This innovative and exciting unit explores the cultural history and intersections of sexuality, race, and rock music in the United States, from Elvis and Sister Rosetta Tharpe to Kendrick Lamar, Taylor Swift, and Beyoncé. Influenced by black and working-class cultures, and with sexuality embedded in its form and practice, rock music challenged and transformed existing norms of family, sex, and gender.
Through subjects including black women, groupies, glam rock, disco, and grunge, students will learn that rock music provided a vital realm for the creation and deconstruction of identity, as well as for rebellion, profit, community, and freedom.
Through this unit, you will develop a body of knowledge about the cultural history of American rock music – both mainstream and alternative – and the transformative role rock culture has played in American society.
Special guest speakers in previous years have included MTV co-founder Les Garland, renowned music critic Simon Reynolds (author of Energy Flash and The Sex Revolts among others), Hayley Mary (frontwoman of ARIA-winning Australian band The Jezabels), Rod Yates (editor of Rolling Stone magazine), and Anwen Crawford (music critic for The Monthly and the New Yorker).
At the end of this unit of study, students will have the ability to:
Available in July, 2020 as a winter intensive
15% annotated bibliography (500 words)
25% research paper proposal (1000 words)
40% research paper (2500 words)
10% group presentation (500 words)
10% class participation
Visit the University of Sydney website for information about fees, cross-institutional and non-award study, and more.
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