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Department ofMusic

Christina Zanfagna

Christina Zanfagna

Associate Professor

Christina Zanfagna is an ethnomusicologist who specializes in Afro-diasporic music cultures and Black American music, especially hip hop. Her research explores music’s relationship to religion, race, and geography in urban America. She teaches courses on hip-hop cultures, pop music and race, global music, flamenco history, social theory, and ethnography. 

Dr. Zanfagna’s writing has appeared in a variety of publications, including Stranger’s Guide, The Beat, Journal of Popular Music Studies, Black Music Research Journal, The Oxford Handbook of Mobile Music and Sound Studies, The Cambridge Companion to Hip Hop, Carnegie Hall’s Timeline of African American Music, and Nonstop Metropolis: A New York City Atlas, among others. In her book, Holy Hip Hop in the City of Angels (UC Press, 2017), she explores the cultural politics of gospel rap in Los Angeles. She has also written on topics ranging from hip hop’s religious history to digital DJing practices, “krump” dancing in South L.A., flamenco dance, and the soundscapes of American gentrification. In 2015, she co-designed and launched the San Francisco Bay Area Sound Map project along with fellow SCU Music professor, Bruno Ruviaro.

She is a founding member of SCU’s Culture.Power.Difference Working Group and Speaker Series, and is the former Co-Director of the SCU Center for the Arts and Humanities, working with W. Kamau Bell (2017-2018), Taye Diggs (2018-2019), and Rhiannon Giddens (2019-2021) through the Frank Sinatra Artist-in-Residence program.

Dr. Zanfagna is also a flamenco dancer, regularly performing throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.

For more information, please visit her website

In the News

June 8, 2019

Christina Zanfagna was quoted in ABC about the recent popularity of referencing religion in Hip Hop music.