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April 10, 2007

A return to Innocence: Don Keesey's exile to Historical-Cultural Criticism

I'll admit...when I saw Historio-cultural criticism, my eyes lit up a little. I know I've said before that I fall into various categories of criticism, specifically formalist and historical, but I think my natural inclination is Historical-Cultural. Take a look back at some of my rantings about hip-hop and other various musics/art forms. Rap and Hip-Hop stems almost entirely from a historical and sociological background. This is all stuff that is going to be covered in the joint presentation by myself and Mr. Hinton next week, though.

I think Keesey (and by proxy Foucault) summed up my theory in one statement: "they think of history in terms of power relations and they are fascinated by the 'circulation' of power within society." Listen to a rap song from the early-to-mid 1990's and you can see this sentiment expressly displayed. Anyone else remember the East Coast-West Coast feud? This all boils down to "power" and, in a moment of wide generalizing, the rap culture defines power by guns, women, drugs, and escapades (which, oddly enough, in modern day has become Escalades, but we'll not go there).

This is going to be fun.

Posted by KevinMcGinnis at April 10, 2007 1:09 AM


I am glad that you brought up something different with the cultural criticism: elements of power in the society. I think that power, social class, and rank are a couple of things that few people seem to discuss, but is something that is present in so many pieces of literature. Social class, especially, is something is association with politics, and I think that is an issue that no one seems to discuss as well. I'm glad that you brought that up Kevin, and once again, kudos on the association to rap war into the literature. You definitely have talent for that, and it is quite impressive.

Posted by: Jason Pugh at April 12, 2007 5:25 PM

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