Spring 2021

Writing Through Popular Music

Listed in: Music, as MUSI-104


Darryl Harper (Section 01)


This course will introduce students to important concepts in effective academic writing by thinking about and thinking through popular music. Our complex relationships to popular music confront us with a host of challenging social, cultural, political, and ethical issues. How do we use music to construct, maintain, or challenge private and public identities? How are race, gender, class, sexuality, and the nation constructed through popular music? What is the role of music in our everyday lives? How do concepts of intellectual property, new technologies and forms of musical creativity, and commercial interests influence the music that we listen to? Thinking critically about these issues will refine students’ writing, and writing well about these issues will refine students’ thinking. These questions, among others, will generate a series of assignments designed to encourage students to develop clear and persuasive writing styles. As an intensive writing course, we will focus on fundamentals of writing style, grammatical accuracy, thesis development, and research methodologies crucial to successful written communication. We will use weekly reading assignments drawn from the field of popular music studies to frame and debate important issues emanating from global popular music cultures and to provide models of successful written scholarship. Peer review and a strong focus on editing and revising will be central to the course. Students will also be encouraged to take advantage of the resources of the Writing Center.

Students admitted in consultation with the Office of Student Affairs and/or their academic adviser. Preference given to first-year students. Limited to 12 students. Professor Robinson. Fall semester. Hyflex format with as much face-to-face learning as possible. Online components of the course will be conducted via Zoom and the course website.

If Overenrolled: Students admitted in consultation with the Dean of students' Office and/or their academic adviser. Preference given to first-year students.


Fine Arts for Non-majors, Writing Intensive


2020-21: Offered in Spring 2021
Other years: Offered in Spring 2013, Spring 2014, Spring 2015, Spring 2016, Spring 2017, Spring 2019