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Panel 4 - On Popular Music and Feminist Futures: Swag, Posture and Battle Raps

10:30 AM, Saturday 25 May 2019 (2 hours)
Lunch   12:30 PM to 01:30 PM (1 hour)
[ CHAIR: Melissa Avdeef, Coventry University

In this panel, we explore some of the futures of popular music industries from stadium tours such as Taylor Swift’s Reputation Tour to Toronto's King of the Dot battle rap events. We are interested in how influential rap aesthetics of ‘swag’ and ‘posturing’ have been in popular music and how this compares to the marginalization of actual female rappers within international rap battle scenes.

We argue that genre aesthetics are both gendered and racialized and are best analyzed against the longer surveillance histories of women and people of color in public performance. The first paper discusses Taylor Swift’s central importance in popular music today and how this relates to feminism in popular music industries. The second paper discusses female battle rappers that perform in King of the Dot events and their iconic performances, struggles and aesthetics. The third paper discusses the surveillance of Taylor Swift’s posturing and discusses the performances of Swift and her back-up dancers to address how hip hop aesthetics and posturing have influenced popular music performances.
Coventry University
Assistant Professor

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