Hip-hop music and academic scholarship are intersecting, thanks to the work of Joycelyn Wilson. Wilson, also known as “Doctor Joyce,” will present “The Outkast Imagination: Hip Hop Education and Transformative Pedagogy” as the keynote address for Eastern Kentucky University’s celebration of Black History Month.
Wilson’s lecture, part of the 2017-18 Chautauqua series on transformations, will begin at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 15, in O’Donnell Hall of the Whitlock Building, and is free and open to the public.
As an African American woman in the South who grew up during the formative years of hip-hop culture, Wilson has long been fascinated with hip-hop and its influence in Black culture, specifically in education, media and personal storytelling. After receiving her bachelor’s degree in mathematics from the University of Georgia, she worked as a high school math teacher, using rap music to teach algebra, and her knowledge of hip-hop culture to cater to the needs of her racially and economically diverse students.
Wilson went on to receive her master’s degree in education from Pepperdine University, and later returned to the University of Georgia to receive a doctoral degree in educational foundations. Her love of education led her to become an assistant professor in the Foundations of Education program at Virginia Tech. She also serves as a faculty member in the Africana Studies program; a Catalyst Fellow in the Institute for Creativity, Arts and Technology; and a hip-hop alumnus fellow at Harvard University’s W.E.B. DuBois Research Institute.
Wilson’s most notable work is her educational innovation she calls “The Outkast Imagination.” She has discussed the topic in several lectures, articles and even a Ted Talk, and is currently finishing her first book on the subject. She has contributed to The Root, a prominent magazine of African American culture, as well HuffPost Live, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and CNN. Alongside civil rights leader Andrew Young, Wilson is the co-producer of the Emmy-award winning documentary “Walking with Guns.”
The Wilson lecture will be sponsored by the Office of Diversity and the African/African American Studies Program.