Language and Hip-Hop Culture in a Globalizing World

Language and hip-hop culture in a Globalizing World' took place on November 10, 2007, in the Literatures, Cultures & Linguistics Building on U of I's Urbana campus. True to its interdisciplinary aims, the workshop brought together experts from linguistics, literature, musicology, race and gender studies, and media studies, with a common interest in hip-hop as a locus of social critique and ongoing processes of globalization.

Workshop Statistics


The speakers included eight specialists from universities across the US and Canada and nine UIUC faculty and graduate students who contributed their views during a whole day of discussions that lasted from 9am until 8pm. A total of three plenary lectures and nine shorter papers were presented, followed by a 1.5h discussion between invited speakers and discussants and the audience. A booklet containing all the abstracts and the detailed program for the day is available to download from the workshop website here: Abstracts booklet


The workshop was attended by 110 participants—faculty, graduate and undergraduate students, as well as visiting scholars—from several departments including, in addition to Linguistics, Psychology, Education, English, French, German, SIP, DEIL, Institute of Communications Research, Speech Communication, Political Science, Anthropology, Sociology, History, International Studies, African American Studies, Musicology, Media Studies, Journalism, Advertising, and even Engineering, Business and Sculpture!


The workshop was funded by the following 18 units across campus: The School of Literatures, Cultures and Linguistics; Department of Linguistics; Center for Advanced Study; Second Language Acquisition and Teacher Education; School of Music; European Union Center; Department of Educational Policy Studies; Unit for Criticism and Interpretive Theory; Center for South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies; Center for Global Studies; Center for East Asian and Pacific Studies; Center for African Studies; Department of Educational Psychology; Russian, East European, and Eurasian Center; Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies; Department of French; Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures; Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities.

Workshop Outcome

Publication Plans

An edited collection of papers is planned to appear with a major publishing house. The collection will combine papers given at the workshop with papers that will be given at the thematic panel: 'Hip-hop across the globe: what exactly is going global?' at the 17th Sociolinguistics Symposium in Amsterdam (3-5 April 2008). The volume is provisionally organized in two parts, one dealing with manifestations of hip-hop in different parts of the world (Cuba, Egypt, Germany, Hungary, Korea, Norway), and a second one dealing with hip-hop in the US from the perspectives of race, gender and media studies, and the ways these interface with language.

Books Donated

Routledge provided the book display that was open throughout the workshop on Saturday, and agreed subsequently to donate the books to our library. The following six titles have now been donated to the Linguistics Reading Room:

    Additional materials, such as photos, the flier and Dr. Terkourafi's Opening Remarks are also available.


    Further credit goes to the LSO for their logistical support, and to Chris Struven for the creation and maintenance of this page.

    For further information, please contact Dr. Marina Terkourafi.