Africana Studies: The Theology of American Popular Music

LHIS-225
Credits: 
3
Prerequisites: 
LENG-111
Electable by: 
All
Required of: 
None
Semesters Offered: 
Fall Only
Location: 
Boston Campus
Courses may not be offered at the listed location(s) each semester. Consult my.berklee.edu for specific term availability.

This course explores the social-political, cultural spiritual, and theological significance of popular music in American society. We will highlight the perspectives, insights, and work of creative artists who are committed to art and social engagement. This course operates upon the premise that making music is not merely a pastime but a priesthood. We will explore selected artists' music through lyrical analysis, musical forms, and performance practices in order to examine what artists say they are doing with their art. We will also examine selected critical writings and articles that discuss the function of creative construction using varying aesthetic theories. This course expands exposure to artists and their music as it relates to the notion of artistic expression tied to spiritual yearning or definition. Major music and social themes to be explored include: community, identity, social activism, sexuality, theodicy (the question of a good God in the face of evil), spirituality, love, social justice, the blues, gospel, Utopianism, and religious exploration. Additionally, the class will view selected video and film documentaries.

Department: 
LART
Course chair: 
Simone Pilon