This course challenges students to think through issues of culture, ideology, race, class, and gender through the lens of sonic studies. Students will be introduced to histories of sound reproduction, emerging sound technologies, music, and the presence of sound in various forms of media. In conjunction with covering a diverse array of current scholarship, this course will explore the intersection between communication, culture, and technology. More specifically, students will have the opportunity to build competencies in sound aesthetics as a historical and political object of inquiry and, most importantly, put those competencies into practice. Students will collect, create, and analyze sound in addition to images and texts.
Genre as Social Action
This course explores the role of genre in shaping society and the everyday actions of individuals. We will explore the following questions: What constitutes genre, and what functions does it accomplish in the world? How does a genre work to stabilize knowledge and particular realities in various contexts? How can use of genre promote social change? What happens when genre expectations are not met, that is, when the genre conventions accepted by a particular community are flouted either intentionally or by mistake? As we formulate answers to these questions, we will come to better understand genres not as static categories but as dynamic ways of processing information that shape the world we inhabit.