MUS 113 Syllabus Spring 2019

Class Syllabus
This is an outline and a rough schedule of the reading and listening assignments I will give over the course of the semester. It is subject to change at any time.

Keep in mind that we may spend more time on some sections of the class than on others.  Treat this schedule as a general guide to what we will be covering at certain points in the semester.

*For the blog post assignments, you are expected to read all linked content and listen to all linked audio.


AAM=African American Music
WT=White Tears
CRP=course reading packet

Do the following reading and listening assignments on your own for each class date listed below. Be prepared to discuss the assigned reading and listening for each day.

Jan. 31: “It Didn’t Jes Grew,” p. 1-6, Kalamu ya Salaam (CRP)

Feb. 5: Meet at library for research tutorial session with librarian Dana Curtin
 “A Cultural History of the Atlantic World,” John K. Thornton (CRP)

 Feb. 7: “Sinful Tunes and Spirituals,” Dena J. Epstein (CRP)

Feb. 12: “The Appropriation of Cultures” by Percival Everett (CRP)
“Way Up North in Dixie” by Howard and Judith Sacks (CRP)
Paper Assignment I

Feb. 14: AAM, p. 34-68.
“The Sounds of Slavery,” Ethan J. Kytle and Blain Roberts (handout)

Feb. 19: “The Sorrow Songs,” W.E.B. DuBois (CRP)
First draft of Paper I due

Feb. 21: AAM p. 213-219
Sean Murray, “That ‘Weird and Wonderful Posture’: Jump ‘Jim Crow’ and the Performance of Disability” (CRP)

 Feb. 26: AAM, 119-136
Final draft of Paper I due

Feb. 28: WT, 1-58

Mar. 5: WT, 59-137

Mar. 7: WT, 138-184
“Self-Pity in Negro Folk-Songs” by John Lomax (CRP)
“Forgotten Manuscripts: Lawrence Gellert, Negro Songs of Protest,” Steven Garabedian (handout)

Mar. 12: WT 185-271
Paper II assigned

Mar. 14: AAM, p. 138-157

March 19: “The Rediscovery of Florence Price,” Alex Ross (CRP)
“Bad Boy from Buffalo,” Adam Shatz (CRP)

March 21: AAM, p. 97-117

March 26: AAM, 163-185

March 28:
First Draft of Paper II due

April 2: “Birth of the Cool,” Scott Saul (CRP)

April 4: “The Modern Scene,” LeRoi Jones (Amiri Baraka) (CRP)

Apr. 11: AAM, p. 189-209
Blog post TBA
Final draft of Paper II due

Apr. 23: AAM p. 239-270
“Why Do Whites Sing Black?” Mike Daley (CRP)

April 25: AAM, p. 277-296
“Sweet Soul Music,” Peter Guralnick (CRP)
“What We Want,” Stokely Carmichael (CRP)

April 30: AAM, p. 301-317
“Mothership in the Key of Mars,” Ytasha Womack (CRP)
“The Afrofuturism Behind Black Panther,” Brent Staples
“The Woman Behind the Android,” Gerrick D. Kennedy
Final project assigned

May 2: AAM, p. 354-385
“Can’t Stop Won’t Stop,” Jeff Chang (CRP)≠-hip-hop/
Handouts TBA

May 7: “Scarcity and Exploitation,” Rha Goddess (CRP)
“When Hip-Hop First Went Corporate,” Kyle Coward (CRP)

May 9: “How Do Rappers Handle ‘N*gga,” Brian Josephs (CRP)
“Rap’s Embrace of N*gga Fires Bitter Debate,” Michael Marriott (CRP)
“Rap Music and the ‘N-Words,’” Enongo Lumumba-Kasongo (CRP)
“Misogyny in Rap Music,” Ronald Weitzer and Charis E. Kubrin (CRP)
“All You Need Is Love?” David H. Henard and Christian L. Rossetti (CRP)
Watch Richard Pryor discuss the N-word:

May 14: “Doing 55 in a 54,” Jennifer Lynn Stoever (CRP)

May 16: “An Oral History of Sampling: From Turntables to Mashups,” Kembrew McLeod (handout)
Excerpt from Sinister Resonance: The Mediumship of the Listener, David Toop (handout)
“The End of an Aura: Nostalgia, Memory, and the Haunting of Hip Hop,” Roy Christopher (handout)

May 21: Final project due