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A.D. Carson is a performance artist and educator from Decatur, Illinois. He received his Ph.D. in Rhetorics, Communication, and Information Design at Clemson University doing work that focuses on race, literature, history, and rhetorical performances. A 2016 recipient of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Award for Excellence in Service at Clemson, Carson worked with students, staff, faculty, and community members to raise awareness of historic, entrenched racism at the university through his See the Stripes campaign, which takes its name from his 2014 poem. His dissertation, “Owning My Masters: The Rhetorics of Rhymes & Revolutions,” is a digital archive that features a 34 track rap album and was recognized by the Graduate Student Government as the 2017 Outstanding Dissertation.
Carson is an award-winning artist with essays, music, and poetry published at a variety of diverse venues such as The Guardian, Quiddity International Literary Journal and Public-Radio Program, and Journal for Cultural and Religious Theory, among others. His essay “Trimalchio from Chicago: Flashing Lights and the Great Kanye in West Egg” appears in The Cultural Impact of Kanye West (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014), and “Oedipus—Not So Complex: A Blueprint for Literary Education” is in Jay-Z: Essays on Hip Hop’s Philosopher King (McFarland & Co., 2011). Carson has written a novel, COLD, which hybridizes poetry, rap lyrics, and prose, and The City: [un]poems, thoughts, rhymes & miscellany, a collection of poems, short stories, and essays.
Carson is currently assistant professor in Hip-Hop and the Global South at the University of Virginia.