MCMASTER UNIVERSITY DEPARTMENT OF HISTORY WINTER 2012 - HISTORY 4CM3
POPULAR MUSIC AND CANADIAN IDENTITY, 1955-2000 DR. STUART HENDERSON
Place: Office: Chester New Hall, 607/C Email: [email protected]
Office Phone: 27144
This course explores the history of pop music in the five decades following the commercial discovery of “rock’n’roll”. But, more specifically, this course will examine the various ways pop music was experienced, packaged, and performed in Canada. It will draw connections between pop music and the historical context in which it was produced and enjoyed (or not enjoyed by my grandmother, for example). In other words, while it will offer a solid introduction to the history of pop music and to various cultural theories surrounding it, it will also be a deep discussion of Canadian cultural identity viz. an increasingly globalized culture industry. We will consider the ways identity issues such as race, gender, sexuality, class, youth culture, commercialism, dissent, political activism and drug use fit into the increasingly complex brew that is popular music. This course will access some of these central post-war concerns surrounding identity through an examination of the role of pop music in the era. Some knowledge of Canadian and/or US history in the postwar period will be a powerful asset.
__________________________________________________________________ Marking Scheme: 20% SONG Assignment –Due FEB 1st 15% Film Response – Due March 7th 40% ALBUM Assignment – Due April 4th 25% Participation ______________________________________________________________________________
Assignment One: The Artifact Assignment – SONG, worth 20% of your grade, will be a 2000word analysis of one pop song from the period 1963-1970. You will perform a close reading of this song, paying attention to everything you hear. What is this song saying about identity (specifically: race, class, gender, sexuality, ethnicity, ability, nationality), how is it saying it, what can we learn from it? You are to place this song in its historical context (date, artist, songwriter, musicians, etc), and establish, interpret and explore the 1|Page
array of meanings you uncover. No more than two secondary sources are allowed, and these should be used only for context and reference, not interpretation. In this assignment, I am more interested in your own approach: This is meant to be an exercise in “reading” the past, and learning to be critical thinkers about pop music. This is due on Feb 1st. Film Response (Assignment Two): This brief assignment, worth 15% of your grade, will be a 1500-word response to one of the films I will assign in class. I will provide a list of films and you may choose one and write about it. This will be like a film review, but one which emphasizes the role of music in the film, and what it has to say about identity issues viz. music. This is due on March 7th. Assignment Three: The Artifact Assignment – ALBUM, worth 40% of your grade, will be a 3500-word analysis of one pop album from the period 1970-1995. You will perform a close reading of this album, paying attention to everything you hear (you may also consider the cover art). What is this album saying about identity (specifically: race, class, gender, sexuality, ethnicity, ability, nationality), how is it saying it, what can we learn from it? You are to place this album in its historical context (date, artist, songwriters, etc), and establish, interpret and explore the array of meanings you uncover. Secondary sources are expected. Your paper should make specific reference to Canadian contexts here, as we have been doing in this course. This is due on April 4th. NB: All written work will be evaluated for the evident quality of your research, for the originality and substance of your ideas and insights, and for the effectiveness with which those ideas are convincingly proposed and argued. Make sure you support and/or illustrate your points with careful discussion and evidence. Remember, failure to support your points sufficiently renders them ineffective. Students should keep copies of all written work submitted for evaluation. Participation is worth 25%. This includes your ATTENDANCE (obviously), and your CONTRIBUTION to the course (i.e., coming to class prepared to talk, to debate, to discuss, to help us all to learn). It also includes a weekly reading response in point form which summarizes the main points of each reading and provides three substantive questions which will help lead the discussion. This should be no less than one page in length, but no more than two pages. I will collect these each week. Required Textbooks: • • •
Starr, Waterman & Hodgson, ROCK: A Canadian Perspective (Oxford UP, 2009) Ryan Edwardson, Canuck Rock: A History of Canadian Popular Music (UofT Press, 2009) David Brackett, The Pop, Rock and Soul Reader: Histories and Debates (Oxford UP, 2008) 2nd Edition
Academic Integrity You are expected to exhibit honesty and use ethical behaviour in all aspects of the learning process. Academic credentials you earn are rooted in principles of honesty and academic integrity. Academic dishonesty is to knowingly act or fail to act in a way that results or could result in unearned academic credit or advantage. This behaviour can result in serious consequences, e.g. the grade of zero on an assignment, loss of credit with a notation on the transcript (notation reads: “Grade of F assigned for academic dishonesty”), and/or suspension or expulsion from the university. It is your responsibility to understand what constitutes academic dishonesty. For information on the various types of academic dishonesty please refer to the Academic Integrity Policy, located at http://www.mcmaster.ca/academicintegrity The following illustrates only three forms of academic dishonesty: 1.Plagiarism, e.g. the submission of work that is not one’s own or for which other credit has been obtained. 2.Improper collaboration in group work. 3.Copying or using unauthorized aids in tests and examinations. Extensions or other accommodations will be determined by the instructor and will only be considered if supported by appropriate documentation. Absences of less than 5 days may be reported using the McMaster Student Absence Form (MSAF) at www.mcmaster.ca/msaf/ . If you are unable to use the MSAF, you should document the absence with your faculty office. In all cases, it is YOUR responsibility to follow up with the instructor immediately to see if an extension or other accommodation will be granted, and what form it will take. There are NO automatic extensions or accommodations.
