Fall 2018

Race, Gender, and Sexuality in American Popular Music

Listed in: Music, as MUSI-440  |  Sexuality, Women's and Gender Studies, as SWAG-440


Amy M. Coddington (Section 01)


(Offered as MUSI 440 and SWAG 440) How do popular musicians express their identity through their music? And how do listeners explore their own identities by consuming and interacting with this music? This course explores how American popular music of the last sixty years has expressed the race, gender, and sexual identities of its performers and consumers, and how the music industry has affected the production and meaning of popular music from the 1950s into the present, through rock and roll, soul, country, hip hop, and more. Combining historical and cultural inquiries with the analysis of recorded music, students in this course will examine how popular musicians sound their identity while simultaneously resisting essentialism, analyze how musical sounds are shaped by the gender politics of their specific cultural context, and evaluate how the music industry encourages and challenges racial inequality. Seminar work will culminate in a creative research project designed in consultation with the professor. Fulfills either the departmental seminar requirement or the comprehensive exam requirement for the major.

Requisite: Music 111 or consent of the instructor. Fall semester. Assistant Professor Amy Coddington.


Attention to Issues of Class, Attention to Issues of Gender and Sexuality, Attention to Issues of Race, Attention to Research, Attention to Speaking, Attention to Writing


2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2017, Fall 2018