Making meaning in hybrid spaces:
Anglin, Joanna Lyons
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In the three article manuscripts that comprise this dissertation, I analyze data sets comprised of transcriptions of audio-recordings of three groups of high school students as they discussed their interpretations of Shakespeare’s Hamlet. In the first article, I foreground the work of Vygotsky (1978) and the notion that “thinking involves a sort of dialogue with others” (Smagorinsky, 2007, p. 62). In examining how the students co-constructed meaning using hip-hop as a mediational tool, I also discuss the implications of using popular culture to create hybrid spaces in the classroom. In my second manuscript, I examine the impact of the Hamlet rap activity to create a space in which students performed certain identities connected with or in contrast with that of hip-hop culture. Drawing on the works Gutiérrez (2008) and Moje (2004/2011), I discuss how hybrid spaces impact the enactment of specific identities, specifically two high school seniors with very different relationships to hip-hop culture. Focusing specifically on the students’ performative roles of hip-hop insider and hip-hop outsider, I analyze the language the students used to enact those specific identities (Gergen, 2015). For my third manuscript, I write for educators interested in incorporating popular culture, namely hip-hop culture, into the traditional classroom. Using a comparison of three groups of students, I provide a discussion of how the elements of hip-hop culture can be used within the confines of a traditional classroom to re-engage students in literacy practices. I discuss the implications for such practices in light of the current assessment-driven educational climate, and I provide examples from the students’ discussions to support the use of popular culture in the classroom.