Black Music: Black Music Division – Reimagined (MHI2238.01)

Michael Wimberly

In the early 70s Bennington music faculty members Bill Dixon and Milford Graves guided Bennington students through a black aesthetic, an awakening using music, words and deeds. Their compositions, teachings, and innovative approach to creative music boldly addressed a multitude of issues in the wake of the Civil Rights, Feminist, and Black Power Movements. This ever-evolving course reflects on the social, political, and cultural content created as an outcry from artists such as Nina Simone, Beyoncé Knowles, Jimi Hendrix, The Last Poets, Public Enemy, Kendrick Lamar, and countless others. Students will investigate how these movements instigated an awakening in the artistic and political community that inspired a revolution that continues to resonate today. Additionally, students will contribute to reimagining how the Black Music Division can be retooled to reach across disciplines at Bennington. Researching Bennington’s archives, which include documentaries, photos, video, recorded, and written words from the 2017 installation of Black Spring presented in the USDAN Gallery, and 2019’s installation presented in Jennings, DCB, and the Barn; students will formulate and create a collective memory installation through a campus invited presentation.

Learning Outcomes:
• Learning while engaged in the history of Bennington College's Black Music Division and its many practitioners of color who have participated in contributing to its curricular exploration and development.

• Learning how to critically frame questions and evaluate findings which innovatively and conscientiously advance the understanding of the black experience.

• Learning and implementing the craft of making an art installation for the public.

• Participating while contributing to the advancement of the Black Music: Black Music Division - Reimagined future

Delivery Method: Fully in-person
Course Level: 2000-level
Credits: 4
M/Th 1:40PM - 3:30PM (Full-term)
Maximum Enrollment: 21
Course Frequency: Every 2-3 years

Categories: Advancement of Public Action , All courses , Dance , Fully In-Person , History , SCT
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