This course explores key themes in the expression of gender and sexuality through music. It draws from primarily 21st century examples, across cultures and genres, ranging from pop boy bands to Indian bhangra dance to the musical avant-garde. Themes will include: communicating gendered ideals, dance and embodiment, transgressive performances, biography and subjectivity, intersectionality, music and sexual violence, and marketing. We will explore the ways in which ideas and identities related to sex and gender are formulated and mobilized in music’s performance and consumption. Inevitably, issues of sound and stagecraft intersect with factors such as race, age, and class, further informing these experiences. Students will consider their own processes of identifying and interpreting expressions of gender and sexuality in sound and movement, and contemplate the role of culture and society in informing those interpretations.
Grading: yes pass/fail option,
yes fifth course option
attendance/participation, short assignments, midterm project, and either a 12-page final paper or a project with supplementary paper (length to be determined in consultation with the instructor).
open to all students; familiarity with musical terminology is helpful but not required
WGSS and MUSC majors/prospective majors
Difference, Power, and Equity
This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
This course critically examines the ways in which music constructs and reflects gendered and sexual identities in intersectional space. We discuss how normative viewpoints come to be accepted and interpreted as 'natural,' and how musicians and audiences have maneuvered within and against those socio-political expectations. Music and readings span a wide range of sources--elite, popular, counter-cultural; from Euro-American sources to genres hailing from Brazil, Korea, and India.