Campus News

Panel to discuss women, hip-hop music, social change

The role of women in the often controversial music genre of hip-hip will be debated March 27 at the “Women, Hip-Hop and Social Change” forum.

The forum will include a keynote address and a panel discussion from 7–9 p.m. in Room 171 of the Student Learning Center. Both events are open to the public.

Layli Phillips, a former UGA faculty member, will open the forum with a lecture  entitled, “There Are Many Ways to Talk About Women and Hip-hop, and They’re All True: Beyond Rhetoric, Towards What’s Next.” The panel discussion will follow.

Phillips, associate professor of women’s studies, women’s studies graduate director and associated faculty in the African-American studies department at Georgia State University, said that as hip-hop music gains relevancy, studying it becomes more important.

“Both hip-hop studies and ­feminist/womanist hip-hop studies are new and emerging areas of scholarly research and theorization,” she said. “Hip-hop studies is an innovation for women’s studies and it corresponds with trends in the larger culture, in popular discourse. It gives an academic angle to something that people talk about on the streets.”

A panel of academics and students from UGA and other institutions will discuss the topic of the lecture. Dawn Hazelton, a graduate student in social studies education at UGA and member of the panel, said that making a space for women within the discussion of hip-hop is vital and often overlooked.

“Women are left out of the conversations about hip-hop unless it’s to talk about their bodies in the videos. But those discussions are always one-sided, not complex,” she said.

Sponsored by the Institute for Women’s Studies, the forum is part of UGA’s Women’s History Month observance.