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Baby Got Back: Embodiment, Gender, and Sexuality in Black Music
SOC 308
Fall 2022
Section: 01  

This multimedia course uses a sociocultural approach to explore how black bodies continue to be sized, classed, sexed, and gendered through black musical expression. We will examine black music as a cultural object, both embedded in and responsible for steering national cultures, to argue that black music is indeed a lens through which to examine the struggles, contradictions, and triumphs of black peoples in the U.S. and abroad. Connecting theoretical frameworks of race, embodiment, socioeconomic status, gender, and sexuality with: (1) visual cultures of black bodies in motion (stemming from minstrelsy and chitlin' circuits to musicals and music videos) and (2) a variety of songs written, produced, and/or performed by black musicians (that include but are not limited to: the blues, jazz, rock and roll, rhythm & blues, soul, afrobeat, hip hop, dancehall, pop, soca, hip life, and reggaeton), this class will seek to interrogate how black music creates, replicates, regulates, packages, and distributes identity through a paradigm of production and consumption. We will discuss topics such as commodification, resistance, and representation while listening to artists such as Nina Simone, Sir Mix-A-Lot, Las Crudas, former 2 Live Crew member Luke, Biggie Smalls, Mr. Killa, De La Soul, Lil' Kim, Outkast, Jill Scott, Ayisoba, Big Freedia, Alison Hinds, Nicki Minaj, and Fela Kuti to attempt to understand exactly what type of power (and magic) that music possesses.
Credit: 1 Gen Ed Area Dept: SBS SOC
Course Format: Lecture / DiscussionGrading Mode: Graded
Level: UGRD Prerequisites: SOC151
Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (SOC)
Past Enrollment Probability: 75% - 89%

Last Updated on JUN-13-2024
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