The Drill Music In Zion rapper broke the news to fans last Thursday (March 30) through his Twitter account. “Proud to announce I’ve been chosen to be a Saybrook Fellow at my OTHER favorite school in the whole wide world outside of MIT…@Yale,” Lupe Fiasco wrote. “Shout [out] to Tom Near for nominating me to a place where against all odds two Chicagoans found a home in the Ivy League.”
Tom Near is Saybrook’s Head of College in addition to being a Professor and the Chair of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Yale, and Bingham Oceanographic Curator of Ichthyology at the Peabody Museum of Natural History.
The Saybrook College Research Fellowship at Yale was created to enable students and fellows to discuss and examine topics in informal spaces. “The Fellowship is intended also to provide students and Fellows with opportunities for discussion in an atmosphere less formal than the classroom,” their website states. “They represent a considerable potential for informal discussions of your interests, academic or otherwise, but you must seek them out and make your interests known. You will find that they are eager to meet you.”
This will be the second Ivy League teaching stint for the Chicago native, who recently completed teaching a course at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) entitled “Rap Theory & Practice: An Introduction.” “[T]he MIT relationship was formally initiated through someone who had a connection to one of the professors at MIT, Dr. Nick Montfort. I mentioned my interest in studying computational poets and trying to look for somebody who worked in that space,” Lupe said in an interview last year.
He continued: “The connection was made, and all of a sudden, I was at MIT. At first, it was, ‘Come for a day.’ Then ‘Come see the school, get a tour.’ Then to, ‘Come speak at a class.’ Then it’s, ‘Oh, yo, come be part of a research group.’ Then it’s, ‘Oh, come be an artist-in-residence.’ Then it’s, ‘Oh, come be MLK Visiting Scholar for a year.’ It was just incrementally building over time, so it’s a result of a five-year engagement.”