Death before death: The Rhetorical Construction of the Sikh Diaspora through the Murder of Sidhu Moose Wala

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Communication and Rhetorical Studies


Keven Rudrow

Subject Categories

Communication | Social and Behavioral Sciences


This thesis examines Panjabi-Sikh Hip-Hop, focusing on the music of Sidhu Moose Wala as a case study for examining Sikh diasporic identity is constructed. While foregrounding rhetorical theories and methods, this thesis emerges at the intersections of communication studies, rhetorical studies, cultural studies, diaspora studies, and memory studies and identifies three dominant themes: the use of Black aesthetics, the Sikh warrior imagery, and counter-visuality. I argue that Sidhu's music, intertwining elements of American hip-hop and Black aesthetics, serves as a conduit for expressing diasporic experiences and helps construct the Sikh diaspora. Ultimately, this thesis contributes to our understanding of how Punjabi-Sikh Hip-Hop shapes and articulates Sikh diasporic identities, expanding rhetoric’s limited focus on Sikh identity.


Open Access

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