About The Archive
Scholars and Personnel
Alvin Benjamin Carter III
Associate Director of Programs
Alvin coordinates projects and events for the Hiphop Archive and works closely with staff and participants at the Hiphop Archive and the W. E. B. Du Bois Institute at Harvard University.
His undying commitment to Hiphop is evident on academic, entrepreneurial, and social levels. He graduated from Northeastern University with a B.S. in Music Industry. During his time there he hosted a morning radio show, started two businesses, and sat on an event planning board that booked concerts with major artists such as Method Man, Busta Rhymes, and Ludacris. Now at the Hiphop Archive, Alvin is ready to take his commitment to Hiphop to the next level.
After a 5-year stint in the corporate world, Chhay has refocused his energies to completing a collection of poetry, trading a paycheck for a purpose. He is a DJ/b-boy, was raised in the Bronx, and currently resides in South Harlem. He is also founder of Custom Insites, LLC, a Web Design & Development Company.
Daylan is a researcher for the Hiphop archive, focusing on the Katrina project. He is an aspiring academic with a day job that keeps him in Chicago.
Daylan was born and raised in Australia with roots in Chicago. After moving to the USA he attended and graduated from Florida A&M University with a degree in Philosophy & Religion. Since college Daylan has worked in varying capacities as an organizer, educator, researcher and at times all three. He is committed to the fight.
Dawn-Elissa Fischer (a.k.a. the "D.E.F." Professor) is one of the Associate Directors assisting Professor Morgan at the Hiphop Archive. The DEF Prof currently works with the Hiphop University, Youth Education, Gender and Sexuality as well as Japanese Hiphop projects at the Hiphop Archive. She is also an Assistant Professor in the Department of Africana Studies at San Francisco State University, where she teaches courses on black popular culture, digital research design and visual ethnography. DEF has worked on a number of different community-based campaigns using Hiphop to address issues of voter disenfranchisement, gender based violence, literacy and the digital divide. For over 15 years, she has been traveling within and outside of the United States, committing herself to academic and political work. She has studied and worked with Hiphop social movement organizations internationally in Japan, South Africa, Tanzania, Senegal, Sweden, China, Norway, Cuba, Jamaica and Russia. She has received various awards and grants for her research, including support from the Japan Foundation, the Mellon Mays Fellowship Program and the Social Science Research Council. DEF is currently working on a manuscript concerning Hiphop, race and blackness in Japan.
Website Designer and Consultant
Born and raised in The Bay, Kyle hooked up with The Archive after graduating from Stanford in 2006. Since then, he has worked as a part-time designer and consultant for The Archive's web projects and properties. For his "day job," he works as an Interaction Designer at Intuit, Inc. (a software company in the Silicon Valley). On the side, he also does work as graphic/web designer for additional businesses and organizations, and runs a custom sneaker and clothing business: Lost Soles Customs.
Sumeeya T. Chishty Mujahid
"Afro centric South-Asian Half-Woman Half-Amazin" (profound apologies to Nas). Born and bred in Karachi, Pakistan, Sumeeya graduated with a Bachelor's degree from Hampshire College, Massachusetts and a Master's degree in Education from Harvard University. She obtained an Education Specialist degree in Community Counseling from The George Washington University. She has self-published a bi-lingual children's storybook, Nari & Uso, that deals with bridging divides between different cultures and people. A mental-health therapist by profession, Sumeeya's interest in hip-hop concerns two main areas: health and hip-hop and Islamic references in hip-hop. As a therapist Sumeeya's research interest in the role of childhood abuse in our families and its transmission of violence and poor health within our selves, our communities and our world. Sumeeya can be found across the pond for 2010-2011, in Dusseldorf, Germany.
The Architect of Political Power
Fueled by a belief in the power of the community Jessica began organizing at when she was only eight years old. First, distributing literature to her neighbors on local candidates and organizing neighborhood trash pick-ups to becoming one of the nations most sought after experts on the diversity of youth organizing within politics. After receiving her degree from Northern Illinois University in Political Science, she went on to work with elected officials and community activist in Indiana, Georgia, Louisiana, South Dakota, New York and Washington, DC. Ms. Norwood has gained the most well rounded approach to political organizing as she has served as a campaign manager and field director for federal campaigns as well as deputy director of fundraising and managing director for national youth organizations with budgets that exceed a million dollars annually. Damn, this woman is talented!
