Armstrong State University in Savannah, Georgia is offering a unique upper-level English course on OutKast.
Regina N. Bradley, Ph.D created ‘OutKast and the Rise of the Hip Hop South’ — a course that will focus on how hip hop is used to spark political dialogue.
Students will explore texts by southern writers including Jesmyn Ward (Where the Line Bleeds) and Zandria Robinson (This Aint Chicago).
In an interview with Pigeons and Planes, Bradley said that the course “reflects [her] need to see more of [her] experiences as a southern hip hop enthusiast in scholarly conversations about hip hop in general.”
The iconic group is known for covering topics in their songs like poverty — she aims to demonstrate how “popular culture is a useful tool for connecting past and present struggles for civil rights.”
She had no problem getting the course approved by Armstrong State, a school that supports faculty research.
“They raise intriguing questions about the significance of region as an influencer of creative expression” she told the source.
“OutKast’s experimentation in how they articulated and celebrated their southernness manifested in intriguing ways [including] historical and social-economic influences of Atlanta as a center of southern progress and urbanity. They had room to question and experiment with what is and what is not black southernness.”
The course will conclude with a 12-15 page ‘nerdy hip hop review’ paper — an analysis on the themes in an album selected by each student.
“OutKast is more than deserving of close analysis, especially in thinking about contemporary southernness because they were many folks’ first introduction to the possibility of southern rappers. They opened the door.” – Regina N. Bradley, Ph.D, Pigeons & Planes