In 2012, Psy’s “Gangnam Style” became a worldwide sensation. The song’s music video, which showcased a number of quirky fashion styles (and even launched a global dance craze), was the first to receive more than 2 billion views on YouTube. Indeed, from Frank Sinatra’s Fedoras, country-western’s cowboy boots and hats, and Miles Davis and Heino’s iconic sunglasses to prog rock’s avant-garde theatricality, leather-clad heavy metal head-bangers, punk’s anti-authoritarian aesthetics, and the baggy garments of Bronx breakers, clothing and fashion have long played crucial roles in popular music. Yet while the study of popular music traditionally focuses on music and lyrics, what can we learn when we study music from the point of view of materiality, fashion, and transculturation?
This course explores fashion in popular music. After familiarizing ourselves with some basic theory, we will look at examples from each of the major genres, including pop, country, rock, metal, disco/dance, hip-hop, and so forth. Since the course will be research-based, students will work together in small research teams to focus on one genre and any of its sub-genres. To what extent can materiality and fashion be an asset for teaching music, especially music that crosses national and cultural borders? In how far can the DIY-attitudes of some genres empower audiences? And how can the study of materiality in popular music enable teachers to prepare students in the heterogeneous classroom to be successful? Course requirements include regular attendance, assigned readings, active participation, blogging, and presenting your research team’s findings to the class.
The readings will be in English and German, and the class will be taught in both languages.
The course is part of admission "Anmeldung gesperrt (global)".
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