Hip Hop’s Wilderness

In The Creative Process, James Baldwin writes that artists are "enjoined to conquer the great wilderness of [themselves]" and they explore the human soul in order to "blaze roads through that vast forest". An artist's exploration of themselves is to society's benefit, for their productions of human expression may be universally interpreted and received. An artist's... Continue Reading →

An Aspect of the Archive

I've been trying to avoid using this word but it is the only way I can feel about the archives; overwhelmed. After we wrapped up our second day, Rod the head archivist asked me what topic I or other students may be most interested in from the archives. Thinking about this felt like ordering in a... Continue Reading →

Creative Scholars

Ralph Waldo Emerson expresses concern for his fellow man in his speech The American Scholar. The concern is over “The state of society...in which the members have suffered amputation from the trunk” (Emerson). American society is splitting beyond benefit, “the fountain of power” that is Man is best utilized in conjunction. Individuals are what makes... Continue Reading →

Widening Democratic Communities

DH Lawrence calls art "a sort of subterfuge" with "two great functions. First it provides an emotional experience. And then, if we have the courage of our own feelings, it becomes a mine of practical truth". Art, then, is something to experience and something to learn from. It can teach about the artist, the culture... Continue Reading →

Spirit of Place

In Democratic Vistas, Walt Whitman writes that the US is in need of a truly democratic culture. Works of art, social institutions, and the essence of Americans needs to be rooted in democratic values and ideals. The US had proved itself capable of winning wars, making people rich, and becoming an economic behemoth but could... Continue Reading →

Secondary Succession

Walt Whitman’s Democratic Vistas is a rallying cry, and a very long one. Whitman witnessed hundreds of thousands of men die in the Civil War and the country he loved ripped apart by inherent differences. But how can folks from the same country be so different? What was inside of them that made them so... Continue Reading →

Material World

Kanye West's song All Falls Down discusses inequality and materialism in America. His lyrics shed light on how societal pressure, class division, and racial issues drive his own materialism: “ Man, I promise, I'm so self-conscious That's why you always see me with at least one of my watches Rollie's and Pasha's done drove me... Continue Reading →

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