Call for Submissions

Words Beats & Life: The Global Journal of Hip-Hop Culture Presents the

2017  Call for Submissions

Words Beats & Life: The Global Journal of Hip-Hop Culture is seeking submissions of scholarly articles, critical essays, creative writing, interviews, scholarly reviews, and artwork for the followings themes that will be represented in upcoming issues of the journal:

Words Beats & Life’s (WBL) call for submissions has historically focused on publishing work in WBL’s journal and then presented at the annual Teach-In. In the spirit of expanding the cipher, we now have a few different methods for participation:

Option 1: Publish in Journal   Option 2: Present at Teach-In   Option 3: Publish in Journal and Present at Teach-In

Scholarly research papers: 3,000 words (minimum) to 8,000 words (maximum) (includes endnotes and reference list).
For documentation, punctuation, capitalization and other style formatting, Words Beats & Life follows the APA style guide.
Critical essays: 1,500 – 3,000 words
Scholarly reviews: 1,000- 2,000 words (books, albums, films).
Prose: 3,500 words (maximum; memoirs, narratives, fiction, etc.).

Poetry: no more than 5 poems. Please include a short bio.
Artwork: 3-5 pieces, Please include a short bio. (PDF, JPEG, TIFF).
Interviews: 1,500 – 3,000 words
Authors wishing to submit manuscripts below or exceeding these guidelines must consult with the editor-in- chief prior to submitting work. Send all submissions with an email address and telephone number to submissions@wblinc.org. Any further questions can be addressed to the same email.

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Journal Submission Primary Topics

President Elect Trump and The Return of Social Movements
In the past month, we have seen what is perhaps the most consequential election result in this country’ss history. In the past few years, we have witnessed heightened oppression by police and the government in the modern era. In the 2000’s the resurgence of mass social movements in America inspired in part by national efforts by movements like Occupy, later the Arab Spring, and now Black Lives Matter, Say Her Name, The Dreamers, and the LGBQT rights in response. Music and culture have always been an integral part of social movements in the forms of gospel hymns, spirituals, protest chants, and eventually the music of popular culture. What are the intersections between art/culture and these current social movements especially in light of the most recent election? Deadline 3/1/2017.
From the Eye of the Spray Can: Graffiti and Street Art
From Brooklyn to São Paulo, from the Berlin Wall to the West Bank barrier, graffiti has a rich, global history and a palpable modern context. Tagging, gang symbols, and social/political commentary and slogans share the broader category of street art with stenciled images, wheat-paste posters, murals, and 3-D museum quality installations, both inside institutions and outside in the streets. Often criminalized, street art, and graffiti in particular, has long been a contentious topic with strong opinions on both sides. Adopted as one of the elements of hip-hop, graffiti has become intertwined with hip-hop culture, and, more recently, popularized and commodified as part of mainstream culture. We seek articles that explore the place of graffiti in a larger hip-hop culture and the tensions that continue to exist as graffiti finds some spaces of legitimization. Moreover, given the resurgence of youth driven social movements, what role does graffiti have to play in mobilizing youth and spreading messages. Deadline 6/1/2017
Hip-Hop and the Middle East
