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The Hiphop Archive at Harvard University was officially established in 2002. It found its permanent home in the Du Bois Institute January 2008. The Hiphop Archive’s mission is to facilitate and encourage the pursuit of knowledge, art, culture and responsible leadership through Hiphop. We are uncompromising in our commitment to build and support intellectually challenging and innovative scholarship that both reflects the rigor and achievement of performance in Hiphop and transforms our thinking and our lives. These objectives are met through our Website: http://hiphoparchive.org/ which provides information about all activities and projects and serves as a resource for those interested in knowing, developing, building, maintaining and representing Hiphop. The Hiphop Archive works with other groups and individuals who support hiphop culture. We also sponsor and facilitate projects, events and numerous other activities at the Hiphop Archive @ The Du Bois Institute, Harvard University.
Hiphop’s incursion into higher education took place within the same tradition as Black Studies, Chicano Studies, Asian American Studies, Women Studies, etc. In those cases, students used non-violent protest as well as arguments of standards and inclusion to achieve representation within the academic curriculum. The students who introduced Hiphop to colleges and universities bum-rushed their campuses by introducing hiphop classes themselves. They were seldom from the same communities as Hiphop artists. Yet, as they listened and participated in hiphop culture, they also recognized the emergence of theories, ideas and critiques that reinvigorated intellectual debates and challenged societies and nations to address issues of justice, freedom and equality. Researchers are also interested in how hiphop incorporates and critiques culture and society and especially issues of representation and power. Hiphop is concerned with the major questions of philosophy, identity, ideology, art and existence. It is also interested in how oppressed people and voices move into dominant culture and often create a space for themselves. Whether one calls this space the counterpublic or underground, it threatens dominant discourse about black and urban youth and forces recognition from society and its educational system. This system regularly ridicules serious questions and ideas that emerge from popular culture- especially when they originate from youth, people of color and poor people. Students of hiphop are well aware of the society’s unwillingness to hear the analysis, critique and story within Hiphop and agitate for its inclusion.
Scholarship on hiphop now exists in education, psychology, anthropology, sociology, political science, philosophy, theater, art, business, physics, religion, English, linguistics, American Studies, history, communications, African American Studies, music and more. It is a celebration of the level of support and commitment throughout the world for Hiphop to be incorporated into higher education without losing and compromising what Hiphop is and means to those who introduced it and to those who continue to develop and sustain Hiphop culture.