Fall 2008
Fully Enrolled

ARTS 617
History of Rock and R&B

Charry,Eric S.

09/08/2008 - 12/12/2008
Wednesday 06:30 PM - 09:00 PM

Music Studios 301


Special Weekend Immersion Schedule: Class will meet January 19, and February 9, 10, and 23. (Makeup classes in case of snow are scheduled in advance for January 20 and/or February 24.)

In this course we will study the history and culture of rock and r&b (rhythm & blues)--broadly defined as a conglomeration of loosely related American popular musical styles--from their origins in the 1940s and 50s through the early 1990s. Several parallel goals will be pursued. We will become literate in the broad range of their constituent traditions, studying primary artists, their classic works, and the web of connections that link them. We will engage with a variety of theoretical and journalistic approaches to understanding the music and its culture over the past six decades, confronting such issues as race relations and identities, youth culture and its relationship to American popular culture, popular music as a creative, cultural, and social force, and the economics of the music industry. And we will become familiar with, critically interpret, and evaluate the significant body of film and video that has been concerned with the music.

A recent reader in the field (Brackett) will provide the basic history and issues, serving as our initial entry point. A 10-part video series produced in the mid-1990s (WGBH/BBC)--available online for independent viewing--will enhance this history and serve as a framework for critical discussion of how a seemingly unwieldy expressive form such as rock can be encapsulated, understood, and formally taught. Additional articles and chapters will be available via Olin Library's electronic reserve.

This course is open to auditors.


Eric Charry (B.M., M.M. New England Conservatory of Music; M.F.A., Ph.D. Princeton University) is professor of music. He is author of Mande Music: Traditional and Modern Music of the Maninka and Mandinka of Western Africa (University of Chicago Press, 2000), and editor of Hip Hop Africa: New African Music in a Globalizing World (Indiana University Press, 2012). He has two books in progress: The Emergence of an Avant Garde in Jazz, 1956-1965 and Downtown: Music as a Cultural Force, New York in the 1950s and 60s. Click here for more information about Eric Charry and click here for more information about his work.


ENROLLMENT INFORMATION

Consent of Instructor Required: No

Format: Seminar

Level: GLSP Credits: 3 Enrollment Limit: 18

Texts to purchase for this course:
David Brackett, The Pop, Rock, and Soul Reader (Oxford University Press, 2005)

Reebee Garofalo, Rockin' Out: Popular Music in the USA (Pearson Prentice Hall, 2008)

Register for Courses



Contact glsinquire@wesleyan.edu to submit comments or suggestions. 
Copyright Wesleyan University, Middletown, Connecticut, 06459