PLAS Graduate Works-in-Progress: Charlie Hankin & Patrick Signoret

Thu, Dec 12, 2019, 12:00 pm

Graduate Workshop

Raplove: The Politics of Recursion in Latin American Hip-Hop

Charlie Hankin (Spanish and Portuguese, Princeton)

This paper explores a widespread tendency toward mise-en-abyme by rappers in Cuba, Brazil, and Haiti: the common gesture of rapping about rap or in apostrophe to hip-hop in quasi-religious veneration. Listening closely to song lyrics, I explore the ways self-reflexive or recursive rap recalls ars poetica and self-referential music, as well as religious rhetoric associated with the African diaspora. How and why do Latin American rappers incessantly seek to describe their practice in their practice? In what ways does this self-theorization legitimate rap’s literariness? What are the politics of the rap song’s recursive lyric present?

Charlie Hankin is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese. He is interested in intermedial, transnational resonances between music, poetry, and performance in the non-Anglophone Atlantic world: how writers influenced by the African diaspora return to and revise sonic and literary traditions. His dissertation, Break and Flow: Hip-Hop in Brazil, Cuba, and Haiti, listens to the way the syncopated, repeated breakbeat constitutive of rap music moves through Brazil, Cuba, and Haiti as artists innovate hip-hop with distinct poetic flows, theorizing a complex relation between the sonic and the literary, neighborhood and world, art and politics.



The Onset and Termination of Criminal Group Conflict

Patrick J. Signoret (Politics, Princeton)

A growing body of literature has explained the onset of homicidal violence in Mexico and elsewhere on violent competition for territorial control between criminal groups, likely triggered by state crackdown policies. My dissertation project studies a less studied phenomena: the decline of such violence. Criminal conflict can decline in two ways: (1) rivals fight until a single victor wins monopoly control; (2) rivals continue to share territory but behave less violently. Path 1 (less criminal group competition) is more likely when the security apparatus becomes more cohesive/coordinated, and path 2 (less violent behavior between criminal groups) is more likely when a security apparatus becomes more capable. Recoveries are only durable, however, when the structure, capacity, and stance of the security apparatus is perceived as stable. I provide evidence on these pathways through comparative analysis of northern Mexican cities, 2006–2018.

Patrick Signoret is a PhD candidate in comparative politics. Through is dissertation research, he studies when and how order and peace arise in violent criminal contexts. Based on field trips to northern Mexico and original data on criminal group presence and local security apparatus composition, his dissertation combines quantitative analysis of municipalities with case studies of northern Mexican cities. Patrick’s broader research interests include Latin American politics, public security, organized crime, and development. He holds bachelor degrees in political science and economics from the Instituto Tecnologico Autonomo de Mexico (ITAM).

Photo credit: Britannica

This talk is free and open to the public. Lunch provided.

216 Burr Hall