For the past decade, I have worked as an artist who incorporates self-directed project based research into interactive workshops, music events and public lectures that offer participants the opportunity to develop an intimate relationship with under-explored topics related to the cultural history of marginalized communities. I create multi dimensional and multi sensory experiences that require audiences to apply critical thinking to how the arts can hold viable solutions to social inequality.
I coined the term “DJ Scholarship” to explain DJ culture as a mix-mode research practice, both performative and subversive in its ability to shape and define social experiences, shifting the public perception of the role of a DJ from being a purveyor of party music to an archivist, cultural worker and information specialist who assesses, collects, organizes, preserves, and provides access to music determined to have long-term value. This shift in perspective manifests most clearly in the presentation of my work at universities, cultural conferences and performance venues where I create spaces for public dialogue to occur using music as an entry point to bridge the gap between socially acceptable forms of knowledge and nontraditional ones.
My work is informed and inspired by underground cultural movements, the 1980s, migration studies, theories of escape, and electronic music of the African Diaspora. I'm the product of the Historically Black Fisk University with a MA from the historically radical San Francisco State University Ethnic Studies department. With support from the Jerome Foundation Travel Grant, The Astrae Lesbian Foundation for Justice, Idea Capital, Residency BiljmAIR (Netherlands) and The Rauschenberg Artists as Activists Grant, I have been able to resource my performative research on a local, national and global level. Beyond the dance floor, my work provides "Entertainment with a Thesis." DJ Lynnée Denise is a lecturer at California State University’s Pan African Studies Department and the Chicano Studies Department.