Tuesday, October 30, @ 12:40
Radio Silence: Changing Mediascapes, Hip Hop, and the future of Indigenous Sonic Sovereignty
Room 1-57, School of Music, Brandon University
Hip hop scholar Liz Przybylski (PhD, Northwestern University) is an Assistant Professor of Music at the University of California, Riverside. Recent and forthcoming publications on Indigenous hip hop and popular music pedagogy have appeared in Ethnomusicology, Journal of Borderlands Studies, IASPM@Journal, and others. Liz has hosted radio programming on WNUR in Chicago and CJUM in Winnipeg. She is the media reviews editor for the journal American Music.
“It was a classic success story. An innovative group secured funding, staff, and a coveted broadcasting license to start something fresh: a hip hop station playing music by and for the Indigenous community. Listeners got inspired, recorded new tracks, and got them played on air. Until financial pressures and audience expectations tempered that success: grant funding was cut, commercial money was hard to attract, and media professionals tried new strategies to face these difficult challenges. Based in ethnographic work with media experts and hip hop artists at Canada’s first Indigenous hip hop station, this presentation interrogates how professionals navigate conflicts and changes in broadcasting rules, funding priorities, and community needs. As contemporary Indigenous expressive culture is increasingly heard in mainstream venues, media that once served a diverse but relatively small urban Indigenous community now faces new pressures. Centering on a Native-licensed radio station, I find that broadcast and streaming radio simultaneously contribute and respond to shifting ideas of urban Indigeneity in the minds of a Native and non-Native listenership. Changes in practices and policies for “mainstream” broadcast and streaming radio have had profound impacts on racial representation in urban pop soundscapes. I extend research that explores the whitening of mainstream radio and detail the implications of this trend on how Indigenous artists are heard—and silenced—through pop music distribution. Building on Michelle Raheja’s work in visual sovereignty, I demonstrate how musicians and media professionals are actively building what I call sonic sovereignty, navigating the expectations of mainstream airplay while pushing aesthetic and political boundaries.”
Friday, October 5th, @ 12:40 – Hip Hop Philosophy
Lorne Watson Recital Hall, School of Music, Brandon University
A talk by Jérémie McEwen
Professor of philosophy and musician Jérémie McEwen teaches at College Montmorency (Quebec) where he developed the first ever philosophy of hip-hop course. He was part of the jazz-hip hop group, Nul si découvert, for ten years before starting a punk-rap duo, La Brigade des moeurs, with his acolyte Xavier Constant. He is currently working on a manuscript about the history and philosophy of hip hop, which will be published in August 2019 by Éditions XYZ, where he published a first essay, Avant je criais fort, in February 2018. His research has taken him to New York and Paris via Atlanta, on the trail of this ever-growing cultural phenomenon, born forty-five years ago in the Bronx.
co-sponsored by the Institute for Research in Music and Community, The Brandon University Jazz Program and Dr. Eftihia Mihelakis, Assistant Professor, French and Modern Languages/Gender & Women’s Studies