The Oxford Handbook of Hip Hop Dance Studies

Gearing up for the 50th anniversary of hip hop, this week's review delves into the field of hip-hop dance studies and considers the impact of dance on broader hip-hop culture.

The Oxford Handbook of Hip Hop Dance Studies

ed. by Mary Fogarty and Imani Kai Johnson Oxford, 2022
592p bibl index, 9780190247867 $150.00, 9780190247898

The Oxford Handbook of Hip Hop Dance Studies book cover.

The multidisciplinary field of hip-hop studies emerged in the early 2000s with the publication of several foundational works detailing hip-hop culture, for example That’s the Joint!: The Hip Hop Studies Reader, ed. by Murray Forman and Mark Anthony Neal (2004), and Jeff Chang’s Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop: A History of the Hip-Hop Generation (2005). Yet hip-hop dance remains largely absent from the available literature. To address this absence, Fogarty and Johnson compiled the first collection of academic writings on the developing field of hip-hop dance studies. Contributions are from practitioners and scholars and are organized into thematic sections devoted to legacies and traditions, methodologies, identities, spaces, and health. Combinations of participant observation, ethnography, and oral history are used throughout the book to explore the history of various hip-hop dance styles (e.g., breaking), approaches and techniques in the art form, and gendered stereotypes and racialized perceptions in this space. Serving as an introduction to hip-hop dance studies, this handbook provides fresh voices and perspectives on dance and its role in hip-hop culture.

Summing Up: Highly recommended. Lower-division undergraduates through faculty and practitioners.
E. Milenkiewicz, California State University, San Bernardino
Subject: Humanities – Performing Arts – Theater & Dance
Choice Issue: Oct 2023

Read more about hip hop culture in Choice’s Toward Inclusive Excellence post, “‘Love & Hip Hop’ and Pride.”

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