Praise Zenenga holds an Interdisciplinary PhD in Theater and Drama from Northwestern University. He is a theater historian and dramatic literature specialist with a strong interdisciplinary training and background. His research and teaching focus on interdisciplinary approaches to understanding issues of identity, race, aesthetics, politics, social change and social justice in the literature, music, visual arts and performance arts of Africa and African Diaspora communities. He is also interested in Digital Africana Studies and the various Elements of Global Hip-Hop. Several of his publications focusing mostly on masculinities, censorship, avant-gardism, political expression and modes of protest in Zimbabwean, art, theater, dance, sport and everyday life performance have appeared in internationally renowned journal like Theater History, Theater, African Identities, the South African Theater Journal and the Dance Research Journal and various edited books and volumes from reputable international publishers like Oxford, Cambridge, Rodopi and Routledge. He is currently completing a monograph on contemporary popular theater in Africa focusing on the relationship between artists, donors and the state.
This beginning level hip- hop dance class combines straight lectures, lively discussions and problem solving with actual movement practice with the objective of equipping students the relevant cultural, historical and practical knowledge of hip-hop dance and cultures in general. This course takes off from the premise that hip-hop dance is a vital component of wider hip-hop cultures which contain both global and sub-national constituents. As such, it adopts a historical approach to explore the beginnings, influences and parallels of hip-hop dance in continental African, Caribbean, Latin American and local US cultures. The course proceeds to examine the different hip-hop dance and movement styles, techniques, vocabulary and cultures emanating from particular geographic regions especially the East Coast, West Coast, Midwest and the Deep South in the USA as well as hip-hop dance's current state of global popularity, cross-cultural appeal, production and consumption. The ultimate objective is to challenge and encourage students to create final dance projects where they apply knowledge acquired throughout the semester to demonstrate their understanding of the cultural, historical and practical knowledge of hip-hop dance and cultures in general. Most importantly, the course examines how hip-hop dance expressions and representations challenge and/or reinforce social constructs of race, gender, and class. As a combination lecture/studio class this course will focus on both theory and practice. Where possible the course will take advantage of Hip-Hop dancers and scholars residing in or visiting Arizona to deliver guest performances and workshop. Students are not required to have prior dance knowledge to enroll in this class and will participate at their ability levels. The class culminates in a research paper and an option to do a performance or a digital project.
Specialized work on an individual basis, consisting of training and practice in actual service in a technical, business, or governmental establishment.