Fall 2008

Bob Marley and the Globalization of Jamaican Popular Music

Listed in: Black Studies, as BLST-13  |  Music, as MUSI-15


Jason Robinson (Section 01)


(Also Black Studies 13.) The 1972 partnership of British-based Island Records and reggae icon Bob Marley signaled a new and important presence in the international pop music world and a rising voice of Pan-African consciousness. The commercial viability of reggae led to the globalization of a music culture with a complex semiotics and particularity to Jamaican society. Musically and sociologically, the influence of ska, reggae, Jamaican DJ culture, and Rastafarianism has been a significant factor in multiple continents, creating a web of relationships between communities in Jamaica, the United States, Great Britain, and many countries in Africa. This course will utilize the music and life of Bob Marley to generate a number of questions about the role of popular music in globalization and the creation, continuation, and challenging of racial and ethnic identities. We will explore the roots and development of Afro-Jamaican popular music, its leading figures and styles, and its enduring influence throughout the world. Two class meetings per week. Limited to 25 students. Fall semester. Visiting Professor Robinson.