PhD candidate 'Aolani Robinson.

PhD in Creativity

PhD candidate 'Aolani Robinson is a writing instructor with a background in composition, rhetoric, and digital media.


In recent years, there has been a renaissance within Black Horror. From movies by Jordan Peele to remakes of classics such as Candyman and documentaries on Shudder, Black Horror has been at the forefront of consciousness. This dissertation seeks to examine the underlying stories, trauma, and experiences behind Black Horror by focusing on a rarely studied subgenre of hip-hop music, Horrorcore. Taking an oral history-infused approach and integrating digital media into the research process using tools such as Twine, this project will explore and uncover the intersections between racial trauma, black rhetorics, horror, and hip-hop music. The goal is to answer the following research question: How does racial trauma influence black horror rhetoric as it is expressed in hip-hop music?


Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Alphonse Fletcher University Professor and Director of the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research, Harvard University

Hannah Higgins, Professor of Intermedia and Avant-Garde Art and Culture, Founding Director of IDEAS, University of Illinois Chicago

Zach Savich, Associate Professor, Cleveland Institute of Art; Visiting Program Faculty, the PhD in Creativity, University of the Arts

'Aolani Robinson