The Music, Language, and Culture Workshop

EthNoise! Presents Dr. Kyle T. Mays


Please join us for our first Ethnoise! workshop of the 2022–23 academic year TODAY, September 29 from 5:30–7:00pm CT on zoom featuring Kyle T. Mays (UCLA).
“Indigenous Creative Critique: How NdN Hip Hop Creatives Disrupt Colonialism”
Dr. Kyle T. Mays 
Associate Professor of African American Studies, American Indian Studies, and History, UCLA 
Respondent: Travis A. Jackson, Associate Professor in the Department of Music
Abstract: The narratives produced by settler capitalists and transplants in Detroit continue to suggest that it is a place of possibility for white people and notably not, using frontier rhetoric like that which was used in the 19th century when settlers moved out West. In the aftermath of the bankruptcy of 2013 and the water shutoffs, Indigenous creatives found ways to craft expressive culture that critiqued dispossession and demonstrated artistic solidarity with African Americans. This article explores the meanings and possibilities of Indigenous creative expression as a response to ongoing dispossession in contemporary Detroit. Using discourse analysis of Indigenous popular culture, this article argues that Indigenous hip-hop artists are creating anti-colonial art to resist anti-blackness and settler capitalism in the city and beyond.
Kyle T. Mays (he/him) is an Afro-Indigenous (Saginaw Chippewa) scholar of Afro-Indigenous studies, urban studies and contemporary popular culture. He is an associate professor in the departments of African American studies, American Indian studies and history at UCLA. He is the author of Hip Hop Beats, Indigenous Rhymes: Modernity and Hip Hop in Indigenous North America (SUNY Press, 2018), An Afro-Indigenous History of the United States (Beacon Press, 2021), and City of Dispossessions: Indigenous Peoples, African Americans, and the Creation of Modern Detroit (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2022). He contributed a chapter, “Blackness and Indigeneity” to the New York Times bestseller, 400 Souls: A Community History of African America, 1619-2019, Keisha Blain and Ibram Kendi (eds.), (Random House, 2021).

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