Spring 2018

Musical Identities: Body, Culture, Power

Listed in: Music, as MUSI-125


Jeffers L. Engelhardt (Section 01)


Music doesn’t just echo our complex identities; it actively shapes who we are. This course explores how identities are formed through musical participation, performance, and affinities—how playing and listening to music makes us who we are, and remakes us. We will examine musical identities from three critical perspectives: the body, culture, and power. In terms of the body, we will study how race, gender, sexuality, and ability are figured, recognized, and resisted through sound. In terms of culture, we will study how emotions, language, style, and social roles are produced and negotiated musically. And in terms of power, we will study how corporations, states, media channels, and religious institutions offer readymade musical identities and impose limits on those identities.    This is an introductory course for students interested in exploring the role of music in human life. We will engage with popular, folk, and classical music from around the world through recordings, films, and live performances; read widely on issues of identity, including key texts in ethnomusicology; and benefit from the in-class visits of artists and scholars. Required coursework includes weekly writing and listening assignments.   Spring semester. Professor Engelhardt.


Artistic Practice, Attention to Issues of Class, Attention to Issues of Gender and Sexuality, Attention to Issues of Race, Transnational or World Cultures Taught in English


2017-18: Offered in Spring 2018