The globalization of U.S. popular culture and the diffusion of hip-hop into the Arab world has been accompanied by the mainstreaming of hip-hop in the United States and its increasing embrace by new groups of young people inside and outside the United States who have used it as a medium to express their political and cultural concerns. Since 2000s, in Turkey, Lebanon, Palestine, Egypt and other Middle Eastern countries, hip-hop has both become a popular music for youth and a political tool. Some of hip-hop’s key concepts, principles and practices were contributed by or innovated by Muslims, whether from the NOI, 5% Nation, Sunnis, Shias, or Sufi communities, drawing from the arts of the past and present. Yet the influence of Muslims is underexplored in hip-hop scholarship. Hip-hop has also become an important form of expression for Arab Americans many of whom seek to enact a radical counter-narrative of what it means to be of Arab descent (regardless of religion) in a post 9-11 world. Thus, this topic not just about hip-hop in the middle east, but a transnational Arab hip-hop culture as well as an exploration of the longer points of contact in an increasingly globalized world. Rolling deadline.
Fade from Black: Diversification and Authenticity in Hip-Hop
Hip-hop has grown from a Black dominated counter-culture movement whose authenticity debates were analogous with conversion around what it means to be Black in the United States to a global and diverse culture. As hip-hop has shifted from the margins to the mainstream, hegemonic, white culture increasingly accessed a cultural art form they did not create. The media-circus antics of white pop artists using Hip-Hop, and the spotlight it brings, are both a far cry from and an affirmation of Tupac’s They Don’t Give a F#@% About Us and Eminem’s later play on White America. What does this popularity and the changed face of participation mean for the future of hip-hop culture? Do we still hold some common ideas about what is authentic in hip-hop? Is this evolution a part of systemic white privilege? Does the increased attention on white artists mask other forms of privilege found in hip-hop including male privilege, heteronormative, American privilege, and commercial privilege? Rolling deadline.
Secondary Topics DC (closed)Secondary Topics Chicago (closed)Format for SubmissionAbout Words Beats & Life Inc.About the B-Series
  1. Hip Hop framework for community solutions, connected to issues in local communities across the globe (especially amongst youth populations)
  2. Ecosystem of Hip Hop (cooperative economics, sharing resources, networks etc.)
  3. Beyond Programs: Transforming Cities and Communities (scale, policies, programs and collaboration)
  4. Open Source Hip Hop
  5. #artistsdogoodbetter: Organizations, collectives, crews, and groups
  6. Hip-Hop and the Decriminalization of Marijuana
  7. Hip-Hop and the Second Amendment
  8. #blacklivesmatter
  9. The Role of Social Media in Organizing
  10. From Graffiti to Public Art
  11. Evaluation, Outcomes and After School Hip-Hop Program
  12. Fundraising for Hip-Hop #DeLa
  13. Curriculum Development
  1. Strategic planning for beginners
  2. Collaboration, Competition and Community Building
  3. Grant writing basics (for organizations and artists)
  4. Marketing Strategies for institutions, programs and individuals
  5. Social Media and Fundraising: Basics (Individuals and Organizations)
  6. Be Healthy: Healing and restoration
  7. Creating Culture in your Practice
  8. Remixing, Sampling and Innovation
  9. New School Pioneers
  10. Cultivating a meditative practice
  11. Dance and Movement therapy
  12. Building local and regional archives for hip-hop
  13. Reframing cultural diplomacy through a hip-hop lens
  14. Cross Sector and Element Collaboration
  15. Interdisciplinary Work
  16. Hip-Hop Consortium
  17. Artists/Org Development 101

