Damon Burchell-Sajnani

Damon Burchell-Sajnani

Ph.D candidate in African American Studies, Northwestern University


Damon Sajnani aka“ProfessorD.us” (pronounced Professor D dot U.S.) is an accomplished HipHop artist and a Ph.D candidate in African American Studies at Northwestern University. As leader of The Dope Poet Society, one of Canada’s top selling independent HipHop acts, he has toured worldwide and released four critically acclaimed CDs, including his latest, “THIRD WORLD WARriors.” His writing and research concerns race, neo/colonialism, geopolitics, and popular culture. He is the winner of the Inaugural Nasir Jones HipHop Fellowship at the DuBois Institute at Harvard where he will be completing his dissertation on the politics of HipHop in Senegal.


Artist Website: www.ProfessorD.us

Academic Work: https://northwestern.academia.edu/ProfD

Youtube Channel: www.youtube.com/DopePoetsDotCom

Twitter: @profd

Project Description

Deepening Democracy ‘Galsen’ Style: HipHop and Civil Society in Senegal

Senegalese HipHoppers use the adjective “Galsen” (slang for “Senegal”) to signify the specificity of their scene. “Deepening Democracy ‘Galsen’ Style: HipHop and Civil Society in Senegal,” is an interdisciplinary ethnography examining politics, identity, and activism among one of Africa’s foundational HipHop scenes.  The dissertation explores how HipHop has impacted local understandings of, and participation in, politics in a national context where two presidential elections have been decisively swayed by the HipHop movement. I demonstrate how Senegalese HipHoppers organically deploy an indigenous notion of democracy that is articulated in key ways with an anticolonial critique of liberal democracy, thereby challenging orthodox democratic theory’s framing of possibilities.

2014-2015: Nasir Jones Hiphop Fellowship


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