Dawn-Elissa Fischer (a.k.a. the “D.E.F.” Professor) is an
Assistant Professor in the Department of Africana Studies at San Francisco State University, where she teaches courses on black popular culture, digital research design and visual ethnography. Dr. Fischer has worked on a number of different community-based campaigns
using Hiphop to address issues of voter disenfranchisement, gender based violence, literacy and the digital divide. For over 15 years, she has been traveling within and outside of the United States, committing herself to academic and political work. She has studied and worked with Hiphop social movement organizations internationally in Japan, South Africa, Tanzania, Senegal, Sweden, China, Norway, Cuba, Jamaica and Russia. She has received various awards and grants for her research, including support from the Japan Foundation, the Mellon Mays Fellowship Program and the Social Science Research Council.
Dr. Fischer is dedicated to research and practice that serves community interests and secures social justice. She is the executive director of Edutainment4Life, Inc. (an NGO dedicated to life skills and self- help of underserved children and families) and she serves on the advisory board of HOTGIRLS--Helping Our Teen Girls In Real Life Situations, Inc. (an NGO dedicated to health & HIV/AIDS education for black girls directed by Dr. Carla Stokes). She is a cofounder of the National Hip Hop Political Convention, a Hiphop civic engagement project. She is a founding staff member of the Hiphop Archive, directed by Dr. Marcyliena Morgan at Harvard University, and she co-produced the Hiphop Archive’s first film, “Nihon Style” with filmmaker Bianca White. Dr. Fischer currently serves as the Hiphop Archive’s Associate Director of Research and Development, and she is working with talented community educators, artists and pioneer scholars developing the Hiphop University Project.