WGS 345 • Gender, Sexuality, Rock Cul-W
10:00 AM-11:00 AM
5:00 PM-7:30 PM
This course examines rock music and performance in relation to shifting ideas about gender and sexuality in twentieth-century society. Focusing on the history and representation of rock in audio-visual media (film, television, and music-video), we will explore the various gender and sexual identities rock culture has produced-and avoided-over its fifty-year history. For instance, despite many musicians use of adrogyny and camp in their performances, rock traditionally has privilidged masculinity and male performers and thus has developed an uneasy relationship with females, femininity, and feminism, as well as explicit homosexuality. In addition to analyzing how ideologies of gender and sexuality impinge upon the structures of musical performance and production, we will consider various modes of musical reception, particularly the development of subcultures connected to specific musical styles (e.g., glam, heavy metal, punk, queercore) and those subcultures relations to dominant notions of gender and sexuality. In an attempt to rethink rocks history-as well as its present and future-from a different perspective, our investigation will be informed largely by those individuals typically considered on the margins of mainstream rock performance, criticism, and scholarship; women and homosexuals. Therefore, this course will not examine all rock subgenres, performers, and fan cultures, but rather will focus on those rock styles, artists, and movements which have contributed most significally to the reconstruction of ideas about gender and sexuality. Students will have the opportunity to examine in their papers genres, performers, and music scenes not discussed in class.