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Title:(W)raps of consciousness: articulating women's rights through hip hop in the Middle East and North Africa region
Author(s):Williams, Angela Selena
Director of Research:McCarthy, Cameron
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):McCarthy, Cameron
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Brown, Ruth N.; Dhillon, Pradeep; Trent, William
Department / Program:Educ Policy, Orgzn & Leadrshp
Discipline:Educational Policy Studies
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Hip hop
Middle East
Popular culture
Third world feminism
Abstract:Although hip hop culture has widely been acknowledged as a global cultural movement, little attention has been given to women’s participation in various parts of the world and how this participation interacts with and impacts the lives of other women. In this dissertation, I use the lenses of postcolonial aesthetics (McCarthy and Dimitriadi, 2000; Dhillon, 2014), U.S. third world feminist studies (Sandoval, 1991; Spivak, 1985; Mansour, 2016) and hip hop feminist studies (Morgan, 1999; Pough, 2004; Brown, 2013; Durham, 2013) to examine the diverse lived experiences of girls and women in the Middle East and North Africa region through the work of seven female rappers: Shadia Mansour (Palestine), Malikah (Lebanon), Soutlana (Morocco), Soska (Egypt), Myam Mahmoud (Egypt), Amani (Yemen), and Justina (Iran). Representations of girlhood and womanhood are received and interpreted by women from these countries residing in a Midwestern university town in the U.S. through interviews and discussions as the women reflect on what the messages from the artists mean in their own lives. Through discourse ethnography (Morley, 1999; Baéz, 2007; Durham, 2013), I analyze popular culture texts, including online songs, videos, lyrics, commentary and media coverage, created by and dedicated to MENA women rappers. These texts combined with women’s real life experiences make more accessible women’s voices from the region. Through their articulations of agency and liberation, the rappers display differential oppositional consciousnesses (Sandoval, 1991) in their personal and professional networks to imagine a better future for women in their societies. I argue that hip hop feminism as a theory and praxis can we applied to the MENA region to develop more varied, emancipatory epistemologies and perspectives on girlhood and womanhood.
Issue Date:2017-10-16
Rights Information:Copyright 2017 Angela Williams
Date Available in IDEALS:2018-03-13
Date Deposited:2017-12

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