Prosecuting Rap: Criminal Justice and Black Youth Expressive Culture – 2 July 2021
3pm – 6.15pm, Friday 2 July 2021 Online workshop.
Sign up via Eventbrite. Free. All welcome.
Rap is a leading youth cultural form in the UK—hugely popular with young people, fostered in educational settings and promoted through the music industry and sponsorship deals. Yet, it is also vilified by the state: demonised, policed and regularly used as prosecution evidence against its predominantly young Black makers and their friends.
This workshop brings together scholars from a range of disciplines to explore this criminalisation of black youth expressive culture in the UK—and, comparatively, the US. It stands as part of growing public concern about how prosecuting rap is fuelling the alarming overrepresentation of young Black people in the carceral system. The workshop offers both research exploration and practice-led intervention in challenging the targeting of Black youth through their creativity.
3-3.45 Policing rap: ROOTS AND COURTOOM RELEVANCE
Lambros Fatsis (Sociology, Brighton), Policing “race” through rap one rhyme at a time
Abenaa Owusu-Bempah (Law, LSE), When is rap relevant?
3.45-4.45 Prosecuting rap: EXPERTS
Tony Ward (Law, Northumbria), Bodies of knowledge, robes of expertise: Expert evidence about gangs and rap
Nicci MacLeod (Linguistics, Northumbria), Art vs. craft: Determining meaning for the courts
Eric Nielson (Liberal Arts, Richmond), The role of the rap expert
4.45-5.45 Regulating rap: MUSIC EDUCATION AND MEDIATION
Anthony Gunter (Sociology, OU), Performativity and the ongoing denial of Black humanity: The case of a music education project
Andrea Dennis (Law, Georgia), Schoolhouse rap
Alex De Lacey (Music, Goldsmiths), Censorship and racialised public morality in grime and drill
5.45-6.15 Prosecuting rap futures
Patrick Williams (Sociology, Manchester Metropolitan), Rap, gang signifiers and (re)producing guilt