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Assistant Professor of Musicology
Caroline Polk O'Meara is a musicologist and an assistant professor at the University of Texas at Austin, where she teaches in the Butler School of Music. She specializes in American music of the twentieth century, including art and popular music. O'Meara received her PhD and master's degrees in musicology from the University of California, Los Angeles, and graduated with honors from Princeton University.
O'Meara's current scholarly activities include her book project, Musical Mappings: Late Twentieth-Century American Music in New York City, which is about how New Yorkers on the urban periphery used music to imagine and create a place for themselves within a city putatively the core of American musical and social life. It includes chapters on downtown New York, punk rock, hip-hop, and contemporary classical music. Other research areas include noise and liveness in Austin, Texas. She has published articles in Popular Music and American Music, and presented research at annual meetings of the American Musicological Society, Society for American Music, Society for Ethnomusicology, and American Studies Association. In 2011, she organized and moderated a conference seminar on the topic "Music and Place" for the Society for American Music; she has also written the entry on "Music and Place" for the Grove Dictionary of American Music, second edition. She is currently the treasurer for the International Association of Popular Music, United States branch.
WGS 345 • The American Musical
MWF 200pm-300pm MRH 2.634
379K The American Musical (23405)
Instructor: O’Meara, C.
This course is an in-depth look at the American musical in the twentieth-century. Every week we will focus on a single musical, moving chronologically and thematically through the history of the musical in the twentieth century, from the work of Rodgers and Hammerstein to recent pop and mega-musicals. Of particular concern will be the ways in which the American musical operates in the formation of national identity and the performance of personal identity. The three main themes across the semester will be: Race and Ethnicity, Gender and Sexuality, and American Nationalism. Class time will include discussion of the listening, reading, and writing assignments, as well as oral presentations. I will assume some familiarity with musical terms and notation, and students are expected to put aside several hours a week to watch film versions of the musicals (on reserve at the Fine Arts Library).