The book cover of Ballad of the Bullet, with the title and a city at night belowJoin Africana studies on Friday at noon via Zoom for a lecture by Stanford professor Forrest Stuart on his book, Ballad of the Bullet: Gangs, Drill Music, and the Power of Online Infamy (2020, Princeton University Press).

The talk description: Amid increasing hardship and limited employment options, poor urban youth are developing creative online strategies to make ends meet. Using platforms such as YouTube, Twitter, and Instagram, they’re capitalizing on the public’s fascination with the ghetto and gang violence. But with what consequences? How do gang-associated youth exploit social media to publicly invalidate the authenticity of their rivals’ performances of toughness, strength, and street masculinity, and what are the consequences for violent retaliation, criminalization, and broader mechanisms of inequality in the digital age?

Stuart is associate professor of sociology at Stanford and director of Stanford Ethnography Lab. His research examines the causes, contours, and consequences of urban poverty. He received his Ph.D. in sociology from UCLA in 2012. He is a 2020 MacArthur Foundation Fellow.

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