A.D. Carson

Associate Professor of Hip Hop and the Global South

Wilson 122
Office Hours: T/Th 8A - 9A (Wilson 122); Rap lab open hours: T/Th 11A - 1P (NCH 398)



A.D. Carson is an award-winning performance artist and educator from Decatur, Illinois. His work focuses on race, literature, history, rhetorics & performance. He received a Ph.D. in Rhetorics, Communication, and Information Design at Clemson University. His album, “i used to love to dream,” released with University of Michigan Press is the first rap album peer-reviewed for publication with an academic press. This work extends from his doctoral dissertation, “Owning My Masters: The Rhetorics of Rhymes & Revolutions,” which he submitted in rap album form as the primary feature of a digital archive. His doctoral thesis project was recognized by Clemson’s Graduate Student Government as the 2017 Outstanding Dissertation. 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.

Carson’s essays, music, and poetry have been published at a variety of diverse venues such as Complex, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Forbes, The Guardian, Journal for Cultural and Religious Theory, NPR’s All Things Considered, OkayPlayer, Quiddity International Literary Journal and Public-Radio Program, Time, USA Today, and XXL 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. His work is available at

Carson is currently assistant professor of Hip-Hop & the Global South at the University of Virginia.

Follow A.D. Carson on Twitter/IG @aydeethegreat.



UVA Department of Music
112 Old Cabell Hall
P.O. Box 400176 Charlottesville, VA 22904-4176