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Honors Program
Course Description

Honors Program: A pathway to excellence.

HON 201/401 Popular Music and Society

This class will look at the variety of ways that popular music, especially in the United States, has been integrated into other aspects of society and culture. These include the roles played by music in relation to such issues/ideas as patriotism, national and subcultural identity, civil rights (with respect to class, race, gender, and age), economic opportunity and exploitation, and political protest. The class will be roughly divided into four units of four weeks each, and will be conducted as a readings seminar with short, analytic research papers attached to each unit.

Possible texts: Greil Marcus, Mystery Train: Images of America in Rock'n Roll
Craig Werner, A Change is Gonna Come: Music, Race & the Soul of America
Peter Guralnik, Sweet Soul Music: Rhythm and Blues and the Southern Dream of Freedom
Lucy O'Brien, She Bop: The Definitive History of Women in Rock, Pop & Soul
Nick Tosches, Country: The Biggest Music in America
Ashley Kahn, The House That Trane Built: The Story of Impulse Records
Lewis Erenberg, Steppin' Out: New York Nightlife and the Transformation of American Culture
Woody Guthrie, Bound for Glory
Robert Palmer, Deep Blues
Nelson George, The Death of Rhythm and Blues
Eric Lott, Love and Theft: Blackface Minstrelsy and the American Working Class
Lester Bangs, Psychotic reactions and Carburetor Dung
Peter Doggett, Are You Ready for the Country: Elvis, Dylan, Parsons and the Roots of Country Rock
Ira Gitler, Swing to Bop
Jerome L. Rodnitzky, Minstrels of the Dawn: The Folk-Protest Singer as a Cultural Hero

Possible films: Jammin' the Blues, Woodstock, The Buddy Holly Story, American Hot Wax (Mutrux, 1978) , Monterey Pop (Pennebaker 1968), Bird, Top Hat, Crazy Heart, Anita O'Day: The Life of a Jazz Singer (Cavolina & McCruddin, 2007), Tender Mercies, Ladies & Gentlemen, The Fabulous Stains, The Decline of Western Civilization, Gimme Shelter (Maysles & Maysles, 1970) , I'm Not There or Don't Look Back, Coal Miner's Daughter, This Is Spinal Tap, Almost Famous, That Thing You Do,


Substitutions: Possible course substitutions:
HSTA 494 Seminar
HSTA 412 American Thought and Culture
HSTA 331 History of Mass Media
ENG 280/LIT 218 Visions of America
SOCI 494 Seminar*
MUS 409 Seminar*
MUS 461 Music History*
ISSS 494 Seminar
*Pending approval by department

Instructors: Dr. John Hajduk & Dr. Sean Eudaily

Time: Fall 2010, Stringer, Tuesdays 6-10pm, STC 007

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