Hip Hop, Poetics & Politics

Evaluate the cultural and musical impacts of Hip Hop in the United States and across the world

Program Highlights

Explore the field of Ethnic Studies through the lens of Hip-Hop–its history, poetics, and politics
Examine the role of power, power dynamics, and social justice through lyricism, performance, empowerment
Develop critical media literacy, critical thinking and public speaking skills
Apply one of the several elements of Hip-Hop to showcase “intellectual movement”

Residential Tuition:


Session 1:
June 30, 2024 July 12, 2024


Cal Poly - San Luis Obispo
Cal Poly SLO - San Luis Obispo, CA

Course Overview

A critical exploration into the roots, development, and enduring impact of Hip-Hop for people across the globe. Hip-Hop, as both politicized art form and sociocultural movement, can expose common-sense ideas and practices central to racism, sexism, homophobia, settler-colonialism, and systemic poverty. Upon surveying a critical history of how and why Hip-Hop emerged fifty years ago, we will explore how Hip-Hop lends marginalized communities a voice to express a politics of radical, youth empowerment.

Meet your instructor

Dr. Jorge Moraga

Hip Hop, Poetics, & Politics Cal Poly SLO

Dr. Moraga is the proud son of two selfless, loving Salvadoran immigrants who have called the San Fernando Valley home since the early 1980s. His parents’ tireless support and encouragement sustained each of their children to become first-generation college graduates; while the last of his siblings to obtain B.A. degrees in 2012, he became the first in his family to earn a graduate degree in 2017 when he received his Ph.D. in American Studies from Washington State University.

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Topics you'll explore

Course Structure

There are nine 3-hour class sessions over the two-week course. During week one, students have class from 9am-12pm, Monday - Friday. During week two, students have class from 9am-12pm Monday through Thursday. Wednesday afternoons are dedicated to additional academic time (excursions, speakers).

Hands on Learning

Hands-on workshop with Cal Poly graduate student and local rapper to elevate students’ knowledge of lyricism and dropping lyrical bars. Breakdancing workshop to elevate skills and knowledge of this integral element of Hip Hop.

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