Getting to Know Dr. David Ikard

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Dr. David Ikard's recent book, Breaking the Silence Toward a Black Male Feminist Criticism (LSU Press), has not only generated buzz within academia but has made its way onto the pop culture scene because of its insightful analysis of the writings of such literary giants as Toni Morrison, Walter Mosley and Toni Cade Bambara.

But it has been Ikard's trenchant and often irreverent commentary on hip-hop culture in recent months that has catapulted him into a spotlight shared by such notable scholars as Mark Anthony Neal of Duke University and Joan Morgan of Vanderbilt.

Ikard left the University of Tennessee-Knoxville last year for a position as an assistant professor of English at Florida State University, where he currently has a Ford Foundation postdoctoral research grant.

His new work-in-progress is To Be Real: Representing Black Humanity from Zora Neale Hurston to Dave Chappelle, which he summarizes: "Borrowing from the idea within Black feminist theory that all oppressions are interlocking, my project will examine literary texts ... to demonstrate how de-centering race as a marker of identity can empower traditionally oppressed and victimized groups."

During the past year, Ikard has been an occasional panelist, with Neal and Morgan, in a series of high-profile discussions titled "Does Hip-Hop Hate Women?" The session last April at the University of Chicago was featured on National Public Radio and televised on C-SPAN.

In his final semester at UT last spring, Ikard co-created a course titled "Hip-Hop Culture and Cultural Theory." The popularity--and notoriety--generated by the class led the student newspaper, The Daily Beacon, to interview Nard. …