Dr. Rambsy Lectures on Jay-Z as First “Beyond Meridians” Presenter

By Caitlin Burns | September 19, 2017

Dr. Kenton Rambsy, assistant professor at the University of Texas-Arlington, will present the first “Beyond Meridians” lecture in the Commons Great Room on Tuesday, Oct. 3 at 6:30 p.m.

The lecture will focus on Dr. Rambsy’s most well-known work, “The Jay-Z Mixtape: A Blueprint for Black Digital Literary Study,” which looks at Jay-Z’s music and the cultural impact of his songs and image. The lecture derives from Dr. Rambsy’s “The Jay-Z Course” at the University of Texas-Arlington, where students use text-mining software to quantify linguistic and thematic trends between Jay Z’s solo albums and literary texts by writers such as Frederick Douglass, Richard Wright, Malcolm X, and Ralph Ellison. The course has been featured by NBC for its unique use of pop culture in reference to “big data.”

Dr. Rambsy received his PhD in English from the University of Kansas in May 2015. He is a 2010 Magna Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Morehouse College. He is currently working on a project where he uses text-mining tools and draws on an extensive dataset to analyze geographic patterns among a selection of short fiction by black writers.

This is the first in a series of presentations hosted by Dr. Kalenda Eaton, associate professor of the English department, as part of the 2017 Frank and Evelyn Steinbrucker Endowed Chair.