Title: Cocaine Blunts and Comic Books: The Woman who Launched the Japanese Hip-Hop Scene / Is the News Dead?
This talk will be presented in two parts.
First half: Cocaine Blunts and Comic Books: The Woman who Launched the Japanese Hip-Hop Scene. In 1993, a young comic book artist arrived at JFK International Airport on a long flight from Tokyo, Japan. At the time, hip-hop was entering a second golden age, and she found herself more and more attracted to the music, the slang, and …the black people themselves. Wanting to share her discovery with people back home, she published an ongoing manga/comic series that covered black music, culture, slang, and NY hotspots, all from a Japanese perspective.
In this segment, I show the effect that her work had on the hip-hop scene in Japan – both as an “edutainment” writer and as the woman who personally bankrolled Japan’s first ever hip-hop radio show.
Second half: Is the News Dead? Social media is no longer just a playground for college kids and tech nerds. The news media is also present, constantly trolling for a story. If you publish a funny tweet, you might find yourself in a Buzzfeed listicle. If you witness a school shooting, you might find yourself bombarded with reporters asking to talk to you – while you are still in danger.
What does it mean of us to live in a world where the borders between media “producer” and “consumer” and “subject” are constantly blurred?
About the Speaker:
Dexter Thomas is from San Bernardino, CA, and is a reporter at the Los Angeles Times, as well as is a Ph.D. Candidate in East Asian Studies at Cornell University. He has taught media studies and Japanese, and is writing a book about Japanese hip-hop. He began working in new media as a director of programming at KUCR 88.3 FM, independently producing podcasts as well as music and news programs. He has written for several outlets internationally on topics as diverse as social justice, Internet and youth culture, and rock music.
About the Elihu Katz Colloquium Speaker Series:
The Elihu Katz Colloquium Series is named in honor of Professor Elihu Katz, Ph.D., Distinguished Trustee Professor Emeritus of Communication at the University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg School for Communication and one the founding fathers of communication research.