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Blues People: Race, Ethnicity and Popular Music
AFAM 260
Spring 2020 not offered

This course explores African American history in the United States through sound and song. As Ronald Radano, one of the scholars we will read this semester, has argued, the ways we discuss music can have a tangible influence on the social and political world, because debates about music stand in for larger social issues with real-life consequences. We will read texts that demonstrate how music has facilitated the creation of identities in the United States that recognize and celebrate difference, while offering alternate visions for what it means to be (and sound) American. We will read music as primary sources in order to investigate how musical genres may act as reservoirs of shared history and collective identity. And through diverse topics--from blues music and the rise of Jim Crow to 19th century tribal dancers draped in American flags on the Pine Ridge reservation to connections between elevator music and the Spanish American war--we will learn about how music and race have intersected with broader themes in U.S. history such as segregation, assimilation, internment, imperialism, and global capitalism.
Credit: 1 Gen Ed Area Dept: SBS AFAM
Course Format: Lecture / DiscussionGrading Mode: Graded
Level: UGRD Prerequisites: None
Fulfills a Major Requirement for: None

Last Updated on APR-13-2024
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