I'm currently doing a master's degree in English literature at the University of Cambridge, which is both exciting AND expensive! Through a combination of grants, loans, part-time work, savings and support from my broke-ass artist parents, I've managed to secure most of the funding needed to cover tuition and living expenses throughout the year. However, there's still a £2494 gap that I need to fill. I would be very grateful for any support you can provide, be it financial or, for instance, by passing on the word to high-rollers of the philanthropic variety. Any funding above my goal will go to my PhD.
The specific course I'm studying is called Criticism and Culture (see: www.english.cam.ac.uk/admissions/graduate/MPhil_Info_Criticism_Culture.htm). My thesis will be on methodologies for analysing hip-hop music. In plain terms, I'm pursuing questions of how we might interpret hip-hop, from a literary perspective, in ways that are attentive to its various aspects: its poetics, musicality, linguistic intricacies, sociocultural and political relevance, visual culture (music videos, performances), and so on. Hip-hop is culturally influential and aesthetically labyrinthine. The interdisciplinary field of hip-hop studies has been developing since the mid-2000s, drawing diversely from sociology to music theory to English literature. As a relatively young field, however, there is still much to explore. There is ample scope to augment hip-hop studies in the field of literary criticism, which is not only intrinsically valuable in terms of the pursuit of knowledge, but also socially, politically and culturally timely. Moreover, studying hip-hop at Cambridge is uncommon, to say the least, and could have significant implications. Examining hip-hop in an intellectually serious and rigorous manner at prestigious institutions like Cambridge not only further heeds its vibrant forms of poetic inquiry, but advances a precedent for more research on an international scale. In other words, if hip-hop is being studied at Cambridge, it'll sure as hell be studied elsewhere too.
If you'd like to know more about my research or expenses, please drop me a line at [email protected]
Who Am I?
Born and raised in Charlotte, North Carolina, I'm a US-American and German citizen of Vietnamese and German descent.
My mother’s side of the family fled to the United States from Saigon during the Vietnam War. Against her parents' wishes, my mother became a painter. Whilst working at an infamous café, she met my father, who, in similarly rebellious fashion, had decided to become a dancer. Following an assortment of events involving ill-applied birth control measures, my graduation from the minus-months of prenatal existence was welcomed by a motley crew of lovable beings, who'd been camping out all day in the front yard of our shady rental duplex. We'll skim through the next bits: childhood in Charlotte, adolescence in Berlin (Germany), and then a Bachelor of Arts in Education with English Literature and Drama at the University of Cambridge. Currently, I'm co-directing a show that will be performed in September at the Victoria and Albert Museum. (if you're in London and you fancy roughly 60 minutes of obscurity, come check it out: www.vam.ac.uk/event/bnkgGKnk/ubu).
In the future, I hope to work in both artistic and academic fields. Ideally, I'd like to teach at a University whilst also following my own artistic pursuits. I've come this far thanks to much love and support from family and friends, collective work, and good fortune; this next step would allow me to fulfil my educational potential and aspirations.
Where Will The Money Go?
Here's a breakdown of my anticipated costs and current funds. As mentioned, I can provide more information if anyone is interested.
• Tuition (University Composition Fee): £11,100
• Living Expenses/ Food & Rent: £10,305
• Moving & Settling In: £350
Total Annual Commitment: £21,755
• Bafög (German Federal Training Assistance): £2737
• Student Finance England Postgraduate Master’s Loan: £10,609
• Private funds: £3935
- University Hardship Fund: £1980
Total Current Funds: £19261
In classic crowdfunding fashion, I've got rewards for any amount you might give. Check 'em out :-)