Abra Johnson
Lecturer Sociology/M.A./applying for Ph.D.
City Colleges of Chicago/Thick Routes Performance Collage

My past research and current interests encompass an examination of the critical role of hip-hop music as a U. S. “ambassador” to the global markets of identity, culture, and economics negotiated in the realm of mass-mediated popular cultures. Using hip-hop as a template for future studies incorporating Chicago house music, I seek to move beyond the well-known but oversimplified dichotomy of hegemony and resistance that frames sociological analyses of hip-hop, overlook the critical importance and reflection of the artists’ sociocultural capital as (U.S.) Americans (not just African-American, Latino, Asian-American, etc.), and exclude the complex implications of the music produced by women. Key foci for me include the nuanced/subtle, the sometimes oppressive/contradictory, and the resistive/expansive performative and lyrical practices and symbols, carried and expressed by women in hip-hop, and especially house, as they concurrently act as socializers of culture, both at home and abroad.

I am currently assisting in the development of a wiki site Consuming Blackness Diasporically, that explores black cultural expressive traditions in a setting of global dialogue. Connecting communities in Chicago/US, Trinidad and Brazil, the CBD project moves from mapping each unique cultural form and practice (house, rapso/pan/folk/orisha, and capoeira) to exploring the creative dialogue that emerges by putting these expressive traditions in conversation with each other.

Fields of Interest: Text Analysis, Information Retrieval, Libraries/Digital Archives, Electronic Literature, Performance, Collaborative Technologies

Please see our online registration page to find out why we’re posting participant information here.