Spring 2006
Fully Enrolled

SOCS 637
Music in Social Movements


01/23/2006 - 05/06/2006
Wednesday 06:30 PM - 09:00 PM

Public Affairs Center 107

It has long been noted that social movements typically create movement cultures, but the actual use of music, as one cultural form, is only beginning to receive attention. Is it used for cheerleading purposes, for proselytizing, for internal critique within the movement itself? When, where, and why does each of these functions, among others, develop? We will look at a number of theoretical and activist approaches and then apply these to movements in the United States (including the labor, civil rights, New Left, women's, and current inner city movements) and elsewhere. We will discuss those movements in the context of a broad range of musicians such as the Almanac Singers, Ani DiFranco, Bob Dylan, Woody Guthrie, the Freedom Singers, Billie Holiday, Janis Joplin, Jefferson Airplane, the Kingston Trio, Lead Belly, John Lennon, Nirvana, Mapfumo, Bob Marley, Public Enemy, Paul Robeson, Pete Seeger, the Spokesmen, Sweet Honey in the Rock, and Van Halen.

Readings include: Eyerman and Jamison, MUSIC AND SOCIAL MOVEMENTS; Garofalo, ROCKIN' THE BOAT; numerous articles, music, and videos.

Students are required to write one or two short papers and one major term paper.

This course may, by petition, count toward the arts concentration.

Rob Rosenthal (B.A. Livingston College, Rutgers University; M.A., Ph.D. University of California, Santa Barbara) is professor of sociology and director of the Service-Learning Center. His many publications include Homeless in Paradise: A Map of the Terrain (Temple University Press, 1994); and forthcoming are two books: Playing for Change: Music in Social Movements (with Dick Flacks), and The Persistence of Homelessness.


Consent of Instructor Required: No

Format: Seminar

Level: GLSP Credits: 3 Enrollment Limit: 18

Texts to purchase for this course:
Ron Eyerman and Andrew Jamison, MUSIC AND SOCIAL MOVEMENTS (Cambridge University Press), Paperback

Reebee Garofalo, ROCKIN' THE BOAT (South End Press), Paperback


Register for Courses

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