ResearchWorks: Rap, Racism and Punk Pedagogy

  • 5pm
A musician playing the drums
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About this event:

Platform / Discussion | Research | ResearchWorks
Event type:
Free | Online

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ResearchWorks: Rap, Racism and Punk Pedagogy

In this talk, based on a research essay published in 2021, Gareth Dylan Smith proposes that performance and artefacts of rap can be construed as pedagogically punk, and that doing so offers salient, valuable ways for musicians, learners and educators to engage critically with the world. The presentation begins with some background into racism in the United States, including the speaker’s own positionality as a white Englishman resident in the US since 2017. After a brief contextualization of punk understood as pedagogical praxis (Dines, 2015; Kahn-Egan, 1998; Torrez, 2012), the speaker presents audio and video excerpts from four raps from 1988 to 2018, and discusses how the rappers behave pedagogically in ways that align with tenets of punk pedagogy. The talk closes by briefly discussing the notion of pedagogic authority (Bourdieu & Passeron, 1977) and its salience to the present topics, before then inviting and welcoming discussion.

Speaker: Gareth Dylan Smith

Gareth Dylan Smith is Assistant Professor of Music, Music Education at Boston University in Boston, USA. His research interests include drum kit studies, popular music education, sociology of music education and punk pedagogies. His first love is to play drums. Recent music releases include progressive smooth jazz with The New Titans, the Sun Sessions EP with Stephen Wheel, and the Ignorant Populists EP with Build a Fort. Gareth is working on an album of duets titled Permission Granted, a concept album with Stephen Wheel called Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Rock and a new wave album with Black Light Bastards. Gareth’s recent scholarly publications include Eudaimonia: Perspectives for Music Learning (with Marissa Silverman) a monograph, Magical Nexus: A Philosophy of Playing Drum Kit, and articles about various aspects of music learning With Bryan Powell, Gareth is a founding editor of the Journal of Popular Music Education. He is a past president of the Association for Music Education, a former board member of the International Society for Music Education, and currently serves on the steering committee of the International Society for the Sociology of Music Education.

What is ResearchWorks?

Guildhall School’s ResearchWorks is a programme of events centred around the School’s research activity, bringing together staff, students and guests of international standing. We run regular events throughout the term intended to share the innovative research findings of the School and its guests with students, staff and the public.