Hana holds a bachelor’s degree in English and American Studies as well as French Philology. She completed the bilingual master’s program The Americas/Las Américas at FAU Erlangen-Nuremberg, spending a semester abroad at Universitat de València, Spain. During her studies she worked as a research assistant and tutor. Hana’s primary research interests include hip hop studies, feminist theory, as well as representations of race and gender in (popular) culture and literature of the Americas.
Although sentimental tropes are commonly used in American music, hip hop culture is still frequently viewed as a non- (or even anti-) sentimental art form. In an attempt to counter this notion, my PhD project sets out to examine the sentimental dimension in hip hop culture. I propose not only that hip hop does, in fact, have sentimental traits, but also that there has been a sentimental turn in its culture in recent years. Most prominently, this phenomenon can be seen in the emergence and growing popularity of the emo-rap subgenre. Moreover, it can also be observed with respect to the ubiquitous nostalgia of contemporary hip hop culture, which is particularly reflected in the romanticization of the movement’s beginnings and the iconization of deceased rappers. Like much activist art, hip hop aims to mobilize compassion among its audience to achieve certain political goals, seeking to humanize marginalized groups by means of popular sentimental tropes. Therefore, the contribution I intend to make with this dissertation is to identify and systematically explore sentimental elements in works by American rappers in order to analyze their forms and function.