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Fall 2020 Course: Gender, Sexuality, and Black Popular Music

AfAm 143 / GSS 155

Course Code 20305
Fall 2020 Quarter
M W, 10:30 AM to 11:50 AM

Instructor: Dr. Brittnay Proctor-Habil

The following course is a survey of black popular music since the 1970s. Focusing primarily on the concepts of blackness, gender, and sexuality we will trace the emergence of popular sound cultures from the US and Caribbean. Charting the rise and fall of R&B, Funk, and Disco of the 1970s; sound system and dub cultures developed in Reggae, and the various aspects Hip-Hop culture, especially the DJ techniques of scratching and sampling, the course is an examination of the tensions between antiblackness and the celebration of black popular music across the globe. Students will also consider, for example: How has black popular music functioned as one of the main channels of communication among the cultures of the Black/African diaspora? Overall, the course investigates the aesthetic, political, cultural, and economic dimensions of black popular music, paying particular attention to black gender and black sexual subjectivities.