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The first academic study on women’s participation within Hip Hop graffiti art subculture, Graffiti Grrlz: Performing Feminism in the Hip Hop Diaspora is an interdisciplinary transnational feminist ethnography that examines how “graffiti grrlz” negotiate their place within a heterosexist male-dominated subculture. The project features over 100 graffiti grrlz of different generations (18-56 years old), genres (letters, characters), and geographies. By focusing on performances of feminist acts in person and online, Graffiti Grrlz documents how they: stylize and politicize Hip Hop masculinity; deploy femininity to transform subcultural precarity; resist isolation and tokenization by building community and fostering collectivity; make memory and establish history via digital ephemera; shift subcultural aesthetics and politics through digital culture; and circulate their presence through new media. Calling into question conventional knowledge structures and aesthetic value systems that currently inform Hip Hop (graffiti) studies, I argue that graffiti grrlz are shaping contemporary graffiti art’s subcultural evolution aesthetically, socially, and politically.
The book is under contract with NYU Press and forthcoming for 2018!! Graffiti Grrlz: Performing Feminism in the Hip Hop Diaspora contributes a pivotal intervention to Hip Hop cultural studies grounded in Queer, Feminist, and Performance Studies. If you’d like to read some of my work on the topic, please visit the “Writing” page.