Featured Speakers

"'We Ain't Just Rappers, We Changers of Black Situation': COINTELPRO, Black Nationalism, and the Legacy of Resistance in Five Percenter Rap"

Felicia M. Miyakawa 2

Felicia M. Miyakawa, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Musicology

School of Music
Middle Tennessee State University

Felicia M. Miyakawa is Associate Professor of Musicology and Director of Graduate Studies at the MTSU School of Music. She received her Ph.D. and M.A. in Musicology from Indiana University and completed B.A. degrees in both music and French at Linfield College (McMinnville, Oregon). She teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in both “art” and “popular” music traditions. She is also a Faculty Member in the Women's and Gender Studies program and within this program has taught Introduction to Women's Studies. Some of her signature courses include Women in Music and Hip-hop Music and Culture.

The recipient of numerous MTSU research grants, Miyakawa’s research areas include Hip-hop music and culture, Black Nationalism, American Popular Music, African-American music and literature, gender and pedagogy, and queer studies. She has presented papers at regional and national meetings of the American Musicological Society, Society for Ethnomusicology, International Association for the Study of Popular Music, the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion, and the Society for American Music, as well as at popular music conferences sponsored by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Seattle's Experience Music Project. Dr. Miyakawa is frequently invited to speak about her research at colleges and universities around the country. In 2009, for example, she was a featured speaker at an interdisciplinary Hip-hop conference held at Arizona State University. And in the spring of 2012, she spoke twice at Harvard University about her work in Hip-hop, and once at Northwestern University about her work in gender studies and music. Her first book, Five Percenter Rap: God Hop's Music, Message, and Black Muslim Mission, was published in spring 2005 by Indiana University Press. Other publications appear in American Music, Popular Music, Journal of Popular Music Studies, The Journal of American Ethnic History, and the new encyclopedia Women and Religion in the World. She is currently at work on her second book, a biography of the spiritual “Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child.”