With its seeds rooted in the early toast and talk over style credited to the first wave of Jamaican deejays of the 1950s, Jamaica’s dancehall has exploded outwards from its confined beginnings inside of Kingston’s inner-cities to become a global art form and a space of artistic and creative expression for more than three generations of youths from multiple backgrounds and cultures.  Spanning more than five decades and covering several generations from its early forms to the present, dancehall is the clear antecedent to music and cultural forms such as Rap music (Hip Hop) in the USA, Reggaeton (more appropriately Dancehallton) in Latin/South America, and seeded others like Afrobeat on the African continent and Tropical House in the Americas.  As the decades advance, the need to appropriately position dancehall in the global and international musical and cultural debates becomes more pressing.

The Dancehall Archive and Research Initiative (“DHA”) is the brainchild of Professor Donna P. Hope and was conceptualised during her more than three and a half decades of participation in, and research and scholarship about, dancehall.  Its mission is to preserve and disseminate the knowledge and culture of dancehall for current and future generations across the world by facilitating and encouraging the pursuit of research and scholarship, art, culture around dancehall culture. The DHA is committed to unearthing and documenting all forms of  scholarship on dancehall and developing, maintaining and supporting intellectually challenging, creative and  innovative research and scholarship from all fields that simultaneously highlight and preserve the stellar achievements of dancehall as a global art form that resonates with individuals from multiple cultures, races and socioeconomic backgrounds. The DHA’s website – dancehallarchive.org – and its interconnected social media platforms, will provide information about seminal and ongoing dancehall works, as well as about our activities and projects, while acting as a resource for all who seek to know about, develop, build, preserve, and represent for dancehall culture globally.

Contact us at info@dancehallarchive.org for additional information and to get involved with our projects and activities.