WINNER OF 2018 AERA DIVISION B OUTSTANDING BOOK AWARD FOR OUTSTANDING EDITED COLLECTION IN CURRICULUM STUDIESWhile campuses across the United States have been offering spoken word programs for over 20 years, little attention has been paid to their purpose and impact beyond their contribution to the campus social aesthetic. There is an increasing understanding that performance poetry and spoken word is much more than entertainment. Within disciplines such as English, Ethnic, Women’s, and Cultural Studies, scholarship has identified spoken word’s role in developing political agency among young adults; its utility for promoting authentic youth voice; and its importance as a tool of cultural engagement.This book – compiled by scholar artists, including internationally recognized spoken word performers – offers guidance to student affairs professionals on using spoken word as a tool for college student engagement, activism, and civic awareness. It makes the case that campus event spaces need to transcend their association with the theatre or art departments to provide a venue where students are allowed to be different and find opportunities for personal and intellectual development and civic engagement. Open mic nights offer college students a way to speak out, advocate, lead, educate, and explore with their peers. This book presents a mix of critical essays and college student writing that explore themes of spoken word, student engagement, and campus inclusion and address these key topics:• Spoken word as an educational, civic engagement, and personal development tool (particularly among traditionally marginalized communities)• The links between spoken word and social activism (art as social action; art as a form of civic leadership)• The importance of privileging student voice in student affairs programming (even when they yell; even when they’re angry)• The challenges that come with engaging students in exploring intersecting concepts like race, gender, and class• Considerations for creative and intentional spoken word programming (What does a creative program look like?) • Scaling up for sustainability (through student affairs/academic affairs partnerships, study abroad collaborations, etc.).
Foreword—Wilson K. Okello and Stephen John Quaye Preface Acknowledgments Introduction—Robb Ryan Q. Thibault Prologue1. Soul Mates. When the Academic Scholar Meets the Street Poet—Toby S. Jenkins Student Voices—Jason Reynolds 2. The Spoken Word Experience. Shifting Student Learning From the Classroom to the Stage—Anthony R. Keith Jr. Student Voices—Quay Anthony Dorsey 3. Words Have Power. Spoken Word Performance as an Educational, Community Engagement, and Personal Development Tool for College Students—Crystal Leigh Endsley Student Voices—Caty Taborda-Whitt 4. Talking Back and Mouthing Off. The Importance of Privileging Student Voice in Student Affairs Programming—Toby S. Jenkins Student Voices—Opeyemi Owoeye (O-Slice. 5. Poetry is My Politics. Linking Spoken Word and Social Activism—Crystal Leigh Endsley Student Voices—Terri Moise 6. Social Justice Education Ain't Pretty. A Case for Hip-Hop Feminist Studies—Marla L. Jaksch Student Voices—Kevyn Teape 7. Setting the Stage. Considerations for Creative and Intentional Spoken Word Programming—Anthony R. Keith Jr. 8. Scaling Up for Sustainability. Hip-Hop and Spoken Word as Vehicles for Transnational Inclusion—Marla L. Jaksch Epilogue—Toby S. Jenkins About the Editors Index
"Open Mic Night is the beginning of a necessary conversation regarding youth centrism in higher education. Utilizing art, spoken word and Hip Hop Pedagogy as as a vehicle, the authors drop serious knowledge about how to engage students and provide platforms for student voice and collaboration on college and university campuses. This book is an imperative as campuses learn to partner with a new generation of youth who live in a diverse and civically-engaged world."
Torie Weiston-Serdan, Ph.D., Executive Director at Youth Mentoring
"Open Mic Night provides a comprehensive, insider’s account of what makes spoken word poetry spaces integral to campus life. The conceptual foundations and practical recommendations from educators, scholars, artists, and event organizers are essential resources for making campuses more dynamic, creative, and justice-centered."
Emery Petchauer, Associate Professor
Michigan State University, Author of Hip Hop Culture in College Students’ Lives
From the Foreword:
“Are we listening? And are we willing to create the spaces for truth-telling and witness bearing that will allow for wellness and new imagination?
The editors and authors of this book answer these questions for educators profoundly, weaving poetry, spoken word, and personal storytelling to speak their truths loudly, boldly, and unapologetically. The rich tapestry that these authors paint with their words inspire hope, possibility, and change. They are stories of pain and struggle -- the unending effort to foster spaces that enable them and others to live more fully in their bodies.”
Wilson K. Okello and Stephen John Quaye
Miami University, Ohio
"Beautifully poetic, creatively academic. This book speaks brilliantly to student voice. Its authors advance the student engagement literature in culturally rich ways. Reading it is a delightfully sensory, yet powerfully instructive experience."
Shaun R. Harper, Clifford and Betty Allen Professor
University of Southern California Rossier School of Education
“For readers working in the field of student affairs, the collection is surely validating. For those outside the field, like this reviewer, it is an eye-opener, revealing that ‘student affairs professionals are educators outside of the classroom’ whose efforts are informed by pedagogical theory and clear objectives for student development. The focus on a critical pedagogy that centers student voices and experiences makes this collection relevant to educators across contexts and institutions, as it reminds us how much our own identities and commitments inform our decisions as practitioners. Open Mic Night positions student affairs administrators as central sources of creative and intellectual potential on campus, and makes clear that those of us in the privileged, visible position of tenure-track faculty would benefit from reaching outside our disciplinary departments to make common cause with colleagues in student affairs for the benefit of the students we are all engaged in educating.
If there's one word that orients this collection, it is love. Almost every essay mentions love as a necessary element of the work described, as student activities administrators seek to create spaces where students feel welcomed and supported and as students describe their experiences in such spaces. I come away from Open Mic Night convinced that representation is critical to the field of student activities. The contributors' passion for their work comes through clearly, based as it is in their own lived experiences of alienation and belonging.”
Teachers College Record