In The Hip Hop and Obama Reader (Oxford UP, 2015), editors Travis L. Gosa and Erik Nielson examine the complicated and often tumultuous relationship between the Obama administration and hip hop culture. The collection brings together writings from some of the most notable scholars in the area of hip hop culture, and is the first hip hop book to center around contemporary politics, activism, and social change. It offers a look at the current relationship between hip hop culture and the 44th U.S. President, and also forecasts what the relationship between hip hop and politics will look like in the future. In this audio interview, Shane Colquhoun sits down with Travis L. Gosa and Erik Nielson to discuss the book.
Shane Colquhoun is an educator, producer, and arranger, and he currently serves as the Director of Bands at Loachapoka High School. He received his Bachelors of Arts from Bethune-Cookman University in Music Technology and Business, his MMEd from Auburn University, and has recently returned back to Auburn to pursue his Ph.D. in Music Education. His research interests include culturally relevant music ensembles, urban/suburban music education, and popular music pedagogy. He can be reached at email@example.com.
Travis L. Gosa is Assistant Professor of Africana Studies at Cornell University. He holds faculty appointments in Education and American Studies, and is affiliated with the Cornell Center for the Study of Inequality. Since 2008, he has served on the advisory board of Cornell’s Hip Hop Collection, the largest archive on early hip hop culture in the United States. He teaches courses on hip hop culture, educational inequality, and African American families. His most recent work has been published with peer-reviewed journals Poetics, Journal of Popular Music Studies, Teacher’s College Record, Popular Music and Society, and the Journal of American Culture. He also writes regularly for popular outlets, including The Root, FoxNews, Ebony, and The Chronicle of Higher Education.
Erik Nielson is Assistant Professor of Liberal Arts at the University of Richmond, where he teaches courses on African American literature, hip hop culture, and advanced writing. He received his M.A. in English from University College London and his Ph.D., also in English, from the University of Sheffield. He has lectured on African American literature and hip hop culture at major conferences in the U.S., the U.K., and Canada, and he has published articles in several peer reviewed journals, including African American Review, MELUS, Race and Justice, International Journal of Cultural Studies, and Journal of Popular Music Studies. He also writes regularly for popular outlets, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Guardian, The Atlantic, and NPR and has been interviewed by a wide range of national media organizations. He is currently at work on his manuscript, Under Surveillance: Policing the Resistance in Hip Hop, for Manchester University Press.