courses

AFAS/LAS/RELI 335 Rap, Culture and God

AFAS 371 Hip-Hop Cinema

AFAS/FREN 373 US & Francophone Hip-Hop Cultures


SUNY Brockport

Hip Hop Minor

Highly interdisciplinary program provides students with a solid background in African-American history to better understand the roots of the movement.

Highlighted Courses

AAS 278 African-American Music and Culture

FCE 3XX Hip-Hop Culture and Rap Music

FCE 333 French Rock and Hip-Hop


Loyola University

New Orleans

Bachelor of Science in Hip Hop and R&B

Industry-recognized faculty of musicians, music producers and managers, venue owners, entertainment attorneys, and chart-topping songwriters draw upon their real-world experiences to help you master industry concepts such as production, publishing and distribution, and management principles.


North Carolina

Central University

History B.A. Hip Hop


Presents a solid introduction and broad understanding of the origins and developing of the forms of expression that make up hiphop cultures throughout the world.

Highlighted Courses

MUSL 1001 - Hip Hop in Context

GEOG 3600 Geography of Hip-Hop

HIST 1540 The Black Experience Since 1865


University of Colorado

Hip Hop Studies Graduate Certificate

Designed to expose students to the richness, complexity and vitality of Hiphop—as theory and practice. Local community-based practicum to ensure students know Hip-hop as a lived culture.

Highlighted Courses

DNCE 5339 Hip-hop Practicum

Students are tasked to design and implement an experiential, action-based learning project that connects to local innovators in the Boulder/Denver Hip-hop community who are engaged in one of Hip-hop cultures.



The Business of Hip Hop Innovation & Creative Industries Certificate

First academic program of its type to be offered by a college of business. Reviews historical and contemporary best practices of hiphop culture exploring management, business culture, and cross-cultural research in business.

Highlighted Courses

AFA3371 Evolution of Hip Hop

Presents An historical analysis of Hip Hop from its African roots to the present with emphasis on the socio-political implications of this phenomenon.

SPB4023 Business of HipHop Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Explores the nature, structure, and functioning of HipHop industry and how innovation and entrepreneurship in these industries can influence the broader societal culture.


Harvard University


Florida State University


Penn State University

Course Description

INART 126N/AFAM 126N: The Popular Arts in America: The History of Hip-Hop

Students engage in critical debates at the heart of hip-hop-debates about art, race, class, gender, citizenship, power, and the body, drawing from frameworks like critical race theory and Black feminist/womanist theory.


Cornell University


New York University

Fayetteville State University

Boston University

Highlighted Courses

CAS AA 296 Religion and Hip Hop

CAS AA 410 The Poetics and Politics of Hip Hop

CAS AA 225 Topics in Religion and Music

CAS LY 411 Arab Society through Hip Hop and Cartoons


Columbia University


Columbia University


Georgetown University

University of Texas San Antonio 25

Kennesaw State University


Georgia State University


Amherst College

MUSI 126: Hip Hop History and Culture

What does realness in hip hop sound like, and why does it matter?

Should hip hop be political, and how should artists express their politics?

How have artists negotiated expressing their specific geographic origins while simultaneously embracing globalization?


Berklee College of Music


University of Missouri

UniversityMichiganof 31

University of Indiana


Dartmouth College




University of Illinois


Western Washington University

An exploration of the Afro-diasporic roots of hip hop, its use as a resistance culture, qualities of its poetics and style, and its tensions and contradictions.




Seton Hall University


University Washingtonof


Mercy College




Oakland University


Rice University


Fordham University


University of Wisconsin - Madison


UC Berkeley


UC Davis


University of Pittsburgh


Duke University

Georgia UniversityTech 51
Loyola Marymount University

Concordia University


University of Illinois



Hoop Dreams: Basketball and Hip Hop 2004 - 2006


Community College of Baltimore County


Community College of Allegheny


Critically explores the evolution of Hip Hop as a socio-cultural, political and economic movement. Aspects of identity, aesthetics, race relations, gender politics and struggles for social justice are examined as they relate to the impact of Hip Hop on American society. Urban lifestyles and political activism in the Hip Hop generation are discussed in an effort to identify Hip Hop as a means to redefine social responsibility and an urban political agenda in an effort to empower American youth.


Green River College


Lane Community College


Lake Forest College

Highlighted Courses

MUSC 237: Hip-Hop Music Producers

Examines the role of the hip-hop producer, exploring the origins of hip-hop deejaying and music production and follow its development into sampling, digital collage, and produceras-hip-hop-auteur. Using various samples, students learn about the history of American popular music production putting the music created by hip-hop producers into historic context.

MUSC 306: Women and Gender in Hip Hop

Examines the history and role of women and gender in Hip Hop, from the 1970s to 2010. Topics covered in this course include female rap pioneers, how discussions of masculinity and femininity have shaped rap lyrics, and the growing gender fluidity in hip hop.


Portland Community College

MUS 216: History of Hip Hop Music and Culture

Examines hip hop music and culture using musicological techniques, with a focus on pre-hip hop influences, the development of the art, its eventual popularity, and contemporary artists and trends. Traces the cultural and societal impacts and connections of the music. Includes critical analysis of lyrics, as well as musical production practices.


College of San Mateo


University of London


University of Helsinki


University of Oslo


Edinburgh Napier University


University of Mumbai




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