This is an opportunity for you to take a critical look at the latest artists, music genres, or club scenes that excite your interests. Your essay research may include fieldwork, interviews with musicians and their fans, or draw from current periodical literature such as Billboard, Rolling Stone, and many others.
In this essay you are writing a research paper within the context of the history and the issues that we have covered in this course. Those issues include appropriation, politics of identity (race, class, gender, age, etc.), globalization, and technology. Therefore, a significant portion of your research will be the course readings, lectures, sections and listening assignments. You must cite at least one source from the course reading and two additional outside academic sources. I also encourage you to use additional online media such as YouTube, Rolling Stone, and any other source of popular culture you can think of. You may cite information presented in lectures and discussion sections if you find it pertinent to your paper. In total, you should cite at least six sources. You must include a References Cited list (bibliography) at the end of your essay.
Your paper must have a clear topic and thesis statement. Your paper must contain descriptive, cultural, historical detail. Your paper must also contain cogent, thoughtful analysis. If you choose to write about music or musicians that are covered specifically in the lectures, readings or sections, you must be sure to go beyond the details presented in the course.
Some questions you might address include: Does this music or artist(s) repeat any trend(s) we have covered in this course? What issues addressed in this course apply to this music or artist(s) in some way and how? What does it have in common with other genres of music we have studied—Tin Pan Alley, minstrelsy, rhythm & blues, rock ‘n’ roll, protest music, subculture or subcultural scenes, heavy metal, etc.?
Make sure to give your essay a sensible title, keep your writing focused, support yourself with examples, and communicate your ideas clearly and effectively. Writing essentials like spelling, grammar, organization, and style are of utmost importance.
Length: 1200 words (not including the title or the References Cited list), double spaced.