Ananat, Ryan Snyder.
Spectra of Singularity: Episodes of Improvisational Lyricism from Hiphop to Pragmatism.
Degree: PhD, American Culture, 2009, University of Michigan
This project works backwards: a contemporary concern—my deep engagement with hiphop music—is used as a heuristic device through which to resound the historical trajectory of American modernism. The intention is not so much to explicate an airtight genealogy as to dwell upon the juxtaposition of two bodies of work separated by a temporal gap but nevertheless possessing significant and unexplored similarities. Such a comparison can provide a novel understanding of both terms. Pragmatism—especially as enunciated in the work of William James—is chosen as a starting point due both to its prominence in the history of American modernism and because I believe it holds a strange, but compelling, affinity with hiphop. James’s pragmatism—especially as elaborated by his students Gertrude Stein and W.E.B. Du Bois—touches deeply upon two related concerns that have arisen through my study and enjoyment of hiphop music: improvisational lyricism, on the one hand, and the interaction between personal development and artistic achievement, on the other. Pragmatism, as I use it, is an act of art as well as of thought. It is a means for enacting thinking as improvisational lyricism and thereby eliciting affective resonance from one’s audience. It is also, at the same time, a method of achieving and reflecting upon self-realization—and thereby reshaping reality—through aesthetic practice and theory. Pragmatism as improvisational lyricism infuses language with music, working with found materials to achieve the unforeseen. In this capacity, it serves as a means for working through and struggling to communicate one’s most unique and deeply felt—and by the same token most difficult to articulate—experiences. As such, it serves as a touchstone from which to begin explicating the independently invented but deeply similar philosophy that lies behind and motivates the music of hiphop.
Advisors/Committee Members: Freedman, Jonathan E. (committee member), Smith, Richard Candida (committee member), Holland, Sharon Patricia (committee member), Jackson, Travis A. (committee member), Von Eschen, Penny M. (committee member).
Subjects/Keywords: Aesthetics; Improvisation; Affect; Embodiment; Enaction; Singularity; American and Canadian Studies; Humanities
to Zotero / EndNote / Reference
APA (6th Edition):
Ananat, R. S. (2009). Spectra of Singularity: Episodes of Improvisational Lyricism from Hiphop to Pragmatism. (Doctoral Dissertation). University of Michigan. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/2027.42/64686
Chicago Manual of Style (16th Edition):
Ananat, Ryan Snyder. “Spectra of Singularity: Episodes of Improvisational Lyricism from Hiphop to Pragmatism.” 2009. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Michigan. Accessed October 23, 2019.
MLA Handbook (7th Edition):
Ananat, Ryan Snyder. “Spectra of Singularity: Episodes of Improvisational Lyricism from Hiphop to Pragmatism.” 2009. Web. 23 Oct 2019.
Ananat RS. Spectra of Singularity: Episodes of Improvisational Lyricism from Hiphop to Pragmatism. [Internet] [Doctoral dissertation]. University of Michigan; 2009. [cited 2019 Oct 23].
Available from: http://hdl.handle.net/2027.42/64686.
Council of Science Editors:
Ananat RS. Spectra of Singularity: Episodes of Improvisational Lyricism from Hiphop to Pragmatism. [Doctoral Dissertation]. University of Michigan; 2009. Available from: http://hdl.handle.net/2027.42/64686