Nicole Hodges Persley is an Assistant Professor of Theatre at the University of Kansas. She completed her Ph.D. in American Studies and Ethnicity at The University of Southern California in 2009. Her dissertation, "Sampling Blackness: Performing African Americanness in Hip-hop Theater and Performance" is the first study to examine the impact of African American racial and cultural identity on the artistic practices of non-African American artists in theater, conceptual art and dance. Her research and teaching interests include: African American Theater and Performance; Hip-hop Studies; African Diaspora Theater; Solo Performance; Popular Culture; Performance Studies, and Improvisation Theory. Hodges Persley currently teaches courses in Acting, Hip-hop in Popular Culture and African American Theater. She has received numerous fellowships and awards including a James Irvine Foundation Fellowship and an undergraduate teaching and mentoring award from the Mellon Foundation. As an actress and director, Hodges Persley has professional credits in theatre, film and television. Her current book project is an comparative study on the performance practices of Hip-hop Theater and Performance artists in the United States, England and France.
Josef Sorett is an interdisciplinary historian of religion in America, with a particular focus on black communities and cultures in the United States. His research and teaching interests include American religious history, African American religions, hip hop and popular culture, religion in/and the arts, and the role of religion in public life. Currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Religion and the Institute for Research in African American Studies at Columbia University, Josef earned his Ph.D. in African American Studies from Harvard University, and he holds a B.S. from Oral Roberts University and an M.Div. from Boston University. In support of his research, Josef has received fellowships from the Louisville Institute for the Study of American Religion, The Fund for Theological Education, Harvard’s Charles Warren Center for American History and Princeton University’s Center for African American Studies. He has published essays and reviews in Culture and Religion, Callaloo, the Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, and PNEUMA: Journal of the Society for Pentecostal Studies. He is currently at work on a book project that explores the significance of religion and spirituality in debates regarding racial aesthetics. You can learn more about Josef at his website: http://www.josefsorett.com/
Following his freshman year of high school in 2004 Harold joined the HipHop Archive street team, researching artists as part of an already growing database. Five years later Harold is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in music industry at Northeastern University with a minor in journalism. In addition to his journalistic work, he spends much of his
time at the music studio, composing for a wide range of artists. His music can be found on the web under his production name of Levelsoundz.
Bethy began working at the Hip Hop Archive in February 2011. She is an a History concentrator at Harvard College. Having been raised in an immigrant family learning the weight and importance of language, she has an incredible love for words--a love that has incited a powerful appreciation for poetry and music. In the future, she hopes to contribute to research on the role of hip hop on the world stage and, more specifically, it's significance and transformative nature in urban development.
Schuyler Polk began working at the Hiphop Archive in January 2011. She is a History and Literature concentrator in the America Field at Harvard College, Class of 2014. She was born in Brooklyn, NY and currently lives in Miami, FL. Her interests include Brazil and Portuguese language studies, Italian language studies, visual arts, international relations, fashion, education, and music. Her father introduced her to Hiphop during car rides to daycare. At the Archive, she hopes to research the influence of hip hop in Portuguese-speaking nations.
Tori began working at the Hop Hop Archive in October of 2011. As an undergraduate in the class of 2014 at Harvard College she is studying African American Studies and Government. She is particularly interested in the interplay of hip hop, politics, and culture throughout American history and in contemporary society. In the future she hopes to contribute research to the role of hip hop in affecting social change and engaging in cultural and political discourse.
Ally began working at the Archive in October 2011. She is a member of the class of 2013, and concentrating in African American Studies and Sociology. With roots in the Washington, D.C. area, Ally has always been in love with hip hop, including its D.C. form, go go. She is particularly interested in exploring the ways in which hip hop has been born from and responded to the structural inequalities which impact the black community. She hopes to contribute to the all of the projects in the Hip Hop Archive, and to grow in her appreciation for the art form.
Ashley began working at the Hip Hop Archive in February 2012. She is a Psychology concentrator with a Minor in Economics at Harvard College class of 2013. Born and raised in Long Beach, California, Ashley grew up listening to west coast hip hop and vybeing to the beats of Snoop Dogg. At the archive she hopes to research the economic disparities that arise within the black community and how Hip Hop is able to rectify and transcend these greater societal constraints.
Nafisa began working at the Hiphop Archive in October 2012. She is from Cambridge, MA via Lexintgon, MA and Khartoum, Sudan. She has loved hiphop ever since she can remember. She is planning on concentrating in Sociology, with a secondary field in Economics, at Harvard College, class of 2015. She is particularly interested in hiphop in North Africa and its role in the Arab Spring, as well as the political and social effects of hiphop in America.
Scholars and Personnel:
Alvin Benjamin Carter III
Sumeeya Chishty Mujahid
Nicole Hodges Persley