Gosa, Travis L.

Assistant Professor


Dr. Travis L. Gosa is Assistant Professor of Africana Studies at Cornell University, where his research and teaching focuses on hip hop culture, educational inequality, and African American youth. He also holds faculty appointments in the graduate fields of American Studies and Education, American Studies, and is affiliated with the Cornell Center for the Study of Inequality. His first book, School of Hard Knocks: Hip Hop and the Fight for Equal Education (Illinois University Press), explores how schools fail black students and why hip hop can help fix education in America. He is the co-editor of The Hip Hop & Obama Reader (Oxford University, 2015), the first hip hop anthology to center on contemporary politics, activism, and social change. His most recent work has been published with peer-reviewed journals Poetics, Journal of Popular Music Studies, Teacher's College Record, Popular Music and Society, and the Journal of American Culture. Dr. Gosa writes regularly on race, politics, and popular culture for national media outlets like The Washington Post, USA Today, The Root, Fox News, and The Chronicle of Higher Education. He has previously appeared on NPR’s Tell Me More and All Things Considered. In 2015, he filed a Supreme Court brief in support of a high school student punished for posting a rap song that drew attention to complaints about sexual harassment. The Bell v. Itawamba County School Board amicus brief was signed by an array of leading hip hop artists, including T.I., Big Boi and Killer Mike.

Since 2009, Dr. Gosa has served on the advisory board of Cornell's Hip Hop Collection, the largest archive on early hip hop culture in the United States. In addition to co-organizing the 2011 “Born in the Bronx Hip Hop Symposium”—a two-day event featuring academic panels, concerts, and community outreach—he acquired a major grant to create the digital archive of prints by Bronx photographer Joe Conzo. He also served as the faculty sponsor of Cornell’s “President Barack Obama Visual Iconography Collection,” an important teaching and research resource for understanding modern campaign strategies and political mobilization.

Dr. Gosa received his Ph.D. in Sociology from The Johns Hopkins University in 2008, along with a certificate in Social Inequality. He is a member of the American Sociological Association and The International Association for the Study of Popular Music. He holds memberships in four honors societies including Phi Beta Kappa, Phi Kappa Phi, Pi Sigma Alpha, and Alpha Kappa Delta.

English - fluent; French - reading and research proficient


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