February 27, 2004

Contact: William J. Harris, English Department, (785) 864-2534

'Live Words of Hip World' symposium to focus on jazz, rap, literature March 12

LAWRENCE -- "Live Words of the Hip World: Free Jazz, Spoken Word and Rap," a symposium devoted to the interaction of contemporary African American verbal and musical expression, begins at 4:30 p.m., Friday, March 12, in Alderson Auditorium in the Kansas Union at the University of Kansas. The event is free and open to the public.

Three English literature scholars specializing in the literature of music and popular culture and of African-American and American writers will speak from 4:30 to 6 p.m. on such forms as free jazz, spoken word, rap and "floetics," a term that refers to recent lyrical developments in hip-hop music.

Speakers will be Howard Rambsy, Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville; William J. Harris and Jeffrey Mack, both from KU.

Rambsy specializes in 20th-century American and African American literature--especially, Richard Wright, the Black Arts Movement, African American music and African American literary practices.

Harris focuses on American and African American literature and jazz studies. Mack concentrates on American and African American literature, African American popular culture and music.

KU's Department of English, Project on the History of Black Writing and Interdisciplinary Jazz Group are sponsoring the symposium.


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