Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Comparative Literature and Cultural Studies (PhD)

Degree Level



Comparative Literature and Cultural Studies


Ryan Calabretta-Sajder

Committee Member

Constance Bailey

Second Committee Member

Yajaira Padilla

Third Committee Member

Justin Barnum

Fourth Committee Member

Clarissa Clò


Cultural studies;Hip Hop;Italian;Second generation


Second generation Italian hip hop artists negotiate, contest, and decolonize italianità through their lyrics, music, and activism. Italian Postcolonialism, Cultural Theory, and Musicology inform my approach to understanding the struggle over contemporary Italian politics of identity and belonging. I utilize Discourse Analysis to contextualize lyrics, music, and music videos that resist hegemonic notions of italianità and champion inclusive citizenship. Artists analyzed include Amir Issaa, Karima DueG, Ghali, Tommy Kuti, Cécile, Chadia Rodriguez, and Alessandro Mahmoud. Centralizing hip hop as a collective site of resistance demonstrates the movement towards recognition as well as equal representation. Second generation artistry and lyricism starts at the intersections of italianità, including Blackness, belonging, racism, and the struggle over identity. The act of storytelling breaks down barriers, instead creating bridges of solidarity, unity, and understanding. Second generation hip hop artists actively engage in this discourse by integrating individual and collective stories that highlight the navigation of Italy’s social, cultural, and political structures. Creating and sharing their consciousness of belonging with each other decolonizes institutionalized italianità, promoting an inclusive and plural sense of belonging.