Music as an Instrument for Social Change (MHI2114.01)

Bruce Williamson

This course will examine how music has provided strength and solidarity to various protest movements of the 20th century, often with dedicated support from student populations. We will look for examples of injustice and oppression which resulted in powerful musical expressions of both descriptive concern and angry defiance. Some of the social movements with a rich partnership in music will include: civil rights in the US, the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa, anti-war movements, free speech movements, various labor struggles, and other fights against racism, gender bias, and religious or national persecution. We will compare lyrics and opinions of artists as varied as Woody Guthrie, Bob Marley, and Rage Against The Machine, noting how musical styles such as folk, rock, reggae, and gospel can help unify a group of people with a common cause. Discussions, research papers, and classroom presentations (along with readings and film screenings) will tie social issues and music of the past to present-day problems and responses.

Corequisite: Students will be required to attend weekly film screenings on Wednesdays 4:10-6:00pm.

Prerequisites: None.
Credits: 4
T 4:10pm - 6:00pm; Th 4:10pm - 6:00pm
Maximum Enrollment: 20
Course Frequency:
This course is categorized as CAPA, Dance, Four Credit, 2000, History, Bruce Williamson, All courses, and tagged , , , , , .