Public Lecture: Jessica N. Pabón, PhD. “At One Point We All Rebelled”

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Public Lecture: Jessica N. Pabón, PhD. “At One Point We All Rebelled”

March 24th, 2017 @ 3:00 pm5:00 pm

Hip Hop masculinity has been theo­rized almost exclu­sively in rela­tion to cisgen­dered men and shaped by the ques­tion: what does the perfor­mance of main­stream Hip Hop masculinity do to girls and women? Frequently focused on toxic hyper­mas­culin­i­ties, the ques­tion prede­ter­mines the answer: girls and women in Hip Hop expe­ri­ence low self-esteem, low social status, and exploita­tion (in terms of sex and labor). In short, they are always already victims. Instead of asking what Hip Hop masculinity does to them, Dr. Jessica Pabón asks what graf­fiti grrlz do with mascu­line gender perfor­mance. In this talk, Pabón offers a crit­ical re-imag­ining of gender perfor­mance in Hip Hop culture by exam­ining the aesthetics, poli­tics, and embod­i­ment of graf­fiti grrlz from the USA, South Africa, Canada, and Australia. Analyzing masculinity with graf­fiti grrlz at the center reveals a gender perfor­mance that empowers rather than subju­gates, one that allows for and values a complex enact­ment of gender within Hip Hop culture; this is what Pabón calls a “femi­nist masculinity.” Femi­nist masculinity attends to graf­fiti grrlz’ everyday expe­ri­ences as cisgen­dered women who came into adult­hood as part of the Hip Hop gener­a­tion, an era increas­ingly marked by the neolib­eral promise of “girl power” fueled by post­fem­i­nism. Rather than repro­ducing oppres­sive masculinity, hege­monic femi­nism, or a polit­i­cally ster­il­ized post­fem­i­nism, graf­fiti grrlz rebel—they take risks, deviate from norms, and play with the bold, brash, and brazen traits of masculinity to demand their visi­bility and belonging.


March 24th, 2017 
3:00 pm — 5:00 pm 
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