Oliver Wang
Oliver Wang

Dr. Oliver Wang is an associate professor of sociology at California State University, Long Beach. He is a frequent contributor to National Public Radio and the Los Angeles Times as well as his own audioblog, Soul-Sides.com.

Website: o-dub.com
Q&A

LOCATION: South Pasadena/SGV

EXPERTISE: Popular culture/music, race/ethnicity, noodle soups

INSPIRATION: The complex, ugly/beautiful histories of communities in Los Angeles

FAVORITE PLACE TO GET AWAY IN YOUR AREA: The Arroyo

ARTIST/CREATIVE YOU'D WANT TO HAVE LUNCH WITH: James Baldwin, circa mid-1960s, in Paris

PERFECT SOUNDTRACK FOR WRITING: Ambient cafe noise

WHY YOU LOVE WHERE YOU LIVE: Food, food, food

Recent Articles
Carrying a Note Forward: An L.A. Legacy of Back-Up Singers
Carrying a Note Forward: An L.A. Legacy of Back-Up Singers
Many back-up singers in the music industry came through the South L.A. church community. The new documentary, "20 Feet From Stardom," profiles of some of the most prolific voices ever recorded.
Rolling the Years: Moonlight Rollerway's Enduring Appeal
Rolling the Years: Moonlight Rollerway's Enduring Appeal
Glendale's Moonlight Rollerway has been a cultural and community landmark for over 60 years.
Private Stock: Custom Records Trace an Alternate Music History
Private Stock: Custom Records Trace an Alternate Music History
Custom Fidelity was one of the premier "private press" companies in Los Angeles where anyone could produce a record.
From FX to Fine Art: The Evolution of Special Effects Artists in the Digital Age
From FX to Fine Art: The Evolution of Special Effects Artists in the Digital Age
Traditional visual effects specialists have shifted their creative focus from movies into other realms as pre-digital make-up and costuming decline.
Fists of Legend: Classic Kung Fu Cinema Posters
Fists of Legend: Classic Kung Fu Cinema Posters
The "KICK ASS! Kung Fu Posters from the Stephen Chin Collection" exhibit highlights vintage posters mostly from the golden era of 1970s martial arts films.
The Perpetual Vertigo of Strangeloop
The Perpetual Vertigo of Strangeloop
As part of the burgeoning Brainfeeder family, Strangeloop (née David Wexler) has become the collective's visual wizard, conjuring video art for artists from Erykah Badu to Flying Lotus.
Under the Influence: Michael Miller's L.A. Hip-Hop Photography
Under the Influence: Michael Miller's L.A. Hip-Hop Photography
Michael Miller was the go-to lensman for countless album covers and publicity stills during one of California hip-hop's most vibrant eras.
Soul II Seoul: Is L.A. the Conduit for Asian Pop Success?
Soul II Seoul: Is L.A. the Conduit for Asian Pop Success?
For Asian American hip-hop/R&B groups, racial authenticity has been a complicated issue to negotiate.
On My Block: DJ Day's Desert Inspirations
On My Block: DJ Day's Desert Inspirations
Oliver Wang speaks to Palm Springs native Damien "DJ Day" Beebe about hip-hop culture in the Coachella Valley and how the desert cities are a world unto themselves.
Bullet Points: How Hip-Hop Handles the Gun
Bullet Points: How Hip-Hop Handles the Gun
Gun violence is ubiquitous in American life, but hip-hop seems singled out for critique in ways that the rest of popular culture often is not.
section header: disciplines
icon, Architecture/ Design discipline

Architecture/ Design

California becomes an international export by redefining the concept of city and home.

icon, Community Arts discipline

Community Arts

Through workshops, education and placed based projects, art is the connective tissue of a community.

icon, Cultural Politics discipline

Cultural Politics

Funding bubbles, cultural deserts and the politics of access to the arts in the 21st century.

icon, Film & Media Arts discipline

Film & Media Arts

At the shadow of the entertainment industry, video artists and underground filmmakers take a stand.

icon, Literature discipline

Literature

Noir, sunshine and dystopia create a multi-ethnic narrative that is read, watched and admired around the globe.

icon, Multi-Disciplinary discipline

Multi-Disciplinary

Multi-hyphenate works that combine disciplines, remix dogmas, and reinvent the wheel.

icon, Music discipline

Music

A dialogue between cultures, the music of our state serves up the California dream like no other artform.

icon, Performance discipline

Performance

Staging the drama of California through dance, music and theater.

icon, Visual Arts discipline

Visual Arts

Breaking away from the European and New York vanguard, California reinvents the art world.


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