When Danielle Goonan ’07 arrived in Bologna, Italy, she wasted no time finding the local hip-hop music scene.
A native of Brooklyn, N.Y., where hip-hop is performed in the streets and dance clubs abound, Goonan was very familiar with this distinctively urban-American music. But as she rounded the Italian hip-hop clubs, she discovered a different brand of hip-hop than the one she knew.
This discovery—made while studying abroad during her junior at Dickinson—would lead her to eventually earn a Fulbright scholarship to research this slice of international youth culture.
On Feb. 17, Goonan gave a lecture explaining how her fieldwork and study-abroad experiences as a Dickinson undergraduate prepared her for her Fulbright research.
Goonan said she had caught the travel bug while conducting research in Argentina as part of the Patagonia Mosaic. “I benefited so much intellectually and personally from my experience that I decided to study in Bologna, Italy, for all of my junior year,” she said.
The hip-hop musicians she found there were disenfranchised North African immigrants who rapped about their discontent over Italian social norms. Their lyrics were sharp and politically tinged, and the music blended American, European and African beats.
Over time, Goonan got to know a core group of musicians who gave her insight into why the distinctively American hip-hop lifestyle was so appealing to them and how issues of race, class, gender and religion informed their music.
Goonan's lecture was followed by a Fulbright talk and reception at 5 p.m.