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Title page for ETD etd-03222018-094646

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Dawson, Edward Clark
URN etd-03222018-094646
Title The Poetic Loop: Austrian Rap Music and Sonic Reproducibility
Degree PhD
Department German
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Christoph Zeller Committee Chair
James McFarland Committee Member
Joy Calico Committee Member
Lutz Koepnick Committee Member
  • poetry
  • Austria
  • rap music
  • digital media
Date of Defense 2018-03-14
Availability unrestricted
Since its inception in the South Bronx in the 1970s, rap music has been characterized by a high degree of reflection on the media of its reproduction, and this media reflection has consequences for the poetics of rap lyrics. Austrian rap music is marked by such reflection to an exceptionally high degree. My dissertation reads Austrian rap songs as examples of poetry in the age of its sonic reproducibility, emphasizing the unique character of Austrian rap, which derives in part from Austria’s political neutrality. Because early Austrian hip-hop practitioners could make no claims to authentic connections to a non-mediated hip-hop scene, their work offers an especially clear example of the construction of new and meaningful art from the detritus of the culture industry, an example with relevance to the aesthetic situation of hip-hop in other countries, and indeed, to the situation of much of human culture in the 21st century. Hip-hop, like other movements of the 1960s and 1970s, foregrounds the dialectical relationship between artistic and technological advances, and Austrian rap offers a prime example for demonstrating how rap aesthetics anticipate the distributed ways of knowing characteristic of the internet age.
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