Theses Doctoral

To Speak a True Word: Remixing Hip Hop Pedagogies, Poetics, and Literacies

Mooney, Brian

In this multimodal dissertation album, the author utilizes a Hip Hop Research Design framework to explore the youth poetry slam as a site of radical healing that embodies specific Hip Hop aesthetics. The author reflects on his own journey as a poet, musician, and Hip Hop based educator. Part novel, musical album, and collection of poems, this hybrid text employs a multimodal remix poetics. The dissertation extends the current literature on Hip Hop and education by utilizing specific Hip Hop aesthetics and literacies, such as sampling, as a way to critically reimagine Hip Hop pedagogy in K-12 classrooms.

The aim of this study is to provide a new methodological framework for doing Hip Hop based research in education while connecting an embodied theory and practice. This innovative methodology is demonstrated through “samples” of personal and educational experiences that are remixed into a narrative exploration of the youth poetry slam as a site where young people practice critical Hip Hop literacies.

The retrospective study contains original writing and interviews with four youth poets who participated in local and regional slams while high school students. The data in this study are original music and spoken word compositions created in Ableton Live and Adobe InDesign. This data are derived from poems, interviews, focus groups, field notes, and reflections about the intersections of Hip Hop, spoken word, and critical pedagogy. Finally, through a critical Hip Hop praxis, the author demonstrates how Hip Hop Based Education can be pushed towards a new frontier of activism, healing, and social change. The full multimodal text can be accessed at


This item is currently under embargo. It will be available starting 2027-08-29.

More About This Work

Academic Units
English Education
Thesis Advisors
Sealey-Ruiz, Yolanda
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
September 7, 2022