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Steven Hoelscher, Chair Burdine 437, Mailcode B7100, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-7277

Summer 2005

AMS S315 • Pop Music USA: Radio, Records and Identity in American Society-W

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
82135 MTWThF
10:00 AM-11:30 AM
GAR 301

Course Description

This course explores the ever-powerful role of popular music as an agent of identity formation in American society. We will be exploring key popular music genres reaching back to the nineteenth century and asking the following questions, among others: What can the music tell us, if anything, about the culture that produces it? What is its historical context? What roles have the record and radio industries played in giving shape to American popular music genres and vice versa? What sort of cultural work, if any, is the music responsible for? What can it tell us about American society today? Students will be expected to think critically regarding a wide range of genres, engaging thoughtfully with the texts through written assignments and class discussion.


Readings possibly taken from the following: Ken Emerson, Doo-Dah Nick Tosches, Hellfire Mark Coleman, Playback Gene Lees, Meet Me at Jim and Andys Chuck Klosterman, Fargo Rock City Greil Marcus, Mystery Train Richard Neer, FM Lisa Rebecca Gubernick, Get Hot or Go Home Fredric Dannen, Hit Men Tricia Rose, Black Noise Nick Hornby, Songbook Sean Wilentz, The Rose and the Briar


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