FIMS Profile

Niel Scobie

  • About Me

  • Research Interests

  • Publications & Presentations

  • Courses Taught

Niel Scobie is a PhD student and part-time instructor in Media Studies as well as a sessional instructor at the University of Guelph's School of Fine Art and Music. He holds an MA from Carleton University in Music and Culture and a BA (Honours) from Vancouver Island University in Digital Media Studies.

Using concepts related to diaspora, transnationalism, and scene theory (in the spirit of Will Straw's and Barry Shank's examinations of music scenes in Montreal and Austin, Texas, respectively), Niel's dissertation explores the roots of hip-hop culture in Toronto, particularly the socio-political and cultural forces that helped shape the scene (approx. 1980-89). Niel's research is generously supported by a SSHRC Doctoral Graduate Scholarship, and his advisor is Dr. Keir Keightley.

For more information, please visit www.nielscobie.com. 


Research Interests:
Popular music and culture, hip-hop studies, diaspora studies, turntablism/DJ arts, Canadian media theorists, sports and propaganda, political economy of communications, curriculum design.


Peer-Reviewed Articles and Chapters:
“Translocality and the Articulation of a Jamaican/Canadian Identity in the Music of Michie Mee.” In The Spaces and Places of Canadian Popular Culture. Edited by Victoria Kannen and Neil Shyminsky. Toronto: Canadian Scholars Press. 2019.

(Co-authored with Jesse Stewart) “The Diasporic Routes and Roots of Early Canadian Hip Hop.” In Contemporary Musical Expressions and Cultural Resonances in Canada: Ethnomusicological Perspectives . Edited by Anna Hoefnagels, Sherry A. Johnson, and Judith Klassen. Kingston, ON: McGill-Queen’s University Press. 2019.

(Co-authored with Jesse Stewart) “Hip Hop Music in Canada: Local and Translocal Identities.” Oxford Handbook of Hip Hop Music Studies . Oxford University Press, UK. Forthcoming.

Scobie, Niel. Review of Legions of Boom: Filipino American Mobile DJ Crews in the San Francisco Bay Area, by Oliver Wang. Perfect Beat Vol.17 no.1, 2016.

Scobie, Niel. “‘We Wanted Our Coffee Black: Public Enemy, Improvisation, and Noise.” Critical Studies in Improvisation Vol. 10 no. 1, 2014: https://www.criticalimprov.com/index.php/csieci/article/view/3028/3567

Refereed Conference Papers:
“Sound Clashing in ‘The 6’: Placing Toronto Within The Black Atlantic.” 6th Global Reggae Conference – Reggae Innovation and Sound System Culture II , February 13-16, 2019, University of the West Indies, Mona Campus, Kingston, Jamaica.

“She a Yardie: Translocalism and Jamaican/Canadian Identity in the Music of Michie Mee.” IASPM-Canada Annual Conference , May 25-27, 2017, University of Toronto.

“Innis on Ice: Examining NHL Hockey as a Space-Binding Medium.” The Toronto School: Then, Now, Next International Conference , October 13-16, 2016, University of Toronto.

“Translocality and the Articulation of a Jamaican/Canadian Identity in Toronto Hip-Hop.” “It Ain’t Where You’re From, It’s Where You’re At”: International Hip Hop Studies Conference , June 23-25, 2016, University of Cambridge, UK.

“To the Beat of Its Own Drum: Issues of Authorship Within the Aural Aesthetic of Hip-Hop Sampling.” Authorship in Music – A Royal Music Association Study Day , March 6-7, 2015, University of Oxford, UK.

“The Number One Set and Sound: Exploring Reggae’s Performative Techniques in the Music of KRS-One and Boogie Down Productions.” Oregon State University Hip-Hop Festival and Symposium , October 17, 2014, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR.

“BaKardi Slang: Negotiating a ‘Janadian’ Identity in the Music of Kardinal Offishall.” Race & Place in Hip-Hop Beyond the US – African Studies Association UK’s Biennial Conference , September 9-11, 2014, University of Sussex, Brighton, UK.

“Digital Diaspora: The DJ’s Role in Disbanding Data and Genre Hybridity.” PopLife: The Value of Popular Music in the Twenty-First Century , June 6-7, 2014, University of Northampton, UK.

“An Orchid Grows in Motown: Capturing Aura in J Dilla’s Donuts, a Response to Walter Benjamin.” Joint Meeting of the NYSSL Chapter of AMS and the Niagara Chapter of Society of Ethnomusicology , April 26-27, 2014, Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY.

“On the Fly: How DJs Spun Technology and the Digital Revolution Took Flight.” African-American Music in World Culture – Art as Refuge and Strength in the Struggle For Freedom , March 17-22, 2014, Boston University, Boston, MA.

Guest Lectures:
“Beats, Buttons, and Bass: Hip-hop’s Legacy of Re-invention.” March 28, 2019, University of Guelph’s School of Fine Art and Music (Lecture and performance).

“Brands and Promotional Culture.” December 4, 2018, MIT 1050 – Navigating Media Culture, Western University. Instructor: Ryan Mack.

“Toronto Says ‘Yuh Dun Know’: Examining Jamaican-Canadian Translocality in the Works of Michie Mee and Kardinal Offishall.” November 15, 2018, MUSI 3301 – Listening to World Music, University of Houston – Moores School of Music. Instructor: Dr. Katherine L. Turner.

“The Canadian Recording Industry.” November 30, 2016, MIT 2000 – History of Communications, Western University. Instructor: Dr. Daniel Robinson.

“Canadian Hip-Hop Pioneers.” December 1, 2014, MUSI 4103 – Ethnomusicology of Canadian Traditions, Carleton University, School for Studies in Art and Culture – Music. Instructor: Dr. Anna Hoefnagels.

“From the Street to the Studio: Hip-Hop’s Technological Innovation.” April 3, 2014. MUSI 3303, Popular Music of the Americas, University of Houston – Moores School of Music. Instructor: Dr. Katherine L. Turner.

For more information, please go to www.nielscobie.com


MIT 3217 Public Opinion 2019 Fall