Journal of African American Studies

, Volume 21, Issue 3, pp 320–336 | Cite as

Prince: Postmodern Icon

  • Nancy J. HollandEmail author


This paper argues that the main dynamic of the postmodern is the deconstruction of the hierarchical oppositions (God/mortal, good/evil, male/female, man/nature, mind/body, etc.) that govern the dominant discourse in the European tradition, and that the questions of identity, difference, and intersectionality Prince posed to a mass audience over the last thirty-five years lie at the very core of the movement. His music provides the basis for deconstructing the obvious hierarchies of race, gender, and sexuality, but also those of the sacred and the profane, the writer/composer/producer and the performer, and even Self and the Other. He touched the hearts and lives of a far wider audience than any theorist and helped create a new cultural climate without any apparent awareness of academic postmodernism. This opens the possibility for a deconstruction on the meta-level of another traditional hierarchy, the one between reason and intuition, or put differently, between words and music.


Prince Deconstruction Postmodernism Jacques Derrida Pop music Popular culture 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Hamline UniversitySaint PaulUSA

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