CALL FOR PAPERS: Words Beats & Life: The Global Journal of Hip-Hop Culture, Special Issue on South Africa

CALL FOR PAPERS: Words Beats & Life: The Global Journal of Hip-Hop Culture, Special Issue on South Africa

Guest Editors: Msia Kibona Clark and Jennifer “FeteJen” Erie

South Africa was one of the first countries in Africa to embrace hip hop culture. Since the 1980s, hip hop culture has grown and spread throughout South Africa, where multiple hip hop communities have emerged across the country to shape distinctly South African hip hop cultures. All of the hip hop elements have strong representation in South Africa, which still has one of the largest hip hop scenes on the continent. South Africa offers a lot of diverse themes and topics for in depth discussion when it comes to hip hop. This issue will explore many of those topics, and seeks submissions that address topics like: 

  • The history of SA hip hop 
  • The role of gender & sexuality in South African hip hop music, breakdance, graffiti, and/or DJ culture
  • The role of race & ethnicity in South African hip hop culture
  • The role of NGOs and external donors
  • The role of mass media (radio stations, TV, publications, etc…)  
  • The role of language in South African hip hop 
  • Business and hip hop
  • The making of hip hop “moguls” 
  • The relationship between hip hop and the entertainment industry
  • The relationship between hip hop & kwaito
  • The growth of hip hop as an industry
  • The influence of South African hip hop globally 
  • The future of SA hip hop
  • The growth of hip hop community organizations & movements 
  • The politics of street art and graffiti

This issue of the journal, like many of the journal’s other issues, accepts submissions from scholars, artists, activists, and cultural critics.

  • Scholarly research papers should be a minimum of 3,000 words and a maximum of 8,000 words (includes endnotes and reference list). All submissions designated as scholarly require an abstract that should not exceed 150 words in length. All scholarly submissions should be accompanied by five key words.
  • Critical essays, or essays that explore the various perspectives on debate, should be 1,500 – 3,000 words.
  • Scholarly reviews of books, albums, or films related to the topic, should be 1,000 to 2,000 words.
  • Poetry should include no more than 3 poems. You must create a separate submission for each poem.
  • Original artwork submissions should be limited to 3 pieces. Artwork should be submitted as low-resolution .jpg or PDF files. Artwork must include the following information: title of piece, year created, media, dimensions (in inches), location of the piece.
  • Interviews should be 1,500 to 3,000 words.

 All submissions need to be sent with a brief bio, which includes their title, institutional affiliation and e-mail address. Submissions in languages other than English need to include translations.   

Submissions due: 1st of June, 2020

Send your submissions, or questions, to

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