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
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.
Vinyl Restorations: The Wane and Wax of L.A.'s Record Stores
Vinyl Restorations: The Wane and Wax of L.A.'s Record Stores
The comeback of record stores in Northeast L.A. is a validation of the continuing allure of the record as well as the power of a good record shop to anchor and promote the musical character of a neighborhood.
Record Collectors in Their Natural Habitats: Eilon Paz Photographs Vinyl Addicts in the Wild
Record Collectors in Their Natural Habitats: Eilon Paz Photographs Vinyl Addicts in the Wild
New York-based photographer Eilon Paz has embarked on a tour across the U.S. capturing record collections and their respective owners. The artist has now come to L.A.
Soul of a Composer: Miguel Atwood-Ferguson's Musical Thesis
Soul of a Composer: Miguel Atwood-Ferguson's Musical Thesis
Despite appearing on over 300 recordings, musician Miguel Atwood-Ferguson might still be one of L.A.'s best-kept secrets.
Art of the LP: Making The Album Cover (Literally)
Art of the LP: Making The Album Cover (Literally)
When people think about "album cover art," they're usually focused on the image on the cover. But the cover/jacket itself, as a physical object, is also a product of creative, artistic processes.
L.A. ON LP: The Search for Locations on Classic Album Covers, Part 2
L.A. ON LP: The Search for Locations on Classic Album Covers, Part 2
Oliver Wang explores the different locations and time eras that are captured in the LP art of L.A.
L.A. ON LP: The Search for Locations on Classic Album Covers
L.A. ON LP: The Search for Locations on Classic Album Covers
Oliver Wang explores the different locations and time eras that are captured in the LP art of L.A.
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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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