The Stage Hip-Hop Feminism Built: A New Directions Essay

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Publication Date

Spring 2013

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This new directions essay traces the most recent trajectory in the field of hip-hop feminism. To that end, we map the current terrain of hip-hop feminist studies, first by identifying challenges and tensions, then by reviewing current literature and its engagement with these issues, and finally by identifying new and emergent areas for further development of the field. We argue that hip-hop feminism has effectively made space for itself in the broader fields of black and women-of-color feminisms and remains deeply invested in the intersectional approaches developed by earlier black feminists. We also insist that women and girls of color remain central to our analyses, particularly in light of the proliferation of critical masculinity studies within the broader field of hip-hop studies. Furthermore, our discussion of hip-hop feminism contends that within hip-hop feminist studies, hip-hop and feminism act as discrete but constitutive categories that share a dialogic relationship. Rather than treating feminism as though it lends a certain intellectual gravity to hip-hop, we consider how creative, intellectual hip-hop feminist work invites new questions about representation, provides additional insight about embodied experience, and offers alternative models for critical engagement.

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Citation / Publisher Attribution

Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society, v. 38, issue 3, p. 721-737