The ERC CIPHER Team in collaboration with University College Cork’s Centre for Arts Research and Practice is geeked to welcome submissions for DROPPIN’ SCIENCE: Hip Hop Ciphering and Deciphering, the seventh annual Meeting of the European HipHop Studies Network.  This year’s meeting is free and open to the public thanks to the European Research Council’s support of the CIPHER: Hip Hop Interpellation knowledge mapping project.

This year’s theme asks us to bear witness to the strength of street knowledge.  For four days in May, we will recognize hip hop as an organic intellectual arts practice and critically minded culture, building upon that foundation through workshops, conversations, performances, keynotes, scholarship, and fellowship.  For four days in May, we will dance about ideas, considering what it means to flip the script on the university knowledge trade and reimagine our relationship to science, Wissenschaft, and all the narrow “ologies” with which white Europeans claimed mastery over the world.  For four days in May, we will build a “pluriversity” “that is open to epistemic diversity” and “not merely the extension throughout the world of a Eurocentric model presumed to be universal” (Mbembe, 2015).  For four days in May, we will cipher up, form “the ultimate alliance,” and create a hip hop autonomous zone in Ireland’s Rebel City, building common cause around hip hop ways of knowing and ways of being, ceasing to be mere scholars of hip hop and, instead, taking up the mantle of hip hop scholars.

Thank you everyone for your proposals.  Due to the number of submissions and the limited time and space, we had to make a number of difficult decisions.  That said, we’ve now made the selections for what is a sure shot banger of a conference, featuring an artistically, intellectually, and politically dynamic group of international participants from backgrounds ranging across performance, activism, research, archives, education, and beyond.  We’re talking 70+ presentations and keynotes from over 100 folx!  And don’t forget to prep your moves for the evening ciphers – we’ve managed to secure our first-choice venue in Cork City, The Pav

We hope to see ALL of you there as we continue to build our global community of hip hop knowledge.  Please register above — it’s free and it’s gonna be fire!


Very special guests will explore the above themes in nightly keynote addresses from Thursday through Saturday—and then we’ll take those ideas to the club.

Thursday: EHHSN founder, Sina Nitzscheand “Fifth Element Project” collaborator, Justin Williams, reflecting on their forthcoming special issue of Global Hip Hop Studies, titled “Knowledge Reigns Supreme.”

Friday: University of Virginia Professor of Hip Hop and the Global South, A.D. Carson, aka Aydee the Great—the MC and/as hip hop scholar known for his critically acclaimed mixtap/e/ssays, i used to love to dream, and V: Illicit and the groundbreaking 34-track hip hop album-as-PhD thesis, Owning my Masters.  

A D Carson

Saturday: An international keynote panel of B-Girl and B-Boy scholar practitioners, including Mary Fogarty, Imani Kai Johnson, Frieda Frost, and Nigerian-Irish B-Boy, Tobi Omoteso, moderated by Jase Ng, who will discuss the inclusion of breaking in the Paris 2024 Olympics and preview their forthcoming special issue of Global Hip Hop Studies.  

Mary FogartyImani K J Frieda Frost Tobi OmotesoJase Ng 

Sunday: We’ll be finalizing language for the EHHSN white paper on hip hop social and cultural policy recommendations for submission to the EU and UNESCO as well as opening a new call for contributions to Global Hip Hop Studies.

Every Day: we’ll feature panels of your papers, conversations, arts workshops, and activist actions, as well as community-engaged events and launch events around CIPHER’s own 3rdAI hip hop research engine (stay tuned for more information on that!).

Every Evening: we’ll be hosting free shows featuring local artists, open mics, beat battles, and much, much more.

*While the conference will be primarily an in-person, on-site event, each evening’s Keynote will be streamed online to broaden access and further build the cipher.

Check back at in Spring 2024 for streaming links and event registration.


This call is now closed

This call for participation is open to proposals for individual papers as well as themed ciphers of 3-4 presenters.  This call is also open to proposals for arts workshops, organizing sessions, film screenings, and other practice-led formats.  The programme committee will take an affirmative approach to such arts and activist projects in order to widen access and encourage engagement from under-represented groups and alternative approaches as we call this pluriversity into being.  Further, we encourage applications regardless of geographic location and are working on solutions to expand global participation, including an online presentation and participation stream to facilitate people who might be unable to join the cipher in person.

We invite proposals including, but not limited to the following:

  • Street Knowledge and/as Hip Hop Science
  • The Fifth Element vs. the University
  • Hip Hop in the Cipher: working with/as hip hop communities
  • Graf Jam Ciphering, Freestyle Ciphers, Breaking Ciphers, and Beat Battles
  • Hip Hop and Postcoloniality/Decoloniality
  • Global Hip Hop and indigenous epistemologies
  • Hip Hop Gems: deciphering hip hop lyrics, beats, moves, images, and cultural frameworks
  • Hip Hop in/and/as the Global South
  • Hip Hop’s kin: reggaeton, grime, drill, dancehall, baile funk, and beyond
  • Hip Hop’s Black Atlantic gender dynamics
  • Within the Circle: Hip Hop’s Intertextualities
  • And much more…

To be considered for EHHSN 7.0: Droppin Science, please submit the following documents by email to by midnight Irish Standard Time, Friday, 15 December 2023:

  • A written 250-word (max) abstract/proposal for a 20-minute paper, workshop, or alternative format presentation or performance as an attachment, including author name(s), email, institutional affiliation(s) (where applicable), and any special space or technical requirements (as word or pdf attachment).
  • Where appropriate, an audio/visual text of maximum 2 minutes (mp3, mp4, or link) can be included, with the 250-word (max) description (word or pdf attachment).
  • Multi-member panel or roundtable discussion proposals should include each individual proposal plus a 250-word panel overview proposal as a single document (word or pdf attachment).  We will have 90-minute and 120-minute panel formats available.

All proposals and media, as far as possible, will be anonymized before being forwarded to the CIPHER program committee. We will inform all applicants about decisions by Friday 2 February 2024 along with information on travel and lodging in Cork.

We encourage master’s and doctoral students as well as early career researchers to present their work-in-progress. We especially welcome papers that engage with less academically-visible work from artists, practitioners, organizers, and activists from a wider variety of backgrounds. Further, we hope to offer a select number of small bursaries to offset costs for student, early career, and unsalaried presenters.  Further information about bursaries will come with the February decision emails.

For performance or workshop presentations be advised that we have on offer: high quality sound, video projection, and lighting with dedicated sound and lighting technicians on-site, configurable 4×4 meter staging spaces, and a two-turntable, multi-microphone, and mixer setup.

Check the conference page at for more information in the coming months.