Hip Hop, HIV/AIDS and African & African Diaspora Studies

July 21, 2009


This course examines hip hop and HIV/AIDS for the insight each offers into the histories, cultures, and lives of black people. You will learn how to formulate viable research questions about the interrelated discourses of hip hop and HIV/AIDS. You will learn how to conduct research that explores answers to these questions. You will complete required service-learning assignments that provide opportunities for applying ideas and thoughts generated by class discussions to K-12 education. Through the use of instructional tools and resources derived from hip hop culture, and collaboratively designed by ADST 330 students, you will instruct students at the Langston Hughes Academy Charter School (LHA) in the clinical, social, and cultural definitions of HIV and AIDS; modes of transmitting the HIV virus; and best practices for preventing the spread of HIV and AIDS. ADST 330 and LHA students will also collaborate on two culminating projects: a social gala and a community-based project. By the end of the course, you should be able to:


  • Formulate research questions at the intersection among hip hop, HIV/AIDS, and African & African Diaspora studies;
  • Conduct research relevant to answering these questions;
  • Apply your findings to work with students at Langston Hughes Academy Charter School; and
  • Apply your findings to the completion of a 12-page research paper.

Learning Outcomes will be measured through bi-weekly video blogs that reflect your thoughts and feelings about class discussion and work at LHA; the formulation and implementation of an age-appropriate HIV/AIDS curriculum for instruction at LHA; and a 12-page research paper that investigates any aspect of the theory, content, or pedagogy that organizes this course.

Course Products and Weight

  1. Weekly input toward the production and implementation of an age-appropriate HIV/AIDS curriculum 10%
  2. Weekly service at LHA 40%
  3. 7 video blogs 35%
  4. Research paper 15% (5% for oral presentation; 10% for final paper)

TOTAL: 100%

Course Requirements & Rules

1. All assignments must be completed to receive a grade in this course.

2. All written assignments and video blogs must be submitted on or before the due date to avoid late submission penalty. 2% will be deducted from these submissions for up to 5 late days. After 5 days, these submissions will not be accepted.

3. The service-learning component of this course is not optional and the hours of service are non-negotiable. If you currently have standing conflicts on Tuesdays and Wednesdays during the assigned service-learning hours, you should drop this course. Because of the nature of the work that we will do with students at LHA, regular completion of service-learning hours, as assigned, is a must. Please Note: You will fail this course, if you fail to meet the requirements of service-learning as described herein and as discussed during our first session of class. Please also note that I expect to offer this course again in Fall 2009 and Spring 2010. Based on the outcome of this course, the service learning requirement may be offered during hours that can better accommodate your schedule in the future, if you have, or anticipate, conflicts this semester and, thus, need to drop the course.

4. You have the option of driving yourself or carpooling to LHA to complete your service learning hours. Otherwise, transportation will be provided by the Center for Public Service. The van will pick students up at Law/Freret at 2:45PM on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. It will return to LHA at 4:30PM to drive students back to campus.

5. No woman or man is an island. This course thrives on collaboration, candor, constructive criticism, creativity, and general good-spiritedness. If you do not like working in groups, thinking outside the box, receiving constructive feedback, giving constructive feedback, working with children, or young adults, and dealing with tough, sensitive issues, you should drop this course, because you will not enjoy it.

6. The University Honor Code applies to all activities, communications, and products of this course. If you are unfamiliar with the code, you need to read it, because you will be held to it this semester. The Code can be found at http://www.tulane.edu/~jruscher/dept/Honor.Code.html.

7. I am happy to accommodate students with registered disabilities; please contact me at your earliest convenience for further discussion. For more information on Disability Services at Tulane, please visit http://erc.tulane.edu/disability/.

Adopted Texts

Watkins, Hip Hop Matters (2005)
Asante, It’s Bigger than Hip Hop (2008)
Gilbert, African American Women & HIV/AIDS (2003)
Brown, Black Girlhood Celebration (2008)


Ice Breaker: HIV/AIDS & Hip Hop: Facts and Fiction
Course policies & guidelines; introductions; CPS; intern; IS & assessments

Class Cancelled
View Historic Events, as they are happening!

HIV/AIDS 101: The Basic Facts;
Teacher and Mentor: Understanding the Goals & Objectives of the ADST 330-LHA partnership

“It’s All About the Benjamins”: The Class Factor in Hip Hop and HIV/AIDS

Tools in the classroom: using the aesthetics of hip hop and videos as PSA for HIV/AIDS awareness-raising, prevention, and treatment

Hip Hop Matters; Listening Set and analysis

Mardi Gras/No Class

It’s Bigger than Hip Hop; Music Video Viewing Set and analysis

Black Girlhood Celebration
Recreation and Risk

“Bad Bitches, Lollipops, and Hos”: The Gender Factor in Hip Hop and HIV/AIDS

Spring Break/No Class

African American Women & HIV/AIDS

Review and discussion of video blogs

Closing remarks; summative observations

Oral Presentation of research project

*possible social date: 4/25

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