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Drury students pump up the volume with a new course on hip-hop

For Immediate Release: April 8

Dr. Rich Schur was recently interviewed by Scott at Power 96.5 about his honors course "Hip Hop Nation." The course explores the history and culture of the popular music style. It was offered for the first time this semester. To learn more about Dr. Schur’s course contact him at (417) 873-6834 or by e-mail at rschur@drury.edu.

Click the play button to hear Dr. Schur's Power 96.5 interview:

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., April 8, 2010 — Colleges and universities around the Ozarks are no stranger to courses on jazz and blues history; but there’s one music style that has yet to make the beat: hip-hop. Starting this year, however, students at Drury University have the option to pump up their education by enrolling in Hip-Hop Nation, a course focused on exploring the history and culture of the popular music style.

“Most students know about hip-hop from 2003 to the present, but it really reaches back to the 1970s, and some of its cultural influences go back even further,” says Dr. Richard Schur, Chair, Director and Associate Professor of Interdisciplinary Studies at Drury University. “Hip-hop is much more than MTV and VH1; it’s a globalized phenomenon that wrestles with complicated and contemporary issues paralleled in modern society.”

The course, available for the first time this year and offered through the Honors curriculum at Drury University, gives students a chance to learn and experience the cultural phenomenon themselves. This year, students had the opportunity to meet a local DJ and learn how to use turntables.

“It’s as much reading about it, as it is participating,” says Schur. He hopes to bring in a break dancer to his class later this semester.

Schur was first inspired to teach the course after writing his book, “Parodies of Ownership: Hip-Hop Aesthetics and Intellectual Property Law,” published in 2009. Before that, he focused his research on law and race in post-civil rights America. “While studying,” Schur says. “I was never asked, ‘how can you write about law and race and not cover hip-hop?’ I just realized that this was a big gap in my research and the scholarship in that area. Now there are hundreds of sampling disputes in hip-hop.”

Hip-Hop Nation will be available next year for students interested in enrolling in the course. For more information, contact Dr. Schur by phone at (417) 873-6834 or by email rschur@drury.edu.

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