Spring 2009

Seminar in Popular Music: Popular Music and Cultural Identity

Listed in: Music, as MUSI-48

Faculty

Jason L. Robinson (Section 01)

Description

Music often serves as one of the primary ways that we create and maintain identities. Our social groups--peers, colleagues, acquaintances--are often determined by shared affinities for specific musical styles, artists, and the world views they come to represent. Yet music is also frequently used to catalyze various forms of social and political activism, challenge our relationship to society and structures of power, and initiate change. This seminar explores the nature of popular music and its relationship to culture, politics, and identity. The first part of the course surveys the discourse of popular music studies and the various trends in cultural studies that have prompted new ways of examining the relationship between popular music and social and cultural identities. We will use this theoretical landscape to analyze an array of popular music cultures in and beyond the United States. The second part of the course focuses on developing multifaceted research projects that put these theories to use. Students will be encouraged to combine ethnographic research (interviews, location-based research) with historical and critical analysis to generate a unique, personal project exploring the relationship between music and identity. Two class meetings per week. Fulfills either the departmental seminar requirement or the comprehensive exam requirement for the major. Requisite: Music 31 or consent of the instructor. Limited to 15 students. Spring semester. Visiting Professor Robinson.

 

Taking Notes