Topics in U.S. History
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Course Information from the University Catalog
Study of historical topics or periods of special interest.
Topics announced in advance. May be repeated for credit when topic is different.
Section Information from the Schedule of Classes for Fall 2010
Roots of American Popular Music —
Suzanne E. Smith
01:30 PM to 02:45 PM TR — East Building 122
This course is the first-half of a two-semester historical survey of the history of American popular music. In this first semester, we explore the history of American roots music, which includes a wide array of music styles including: the blues, gospel, early jazz, country, Western swing, Cajun, zydeco, Tejano and Native American. Throughout the semester, we will study how these different styles evolved, influenced each other, and were the foundation for the emergence of rock and roll. Another important dimension of the course will be learning how the history of immigration, race relations, gender relations, and class in America play a key role in understanding why certain musical styles develop and become popular. Since music is the focal point of the course, weekly assignments include readings, listening to music, and screenings of films about popular music.
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