Inaugural lecture: Professor Adam Haupt

18 July 2019 | From Kgethi

Dear colleagues and students

It gives me great pleasure to cordially invite you to the third Vice-Chancellorʼs Inaugural Lecture of this year, which will be presented on 31 July by Professor Adam Haupt, professor of media studies at the Centre for Film and Media Studies. It is titled “Remixing scholarship: Hip hop, the humanities and knowledge production”.

Professor Haupt is the author of Static: Race and Representation in Post-Apartheid Music, Media and Film and Stealing Empire: P2P, Intellectual Property and Hip-Hop Subversion, both of which are available under open content licences at

He is co-editor of Neva Again: Hip Hop Art, Activism and Education in Post-Apartheid South Africa with Quentin Williams (University of the Western Cape), Emile Jansen (Heal The Hood) and H Samy Alim (University of California, Los Angeles) and co-produced an EP, #IntheKeyofB, for the book project with hip-hop artist Bradley Lodewyk (also known as King Voue).

In his lecture, Haupt asks the questions: Is humanities scholarship relevant? Can the humanities contribute to the country’s developmental objectives and the university’s research agenda? He points to some of the ways in which humanities scholarship is being remixed by exploring hip-hop scholarship in relation to debates about decolonising knowledge.

Discussing the book Neva Again and his research on hip-hop sampling and intellectual property, he contends that humanities scholarship is being remixed by scholars who pose critical questions about hegemonic approaches to epistemology; the political economy of scholarly publishing and intellectual property; multilingualism and culturally sustaining pedagogies; and decolonisation.

Haupt argues that one can learn a great deal about the political economy of scholarly publishing and knowledge production by comparing it to research on copyright violation in hip hop and hegemonic conceptions of authorship. These conceptions shape the ways in which knowledge is produced and distributed, as well as the ways in which asymmetrical relations of power are reinforced. This presentation explores the ways in which Neva Again, published by an open-access press, attempts to decentre hegemonic approaches to knowledge production by speaking to the ways in which this project resists the tendency to reduce research subjects to mere native informants. The book adopts polyphonic, multimodal approaches to engaging the key themes by including research subjects as authors and, in the case of Jansen, as a co-editor in efforts to remix the ways in which scholars claim authority over areas of research.

Ultimately, Haupt suggests that humanities scholarship can remain relevant by leading critical conversations about, and by experimenting in, alternative ways in which knowledge is produced and shared in efforts to address key challenges that the country faces, particularly in relation to critical literacy and access to knowledge.

Haupt is co-editor of the Journal of World Popular Music’s special double issue on “Hip Hop Activism and Representational Politics” with Williams and Alim (5.1 and 5.2, 2018). He also serves on the advisory board for the first Hip Hop Studies Series of books by the University of California Press and on the advisory board of CIPHER: Hip Hop Interpellation, which is funded by the European Research Council.

Please join us for this inaugural lecture as follows:

When: Wednesday, 31 July 2019

Where: Lecture Theatre 2, Kramer Law Building, Middle Campus, UCT

Time: 17:30 (doors open at 17:00)

RSVP: Please confirm your attendance online by 28  July 2019.

For further information, please email or phone 021 650 4847

Please note: Due to limited space, seats will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.


Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng

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