PhD Doctor of Philosophy candidate
Cultural Musician Profile
Using profiles like Doreen St. Felix's article on Missy Elliott as examples, a student would create a multimedia article on an artist of their choice that touched on how that artist's music has been culturally significant, not only to the general public, but also to their culture of origin. Students would be asked to do the following: 1) Choose an artist with a cultural background significant to their music 2) Research that artist's cultural background, their relationship to it, and how that cultural background influences their music. What are some of the cultural conversations happening, and how does that artist navigate those conversations? We would be looking news articles, as well as some entry-level academic texts that covered these issues. 3) Choose a short selection of songs that show how those conversations come up. Using close reading methods, a student would look at the lyrics or musical production of a song to see how some of these larger issues are being tackled musically. This project would teach students to do media analysis that is cognizant of the cultural influences present in said media. I would be using my expertise in ethnic and gender studies as well as media studies to guide students through this project and help them develop questions they might have concerning how to do research. The composition seminar I taught focused heavily on black music, and I would use that experience teaching students how to write about musicians and their cultural backgrounds to help students create an exciting and rigorous final article.