AMST A201: U.S. Movements and Institutions

U.S. Movements and Institutions: The Intersections of Music, Movements, and Social Issues

“The music of an unhappy people, of the children of disappointment; they tell of death and suffering and unvoiced longing toward a truer world, of misty wanderings and hidden ways.” – W. E. B. Du Bois

What is resistance? The idea of resisting in the context of society, is a social force: 1) to represent the need to change the course of direction of government and living conditions; and/or, 2) to challenge the very foundations or traditions of a society that have resulted in social inequity. To resist is to live in an alternative
system while also possibly trying to erect an alternative system.

What is protest? The idea of protesting for a social cause or social issue, is a tactic 1) that is taken up by organizations or a larger social movement to inspire support and challenge power; and/or, 2) that is a reaction by the masses or some representation of the populace to voice grievances. To protest is to act in opposition when another course of action may or may not be appropriate (or possible).

For this course focuses on the music, videos, and artists that have operated as vehicles for resistance and protest. We will look at historical periods and social movements, both domestically and globally, that inspired the need to articulate some form of resistance and protest through music and artistry. The course will pull from the disciplines of History, Sociology, and Anthropology, and the fields of Cultural Studies, Musicology, Labor Studies, Queer Studies, Political Science, Gender Studies, and Critical Ethnic Studies to inform lecture, readings, and course assessments. What is most key to the course, is that this exploration of U.S. Social Movements is a telling narrative and critique of Citizenship as problematized by Class, Gender, and Race. Through this exploration, students will profile one example of music, video, or artistry as a final comprehensive project that is informed through research/discourse and critique from those fields and disciplines.

*The songs, tracks, or videos will contain lyrics, messages, or scenes with strong language, nudity, sexual content, profanity, and violence.

GenEd Information: Currently approved for IU Bloomington GenEd SH requirement. See the GenEd Website for more information.

Instructor Bio

Rasul A. Mowatt is an Associate Professor in the Department of Recreation, Park, and Tourism Studies within the School of Public Health - Bloomington, Indiana University and the Department of American Studies in The College of Arts & Sciences. His main research areas: social justice, leisure studies, cultural studies, and critical pedagogy. His work on analyzing historical photography for examples of violence as a form of leisure has been published in a special issue of Policy Futures in Education, American Behavioral Scientist, and in the collaborative release of Globalizing cultural studies: Ethnographic interventions in theory, method & policy. Additional work on perceived notions of identity in Journal of Parks and Recreation Administration, Ghanaian Slave Castles in Annals of Tourism Research, a critique of the concept of Whiteness in the Journal of Leisure Research, alternative treatment to veterans with PTSD in the Therapeutic Recreation Journal, attitudes and perceptions of sexual orientation and identity among athletes in Recreation Sport Journal, gender equity in tourism and hospitality in Tourism Analysis: An Interdisciplinary Journal, and pedagogical research on "bottlenecks" to student learning, field specific application of backwards learning, and team-based learning.