Research Project

Submitted by Jason Robinson on Wednesday, 4/28/2010, at 3:04 PM

Your research project is a detailed semester-length project of your creation that should bring together your interests with the key concepts of the course.  This may take several forms—historical research, ethnographic study, performance, and more—and will result in a document that is submitted at the conclusion of the course.  Although your project may be of a different nature, it should be roughly equivalent to the workload of a fifteen to twenty page research paper.
There are four stages to your project: idea approval, project proposal, class presentation, and final document.  Before preparing the project proposal, it is important that you discuss your idea with Professor Robinson.  Ideally, this will occur during office hours.  Your idea should address all of the elements required in the project proposal.
Required office hours meeting to discuss possible research project topics will occur during weeks 2 and 3.  Information about meetings and signup will be discussed in class.


Project Proposal:
Due no later than 8pm on Thursday March 11.  Proposals are submitted via a special course blog that will appear on the course website during week 6.
Your project proposal should include the following:
1) A one-page summary of your project.  This should include a detailed description of the document you will submit at the end of the course.
2) A list of questions addressed in your project.
3) A description of the methodology you will use to complete your project (ethnographic, historiographic, analytical, compositional, performative, etc…).
4) A works cited list that includes readings, recordings, videos, and other sources that you will engage.

Class Presentations:
  In class presentations will take place during during the weeks of 4/26 and 5/3.  The purpose of the presentation is 1) to provide a final opportunity for feedback on your project before it is submitted for grading and 2) to share in greater detail the findings of your project with the class.  You will be granted 20 minutes for your presentation (this includes setup time).  Your primary focus is to move beyond summary of your project; you should use detailed musical or other audio-visual examples to illustrate the conclusions you have reached in your project.  Use the following to structure your presentation:

  • Introduction of topic / summary (2 minutes)
  • Explanation of methodology (3 minutes)
  • Conclusions/finding (using specific audio-visual examples) (10 minutes)
  • Questions (5 minutes)

The classroom is equipped with various AV support.  If you plan to use powerpoint or play video or audio clips, it is best to save these files to your U drive and access them via the classroom computer.  If you plan to use your computer in your presentation, please bring all necessary adaptors, cables, etc...  If you have special AV needs, contact Jason at least two days before your presentation.

Presentation schedule:

Tuesday April 27

Thursday April 29

Tuesday May 4

Thursday May 6


Written Document:
The final written version of your project must be submitted via email no later than 5pm on Friday May 14.

Weekly Blog Assignments

Submitted by Jason Robinson on Saturday, 1/23/2010, at 11:40 AM

Each week you are asked to make a post according to specific questions and guidelines given at the Weekly Materials link on the course website.  You must also comment on at least two posts by other students.  Weekly blog prompts are posted along with various audio and visual examples that correspond to the topic and readings materials for the week.  Materials and writing prompts will appear by the Monday of each week.  Initial posts (answering the questions) must be submitted no later than 5pm on Wednesday of that week; responses to other student posts must occur no later than 8pm on Sunday of that week.  The first blog prompt will be posted on Monday February 1.

Writing Assignment 1

Submitted by Jason Robinson on Thursday, 1/21/2010, at 9:14 PM

Due by email no later than 8pm on Thursday January 28

In approximately two double-spaced pages, give an explanation of the term “popular” when it is used in phrases such as “popular music.”  Provide at least two differing explanations of how this term might be used in analytical and everyday discourses.  Use at least three musical examples (references to songs, groups, lyrics, specific performances styles, etc…).

Writing Assignment 2

Submitted by Jason Robinson on Thursday, 1/21/2010, at 9:13 PM

Submit an annotated bibliography for your research project.  The bibliography must include at least eight entries from your research project proposal that are NOT required reading/listening/viewing for the course.  In addition, AT LEAST ONE entry from the required reading from EACH of the following weekly topics must be included: "Meaning" in Popular Music, Gender and the Body in Popular Music, and Race in Popular Music.  Bibliographic entries should begin with a standard annotation (basic bibliographic information), followed by brief paragraphs for each of the following:

1) Summarize the main topic and central argument(s)
2) How does the reading/listening/viewing and arguments relate to your topic?

In total, your annotated bibliography should include at least eight entries.  The assignment must be typed, double-spaced, and submited via email no later than 8pm on Thursday March 25.  Acceptable file formats include: doc, docx, and rtf.