In-Depth Knowledge

Narrative 02

In-Depth Knowledge


There are five artifacts for this section, though that includes the three entries from the previous section. In addition to the literature review, annotated bibliography and document attesting to my original/creative contributions,  I have included a form of art installation (Critical Praxis) and the presentation slides from a recent conference paper delivered at the University of Memphis (Lessons from the East: Five Considerations for Culturally Responsible Song Collecting).

 The former, a song written and produced by myself (albeit under my nom-de-rap Hermitofthewoods) was an attempt to synthesize hip hop and critical pedagogy. The lyrics speak to the foundational philosophies and progressive aims of critical pedagogy. The instrumental is repetitive and plods forward relentlessly, mirroring Industrial Age educational practices while short samples from Henry Giroux and Paulo Freire evoke their influential work. The samples that form the chorus act as a call and response. Sampled from two popular rap songs about education, Dead Prez cynically calls out “They schools can’t teach us shit! before KRS-One exhorts us with his classic refrain “You must learn!” Putting the concepts behind critical pedagogy into a rap song while working to establish connections between education and hip hop seemed like a necessary step. Creating an educational piece of art—in that the lyrics aspire to critical pedagogical praxis—that is, in itself about education was a rewarding exercise that helped me to refine my understanding of key concepts and break them down in a hip hop context.

The second new artifact is taken from a conference presentation in March 2019 at the University of Memphis (Lessons from the East: Five Considerations for Culturally Responsible Song Collecting). The paper was a chance for me to explore the social justice implications of the research I have been doing since starting this program, in coursework, research assistant work, and my own project East of East. The paper itself was well received and I made several good connections in the United States and Europe whose interest in music and education is similar to my own. Most were interested in the novelty of East of East, as none could think of any examples of something like it. An exhaustive chronicle of a musical community through primary source materials is an ambitious project, and my time in the program has afforded me the opportunity to give all of it a level of academic rigor that makes it interesting and respectable to academics at home and abroad.


Once again, I have tried to present artifacts that speak to what can be done here in Nova Scotia, whether it is a song produced and recorded in Halifax or research focused specifically on the region. Local content and local culture can be the source of tremendous knowledge and part of what I consider to be my path toward a doctorate is highlighting a culture that has existed in Atlantic Canada for more than thirty years and can be a powerful tool to connect disparate communities who share an experiential understanding of hip hop. I believe that Hip Hop Based Education has a place in the future of Nova Scotia’s education system.


Image from Balancing the Mix Conference website (2019)

Each artifact was written, designed, and/or produced entirely by Michael McGuire with the exception of embedded video content in presentations which are duly cited.


Students will demonstrate an in-depth knowledge of a range of issues in their specific doctoral focus area. While specific artifacts will be determined in consultation with the Supervisory Committee, examples of items in this area might include:


(Click link to view artifact)

C  Literature review leading towards preparation of Dissertation Proposal


Complete the Cipher - Applications of Hip Hop Based Education in Nova Scotia

D  Annotated bibliography on specific research topic

Annotated Bibliography

E  Art installation

Critical Praxis (song/lyric video)

F  Evidence of original/creative contribution to research in the field


original/creative contribution to research in the field

G  Focused conference paper

Lessons from the East: Five Considerations for Culturally Responsible Song Collecting