Faculty of Humanities Policy on Email Communications "It is the policy of the Faculty of Humanities that all email communication sent from students to instructors (including TAs), and from students to staff, must originate from the student's own McMaster University email account. This policy protects confidentiality and confirms the identity of the student. Instructors will delete emails that do not originate from a McMaster email account."
Avenue to Learn ____________________________________________________________________________ In this course we will be using Avenue to Learn. Students should be aware that, when they access the electronic components of this course, private information such as first and last names, user names for the McMaster e-mail accounts, and program affiliation may become apparent to all other students in the same course. The available information is dependent on the technology used. Continuation in this course will be deemed consent to this disclosure. If you have any questions or concerns about such disclosure please discuss this with the course instructor.
Modifications to Course Outline The instructor and university reserve the right to modify elements of the course during the term. The university may change the dates and deadlines for any or all courses in extreme circumstances. If either type of modification becomes necessary, reasonable notice and communication with the students will be given with explanation and the opportunity to comment on changes. It is the responsibility of the student to check their McMaster email and course websites weekly during the term and to note any changes.
Requests for Extensions to Deadlines Extensions or other accommodations will be determined by the instructor and will only be considered if supported by appropriate documentation. Absences of less than 5 days may be reported using the McMaster Student Absence Form (MSAF) at www.mcmaster.ca/msaf/. If you are unable to use the MSAF, you should document the absence with your faculty office. In all cases, it is YOUR responsibility to follow up with the instructor immediately to see if an extension or other accommodation will be granted, and what form it will take. There are NO automatic extensions or accommodations. 4|Page
READINGS __________________________________________________________________ January 4th – Introduction, Theory, and Course Outline Readings: Ryan Edwardson, Canuck Rock, Introduction Starr/Waterman/Hodgson, ROCK, Introduction January 11 – The 1950s and the Advent of Rock’n’Roll Readings: Ryan Edwardson, Canuck Rock, Ch 1. Starr/Waterman/Hodgson, ROCK, Ch. 1-2 Brackett, The Pop, Rock and Soul Reader, Part Two January 18 – Authenticity, Antimodernism, and Folk Music Readings: Ryan Edwardson, Canuck Rock, Ch. 3 Starr/Waterman/Hodgson, ROCK, pp 89-107 Brackett, The Pop, Rock and Soul Reader, pp: 28-42; 7579; 153-162 January 25 – The British Invasion and British Identity Reading: Ryan Edwardson, Canuck Rock, Ch. 2 Starr/Waterman/Hodgson, ROCK, pp. 107-136 Brackett, The Pop, Rock and Soul Reader, 208-220; 227238 February 1 – Motown, STAX and Soul Reading: Starr/Waterman/Hodgson, ROCK, 137-150 Brackett, The Pop, Rock and Soul Reader, pp. 138-147; 176-208; *(Assignment DUE)* February 8 – Folk-Rock and Psychedelic Rock Reading: Ryan Edwardson, Canuck Rock, Ch. 5 Starr/Waterman/Hodgson, ROCK, 150-193 Brackett, The Pop, Rock and Soul Reader, pp. 162-176; 221-226; 238-256
February 15 – Imitation, Inflection, and National Identity Reading: Ryan Edwardson, Canuck Rock, Ch. 4 Starr/Waterman/Hodgson, ROCK, pp. 194-205 ***READING WEEK Feb. 20-25*** February 29 – Singer-Songwriters and Heavy Metal: the 70s Reading: Starr/Waterman/Hodgson, ROCK, pp. 205-249 Brackett, The Pop, Rock and Soul Reader, pp. 271-288; 310-327 March 7 - Canadian Content & Identity Politics in the 70s Reading: Ryan Edwardson, Canuck Rock, Ch. 6 & 7 *(Film Response Due)* March 14 – Outsider’s Music? Prog, Funk, Punk, Disco Reading: Starr/Waterman/Hodgson, ROCK, Ch. 6 Brackett, The Pop, Rock and Soul Reader, 303-310; 327342; 350-374 March 21 – The 1980s and The Age of Spectacle Reading: Ryan Edwardson, Canuck Rock, Chapter 8 Starr/Waterman/Hodgson, ROCK, Ch. 7 Brackett, The Pop, Rock and Soul Reader, 374-437 March 28 – “Alternative”: The anti-Mainstream Mainstream Reading: Ryan Edwardson, Canuck Rock, Chapter 9 Starr/Waterman/Hodgson, ROCK, pp. 358-390; 445-450 Brackett, The Pop, Rock and Soul Reader, 442-450; 503519 April 4 – Hip Hop and the Future Reading: Starr/Waterman/Hodgson, ROCK, pp. 294-301; 390-409; 434-437 Brackett, The Pop, Rock and Soul Reader, 451-503 *(Album Assignment DUE)* 6|Page