B-The Bridge? Hip Hop Culture, Movement and the Academy calls forth ideas of building connections across generation, community, culture, geographic space and beyond, through the philosophies, aesthetics and pedagogy of Hip Hop Culture.   “The Bridge” is a motif spotlighting notions of connection, collaboration, reciprocation, and unification.  However, “The Bridge” can also conjure up notions of division, intrusion, and appropriation, both historically (Cross Bronx Expressway) and in current times.   Thus, the Teach-In does not assume the notion of bridging as positive or neutral.  We recognize the importance of calling “The Bridge” into question: Who built the bridge? Who designed the bridge? Who benefits from the bridge? Who decides when the bridge is over?

We are seeking proposals for workshops, panels, film screenings, dialogues, and paper presentations focused on the major theme of building bridges and spaces that promote collaboration among artist practitioners, community organizations, scholars and youth.  We are particularly interested in proposals that include interactive and experiential learning components.  Subtopics include but are not limited to:

    1. Bridging Hip-Hop & The Academy
      1. Institutionalization: Who is transforming whom?
      2. Curricular models, degree programs & certifications
      3. Praxis: Theory and Practice/The role of practitioners in the Academy
      4. Bridging Academic & Arts Practice
      5. Supporting Students that Identify as Hip-Hop Artists in the Academy
      6. Hip Hop in Education, Science and Technology
      7. Hip-Hop Pedagogy
    2. Bridging & Defining Aesthetic, Technical, & Cultural Foundations
      1. How do we define Hip-Hop Dance (in it’s foundation and development): Breaking & Hip Hop Freestyle/Hip Hop Social Dances
      2. What do successful cross-community conversations look like in building a shared understanding, timeline and history of Hip Hop Dance styles?
      3. Best practices for bringing Hip Hop artist practitioners into institutions and official spaces as teachers, mentors, leaders?  How do we set them up for success?
      4. Curricular design and pedagogy for teaching the hip hop elements: breaking, djing, mcing, graffiti, beat boxing, fashion, etc.  Should there be national/global standards?  If so, what are they?
      5. As we bring Hip-Hop technique and aesthetics into the classroom/studio, how do we effectively and responsibly bring the culture in with it?  What is inherently lost in this process and what is the impact of that loss?
    3. Hip-Hop as a Bridge Between People and Communities
      1. How does Hip-Hop bring people together and create understanding across social, cultural and political divisions?
      2. How do we recognize, dismantle and relinquish privilege?
      3. Race, Ethnicity & Identity in Hip-Hop
      4. Can community engagement or service learning pedagogies be a tool for connecting the academy to Hip Hop community spaces in a way that is mutually beneficial to both students and the community?
      5. Hip Hop as a tool for building community and voice: Women in Hip Hop, Queer/LGBTQ  identity and Hip Hop, Hip Hop and Faith/Religion, etc.
      6. Current models/examples of Hip-Hop and social change, civic engagement, youth development, activism and/or community building
    4. Bridging Across Sectors and Building Skills
      1. Hip-Hop as a model fo interdisciplinary collaboration
      2. Cross-sector collaboration that bridges gaps, develops equity, and creates opportunities
      3. Practitioner master classes
      4. Professional development tools for arts practitioners (entrepreneurship, teaching artistry, resume building, etc.)
Scholarly research papers: 3,000 words (minimum) to 8,000 words (maximum) (includes endnotes and reference list).
For documentation, punctuation, capitalization and other style formatting, Words Beats & Life follows the APA style guide.
Critical essays: 1,500 – 3,000 words
Scholarly reviews: 1,000- 2,000 words (books, albums, films).
Prose: 3,500 words (maximum; memoirs, narratives, fiction, etc.).

Poetry: no more than 5 poems. Please include a short bio.
Artwork: 3-5 pieces, Please include a short bio. (PDF, JPEG, TIFF).
Interviews: 1,500 – 3,000 words
Authors wishing to submit manuscripts below or exceeding these guidelines must consult with the editor-in- chief prior to submitting work. Send all submissions with an email address and telephone number to submissions@wblinc.org. Any further questions can be addressed to the same email.

We are unapologetic advocates for the transformative power of hip-hop culture in all its forms, empowering artists to relentlessly create and refine systems that demonstrate this notion of positive change through creativity. We embrace the sacred nature of our work and our roles as keepers and innovators of our culture.

We create alternative arts based educational experiences that equip youth, arts managers and scholars to move from theory to practice. We harness the power of the imagination to reshape the lives we live and the communities we serve.

The B-Series is a biannual mini-festival celebrating the cultures, histories and aesthetics of Hip-Hop and street-dance forms such as breaking, popping and Chicago footwork.  With a “jam” as the focal point, where the lines between spectator and participant are blurred, the B-SERIES is a gathering space for the underground dance community, students, faculty and anyone looking to learn about and engage through the rich culture of Hip-Hop.

Columbia College Chicago is currently in the process of developing a Hip Hop Studies Minor degree program, which aims to advance a responsible, rigorous, practice-based curriculum that builds bridges between academic departments, co-curricular programming, and Chicago’s vibrant community of Hip-Hop artists and practitioners. The B-SERIES is one of several activities at the College that is already developing and delivering the kind of pedagogy upon which the Hip-Hop Studies Minor will be built.

To this end, we are excited to partner with Words, Beats & Life, Kuumba Lynx, The Center for Community Arts Partnerships & GIRL ILLA Tactics to incorporate a Teach-In as part of The Fall 2016 B-SERIES, B-The Bridge? Hip Hop Culture, Movement and the Academy.  The Teach-In is designed to engage innovative practices in pedagogy, creative work, dialogue and collaboration among Hip Hop practitioners, youth, community organizations and scholars.  (We also acknowledge the fluidity of these identifiers, as many people’s work lives within and between these identities.) The Teach-In will simultaneously inform the development of the Hip-Hop Studies Minor and serve as a platform to build communication, connection and collaboration among these various stakeholders.

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