News and Views

UCC music professor to launch first global hip hop studies journal

5 Jun 2019
UCC Professor of Music, J. Griffith Rollefson: "Global Hip Hop Studies provides access to the under-resourced communities who created the culture."

UCC Professor of Music, J. Griffith Rollefson, is set to launch the world's first academic journal of international hip hop music, culture, and politics later this week.

Professor Rollefson will launch Global Hip Hop Studies (GHHS) on Friday during the European Hip Hop Studies Network Conference at the University of Bristol. He will also deliver the keynote address for the conference with rapper and collaborator, Birmingham's Juice Aleem

The journal is one of the primary outputs of Prof Rollefson's five-year, €2 million EU grant for the CIPHER: Hip Hop Interpellation project, which will map global hip hop knowledge flows uniting big data and ethnographic methods.  

The keynote, titled 'Fifth Element Metaphysics: Building Hip Hop Knowledge from Afroflux to CIPHER', will describe CIPHER's methods alongside the critically-acclaimed MC and longtime hip hop activist's Afroflux arts and culture project.

Global Hip Hop Studies, to be published by the Bristol-based academic press Intellect, will feature research articles about hip hop music, dance, art, culture, and politics, as well as book reviews, media reviews, artist interviews, and the growing field of hip hop archives. 

The journal will also partner with Intellect in piloting a proactive distribution model, opening up access in underdeveloped nations and providing free access to under-resourced communities in the overdeveloped world, through local public libraries.

According to the journal's aims and scope, "the GHHS distribution model provides journal access to the under-resourced communities who created the culture, thus aiming at nothing less than a reconfiguration of the university knowledge trade."

Prof Rollefson will join Coordinating Editor, Adam Haupt (University of Cape Town) and an international Editorial Board of established hip hop scholars Murray Forman, Northeastern University; Sina Nitzsche, Ruhr-Universität Bochum; Bettina Love, University of Georgia; and Karim Hammou, French National Centre for Scientific Research, in running the twice-yearly journal.  

"I'm absolutely thrilled to be at the helm of this new journal with Professor Haupt and such an amazing team of international scholars. We're currently putting together an advisory board that will further extend that global network beyond hip hop scholars to artists, industry leaders, and activists around the world," Prof Rollefson said. 

"It'll be key to listen to all of these stakeholders to keep the journal relevant and responsive to hip hop's diverse communities."

The first issue is scheduled for publication in March 2020. Prof Rollefson's CIPHER research project starts in August.

More on Professor Rollefson's work: and  

For more on this story contact:

Lynne Nolan, Media & PR Officer, UCC: 087 210 1119.

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