A.D. Carson’s doctoral dissertation, which examines the rhetorical modes, codes, and histories of hip-hop, uses as its voice the very medium it studies. Presented as an album of individual, yet interwoven tracks, “Owning My Masters” is a project that explores issues of revolution, identity, music, and politics. As the author states,
This project—this tension—is black study, the work of fugitive planning. It is work for and against the university, for and against disciplines, for and against verification and validation. The object of “Owning My Masters” is the aim of “Owning My Masters.” This introduction is a bad document identifying the fugitive as a citizen.
A.D. Carson’s dissertation opens up a host of important discussions. “Owning My Masters” is exploring, reclaiming, and recontextualizing black identity through a history of hip-hop. Likewise, it is pushing at the boundaries of what an academic object can be.