2003: "All Eyez on Me: Tupac Shakur and the Search for the Modern Folk Hero"

(image from the Harvard Gazette, April 24, 2003; click here for the article about the event.)

Thursday, April 17th, 2003

8:00am - 4:00pm - Thompson Room - Barker Center


Keynote Speaker: Professor Michael Eric Dyson
"Holler If You Hear Me" 

Symposium co-sponsored by:

The Committee on Degrees in Folklore and Mythology
The Hip-hop Archives of the Dubois Institute

Thompson Room, Barker Center
Harvard University
12 Quincy Street
Cambridge, MA 02138


 The aim of this event is to further dialogue on the role of Tupac Shakur as a visionary and central figure in the imagination of youth, as well as in the landscape of American and global culture. As the title suggests, our goal is to envision and contemplate a new framework that emphasizes Shakur's presence not only as an artist, but as an influential agent in the evolution of contemporary cultural, political and social activism.


 Refreshments8:00am– 8:30am
 Introduction8:30am– 9:00am
 Henry Louis Gates, Jr. W.E.B. Du Bois Professor of the Humanities, Harvard University.
 Stephen Mitchell– Professor of Scandinavian & Folklore, Harvard University.
 Marcyliena Morgan– Assoc. Professor, Director of Hiphop Archive, Harvard University,   Department of Afro-American Studies.
 “All Eyez on Me”: When Visionary Meets the Vision  
 Panel 19:00am– 10:30am
 Mark Anthony Neal– Assistant Professor, State University of New York at Albany, Department of English.

Thug Nigga Intellectual: Tupac as Celebrity Gramscian

 Murray Forman– Assistant Professor, Northeastern University, Department of Communication Studies.

Tupac Shakur: O.G. (Ostensibly Gone) 

 Knut Aukrust– Professor of Culture Studies, University of Oslo, Visiting Scholar in the Department of Folklore at Harvard University. 

“Tired Of Hearin' These Voices In My Head”: Bakhtin’s MC Battle

 Break10:30am - 10:50am
 Panel 210:50am - 12:00am
 Emmett Price– Assistant Professor, Northeastern University, Departments of Music and African American Studies.

From Thug Life to Legend: The Realization of a Black Folk Hero

 Greg Dimitriadis– Assistant Professor, University of Buffalo, Graduate School of Education.

Talking about Tupac: Young People’s Perspectives on his Life, Death, and Discursive Rebirth

 Cheryl Keyes– Associate Professor, University of California, Los Angeles, Department of Ethnomusicology.

Redefining the Meaning of Hero in Hiphop Culture: The Case of Tupac Shakur

 Lunch12:00pm - 2:00pm
 Michael Eric Dyson– Avalon Professor in the Humanities and African American Studies, University of Pennsylvania.

“Holler if You Hear Me”

 Nicole Hodges– University of Southern California, Department of American Studies and Ethnicity.

The Death of the Last Blackman in the Entire Universe: The Re-Mix 

 Panel 32:00pm - 3:30pm
 Lawrence Bobo– Norman Tishman and Charles M. Diker Professor of Sociology and Afro-American Studies, Harvard University.

“Let Knowledge Drop”: Tupac Shakur and the Power of the Black Mind

 Dionne Bennett – University of California, Los Angeles, Department of Anthropology.

"How Do We Want It?": Feminism, the Politics of Empathy, and the Legacy of Tupac Shakur

 Bakari Kitwana– Author and Adjunct Professor, Kent State University, Department of Political Science.

“Ride or Die”: Building Bridges between Hip-Hop and Black Power 

 Closing3:30pm - 4:00pm