Assistant Professor, African Cultural Studies
1412 Van Hise
Dr. Damon Sajnani is a HipHop polymath whose interdisciplinary scholarship seeks innovation through the complementary development of its artistic, activist, and academic dimensions. His research concerns the theory and practice of counterhegemonic struggle at the nexus of culture and politics in comparative global context with particular attention to intersectional resistance against race, class, gender, and national oppressions, and epistemological and socio-historical grounding in Africana critical theory and the Black radical tradition. The work bridges social science and the humanities conceptually and methodologically through comparative analysis of extended ethnographic case studies, close readings of cultural texts, and macro-data analysis, as well as participant-observation in artistic and activist communities and the production and autoethnographic analysis of original creative works. He is Harvard’s inaugural Nasir Jones Fellow, and assistant professor of African Cultural Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He has released several critically acclaimed albums under the moniker, “Professor D,” and authored numerous chapters and articles on global HipHop and social justice. His tenure manuscript in preparation is The African HipHop Movement: Youth Culture and Democracy in Senegal.
- PhD (2015) African American Studies, Northwestern University
- MA (2011) African American Studies, Northwestern University
- MA (2010) Political Science, University of Toronto
- BSc (2008) Political Science and Biology, Philosophy (Minor), University of Toronto
Africana cultural studies, social and political theory, HipHop studies; critical race theory; cultural sociology; Africana philosophy; comparative race, racism and (post)colonialism; globalization and diaspora; stratification and intersectionality; Black power and civil rights; whiteness studies; critical ethnic studies
- What Does ‘African’ Mean? An Interview with Damon Sajnani
- “Remembering Monarchy, Forgetting Coloniality: The Elision of Race in Canadian Monarchy Abolition Debates.” Canadian Ethnic Studies. Volume 47, Number 2, 2015, pp. 137-163.
- “Rachel/Racial Theory: Reverse Passing in the Curious Case of Rachel Dolezal.” Transition Magazine at the Hutchins Center. June 13, 2015.
- “HipHop’s Origins as Organic Decolonization.” Decolonization, Indigeneity, Education & Society. April 2, 2015.
- “Rapping in the Light: American Africanism and Rap Minstrelsy.” Souls: A Critical Journal of Black Politics, Culture and Society. December 11, 2014. 16:3-4, 303-329.
- “Troubling the Trope of ‘Rapper as Modern Griot’.” Journal of Pan-African Studies, vol.6, no.3, September 2013. 156-80.
- “Jay-Z is 1%, Not HipHop.” Black Agenda Report. November 6, 2012.
- African 220: Global HipHop: Youth Culture and Politics in Senegal
- African 233: Global HipHop and Social Justice
- African 405: The Problem of Whiteness
- African 605: The Black Radical Tradition
- African 605: African Diaspora: Theories and Tropes
- African 669: African HipHop and Politics
- International Studies 310: Golden-Era HipHop: Diversity, Aesthetics, Politics