MUS 113 Final Paper 2019

Have technological changes had a positive or negative effect on black music and culture?

Pick one innovation in audio technology of the past forty years. This could be something like a piece of hardware, such as the Walkman or mp3 player; a form of software, such as a streaming service or music-sharing platform; a video game; a new method of using existing technology, such as MTV or turntabling; or a new technique for playing, singing, or composing music, etc.

Based on what you’ve learned in this class about the ways black music has engaged with the struggle for full citizenship for black Americans, do you think that the innovation you chose has had a positive or negative effect on that struggle?

What impact has that technology had on the willingness of citizens to build what Dr. King called “The Beloved Community”? (See

As you sketch out your ideas, you may want to turn back to various readings we’ve explored over the semester. Some suggestions:

From the CRP:

  • The excerpts from White Tears by Hari Kunzru. (Think about the effects that the remix created by Seth and Carter end up having upon the community.)
  • “Social Activism in Popular Culture: A Critical Review of the Disparate Responses to Beyoncé’s 2016 Super Bowl Performance,” Davidson and Dobris
  • “What the White Boy Means When He Says Yo,” Charles Aaron
  • “The End of an Aura: Nostalgia, Memory, and the Haunting of Hip Hop,” Roy Christopher

From the blog (remember to read all the linked content):

Here are some other readings that you may find helpful as you write.

Do not limit your research to these sources, however! Use the library, library website, library databases, etc. I recommend making an appointment with librarian Dana Curtin at or 607-778-5249 to help with your research.

Your paper should be 5-8 pages, double-spaced, 12-pt. font. Due in my actual, physical mailbox on December 16.