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April K. Henderson
April is a lecturer in Pacific Studies at Victoria University of Wellington. She holds an MA in Pacific Islands Studies from the University of Hawai'i and is currently completing a PhD in the History of Consciousness Program at University of California, Santa Cruz. Her postgraduate work focuses on Pacific participation in hip hop culture, with an emphasis on the circulation of cultural forms between communities in the continental United States, Hawai'i, American Sāmoa, Sāmoa, and Aotearoa New Zealand. She pays particular attention to hip hop dance forms in her work, recognizing both their historic significance to Pacific engagements with hip hop and the too-frequent marginalization of dance in both academic and popular literatures. April co-convened the 2003 conference Tatau/Tattoo: Embodied Art and Cultural Exchange, c.1760 – 2000, which included a Getty-funded international team researching Polynesian tattooing, a Marsden-funded New Zealand-based team researching ta moko, and a panel of Samoan artists who engage tattooing themes in their work. April developed and is currently teaching two new courses at Victoria, “Globalisation and Popular Culture in the Pacific,” and “Engaging Narratives: Hip Hop, Imagination, and Diaspora in the Pacific,” both of which engage with contemporary dance forms in the Pacific region. In addition to scholarly writing, she is a regular feature writer for New Zealand magazine Back2Basics and has also written for DANZ Magazine and Disrupt.