Raplove: The Politics of Recursion in Latin American Hip-Hop
Charlie Hankin (Spanish and Portuguese, Princeton)
This paper explores a widespread tendency toward mise-en-abyme by rappers in Cuba, Brazil, and Haiti: the common gesture of rapping about rap or in apostrophe to hip-hop in quasi-religious veneration. Listening closely to song lyrics, I explore the ways self-reflexive or recursive rap recalls ars poetica and self-referential music, as well as religious rhetoric associated with the African diaspora. How and why do Latin American rappers incessantly seek to describe their practice in their practice? In what ways does this self-theorization legitimate rap’s literariness? What are the politics of the rap song’s recursive lyric present?
The Onset and Termination of Criminal Group Conflict
Patrick J. Signoret (Politics, Princeton)
A growing body of literature has explained the onset of homicidal violence in Mexico and elsewhere on violent competition for territorial control between criminal groups, likely triggered by state crackdown policies. My dissertation project studies a less studied phenomena: the decline of such violence. Criminal conflict can decline in two ways: (1) rivals fight until a single victor wins monopoly control; (2) rivals continue to share territory but behave less violently. Path 1 (less criminal group competition) is more likely when the security apparatus becomes more cohesive/coordinated, and path 2 (less violent behavior between criminal groups) is more likely when a security apparatus becomes more capable. Recoveries are only durable, however, when the structure, capacity, and stance of the security apparatus is perceived as stable. I provide evidence on these pathways through comparative analysis of northern Mexican cities, 2006–2018.
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