Charis welcomed Regina Bradley in conversation with Special Guests for a celebration of An Outkast Reader: Essays on Race, Gender, and the Postmodern South. The volume includes a who's who of hip-hop studies and African American studies scholarship, including Charlie Braxton, Susana M. Morris, Howard Ramsby II, Reynaldo Anderson, and Ruth Nicole Brown. This event is co-hosted by the Auburn Avenue Research Library on African American Culture and History.
OutKast, the Atlanta-based hip-hop duo formed in 1992, is one of the most influential musical groups within American popular culture of the past twenty-five years. Through Grammy-winning albums, music videos, feature films, theatrical performances, and fashion, Andr "Andr 3000" Benjamin and Antwan "Big Boi" Patton have articulated a vision of postmodern, post-civil rights southern identity that combines the roots of funk, psychedelia, haute couture, R&B, faith and spirituality, and Afrofuturism into a style all its own. This postmodern southern aesthetic, largely promulgated and disseminated by OutKast and its collaborators, is now so prevalent in mainstream American culture (neither Beyonc Knowles's "Formation" nor Joss Whedon's sci-fi /western mashup Firefly could exist without OutKast's collage aesthetic) that we rarely consider how challenging and experimental it actually is to create a new southern aesthetic.
An OutKast Reader, then, takes the group's aesthetic as a lens through which readers can understand and explore contemporary issues of Blackness, gender, urbanism, southern aesthetics, and southern studies more generally. Divided into sections on regional influences, gender, and visuality, the essays collectively offer a vision of OutKast as a key shaper of conceptions of the twenty-first-century South, expanding that vision beyond long-held archetypes and cultural signifiers.
Regina N. Bradley is an alumna Nasir Jones Hiphop Fellow at Harvard University and an assistant professor of English and African diaspora studies at Kennesaw State University. She is the author of Boondock Kollage; Stories from the Hip Hop South, Chronicling Stankonia: The Rise of the Hip-Hop South, and editor of the anthology, An Outkast Reader: Essays of Race, Gender, and the Postmodern South.
This event is free and open to all people, especially to those who have no income or low income right now, but we encourage and appreciate a solidarity donation in support of the work of Charis Circle, our programming non-profit. Charis Circle's mission is to foster sustainable feminist communities, work for social justice, and encourage the expression of diverse and marginalized voices. https://donatenow.networkforgood.org/CharisCircle?code=chariscirclepage
We will be archiving this event and adding closed captioning as soon as possible after airing so that it will be accessible to deaf and HOH people. If you have other accessibility needs or if you are someone who has skills in making digital events more accessible please don't hesitate to reach out to email@example.com. We are actively learning the best practices for this technology and we welcome your feedback as we begin this new way of connecting across distances.
By attending our virtual event you agree to our Code of Conduct: Our event seeks to provide a harassment-free experience for everyone, regardless of gender, gender identity and expression, age, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, ethnicity, religion (or lack thereof), class, or technology choices. We do not tolerate harassment in any form. Sexual language and imagery are not appropriate. Anyone violating these rules will be expelled from this event and all future events at the discretion of the organizers. Please report all harassment to firstname.lastname@example.org immediately.
OutKast, the Atlanta-based hip-hop duo formed in 1992, is one of the most influential musical groups within American popular culture of the past twenty-five years.