Music and the Politics of Identity
This class examines music as a powerful means for the construction and articulation of identity around the world. We will explore how individuals and groups negotiate and project who they are (and what matters to them) through music and related arts - as a strategy for both unification and differentiation, along with the ways these identities are regulated, mediated, and framed by others. A series of case studies in both historical and contemporary contexts will take into account the ways gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, nation, class, and community - and their intersections - become inscribed and encoded within musical practice. We will also examine the ways these articulations are read and interpreted by others, i.e. discourses of racism, sexism etc. Topics considered will include the forging of musical styles as articulations of emergent identities; music as resistance to hegemonic policies; music in diasporic communities; and the politics of representation (e.g. minorities in multicultural/postcolonial states).