CACSSS Alumni News

UCC music lecturer wins €2 million global hip hop study grant

28 May 2019

UCC lecturer in popular music studies, Dr J. Griffith Rollefson, has secured a €2 million research grant to undertake the world’s first global study of hip hop music and culture. The award from the European Research Council will fund a five-year project to study hip hop on six continents.

Dr Rollefson and a team of researchers will investigate how and why this highly localised African American music has translated so easily to far-flung communities and contexts around the globe.

“What all this music has in common is deeply local pride that is nonetheless open and collaborative. As such, this global research will have as much to do with Knocknaheeny as Compton, examining hip hop from New York to Cork, Cape Town to Manila," he said. 

The research initiative is titled CIPHER – an acronym for Le Conseil International pour Hip Hop et Recherche (The International Council for Hip Hop Studies), which is the group of global hip hop experts at the project’s core.

The €1,995,776.03 grant will allow Rollefson to hire four post-doctoral research positions in ethnography and digital humanities and direct two fully-funded PhD students at University College Cork. Application deadlines will be announced early next year.

The project will also include the development of a new journal and website and will allow for collaboration with the Insight Centre for Data Analytics and Digital Arts and Humanities at UCC.

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