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 provide a rich theoretical landscape of social, cultural, and political issues. How do we use music to construct, maintain, or challenge private and public identities? How have race, gender, class, sexuality, and nationalism been activated through popular music? What is the role of music in our everyday lives? How do commercial interests influence the music that we listen to? These questions, among others, will generate a series of assignments designed to encourage students to develop clear and persuasive writing styles. As a writing intensive 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 be encouraged to utilize the resources of the Writing Center.
Students admitted in consultation with the Dean of Students' Office and/or their academic adviser. Preference given to first-year students. Limited to 12 students. Spring semester. Professor Robinson.