H. Samy Alim

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H. Samy Alim
Professor of Education
Professor of Anthropology and Linquistics (by courtesy)
Faculty Director, African & African American Studies
Director of the Institute for Diversity in the Arts
Faculty Research Fellow, 2015-16

H. Samy Alim is Professor of Education and (by courtesy) Anthropology and Linguistics, and serves as the Faculty Director for African & African American Studies and the Institute for Diversity in the Arts, and as an affiliate of the Center for Comparative Studies in Race & Ethnicity. His most recent books include Articulate While Black: Barack Obama, Language, and Race in the U.S., with Geneva Smitherman (Oxford, 2012), Global Linguistic Flows: Hip Hop Culture(s), Youth Identities, and the Politics of Language (Routledge, 2009) and Roc the Mic Right: The Language of Hip Hop Culture (Routledge, 2006). He is also author of You Know My Steez: An Ethnographic and Sociolinguistic Study of a Black American Speech Community (Duke University Press, 2004) and co-author of Street Conscious Rap (Black History Museum Press, 1999) and Tha Global Cipha: Hip Hop Culture and Consciousness (Black History Museum, 2006). He has written internationally for The New York TimesThe Cape Times, and Al-Ahram (Cairo), as well as numerous U.S. newspapers and magazines, and appeared on MSNBC, the BBC, CNN, CBS, PBS and various media outlets in Africa, Europe, Latin America and the Middle East.

As a Clayman Faculty Fellow, Professor Alim's research focuses on comparative analyses of the linguistic performance of gender, race and ethnicity by young men in freestyle rap battles in Los Angeles and Cape Town. The project explores how these improvised verbal duels are both constitutive and transformative of social realities. In particular, Professor Alim will illustrate how Hip Hop emcees perform and are performed into gendered and racialized identities in freestyle rap battles in strikingly similar ways across the Atlantic.

Professor Alim's full website can be viewed here.