Undergraduate Course: Music, Racism and Western Ideology (MUSI10116)
|School||Edinburgh College of Art
||College||College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
|Credit level (Normal year taken)||SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate)
||Availability||Available to all students
|Summary||This course supports students to critically reflect on the ways in which music and racism intersect in western ideology and discourse, tracing both historical developments from the eighteenth century forward in addition to considering overt, systematic and structural racisms in musical life and music discourse today. It explores the historical and intellectual roots of racism in Enlightenment and post-Enlightenment Europe, and how these influenced approaches to thinking about music that developed in the same period and still exert a strong influence on musical discourse today.As well as developing their knowledge and understanding of these issues, students will be encouraged to develop responses and strategies in their own practice as musicians, educators, researchers, critics, or in other roles within the creative industries.
This course supports students to critically reflect on the ways in which music and racism intersect in western ideology and discourse, tracing both historical developments from the eighteenth century forward in addition to considering overt, systematic and structural racisms in musical life and music discourse today. As well as developing their knowledge and understanding of these issues, students will be encouraged to develop responses and strategies in their own practice as musicians, educators, researchers, critics, or in other roles within the creative industries.
The course begins by clarifying what racism is, and how it impacts on people's life experiences and life chances. It then explores the historical and intellectual roots of racism in Enlightenment and post-Enlightenment Europe, and how these influenced approaches to thinking about music that developed in the same period and still exert a strong influence on musical discourse today. Students will be introduced to a range of recent contributions to music scholarship that address issues such as anti-black racism, antisemitism, antiziganism and anti-Muslim hatred, as well as those which address questions around the decolonisation of musical institutions. The explicit ways in which music has been used by extremist movements to enable racist violence and genocide will also be discussed.
Throughout the course, students will be encouraged to reflect critically on the many ways in which musical practice can be implicated in racism, from racist representations in music through unequal opportunities in musical life to issues related to resource distribution and global inequality. They will learn to communicate effectively and appropriately on these issues, and to consider how to integrate anti-racist and decolonial thinking and strategies into their own work and practice.
Although focusing on racism specifically, the theoretical and critical approaches developed in this course will help students address other forms of discrimination and wider issues of equality and social justice.
Initial sessions will focus on developing basic knowledge of what racism is and the impacts of racism on people of colour historically and in the present day. Students will be introduced to a framework for thinking about the discursive and rhetorical structure of racism and Othering, and how this relates to music and sound The historical roots of racism in 18th/19th century thought, and how these relate to contemporaneous developments in musical discourse, will be explored. Later sessions will focus on reading and discussing of published literature on these topics, focusing on but not limited to academic literature.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
||Other requirements|| None
Information for Visiting Students
|High Demand Course?
Course Delivery Information
|Academic year 2022/23, Available to all students (SV1)
|Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info)
Lecture Hours 4,
Seminar/Tutorial Hours 18,
Feedback/Feedforward Hours 1,
Formative Assessment Hours 1,
Summative Assessment Hours 1,
Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4,
Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours
|Assessment (Further Info)
|Additional Information (Assessment)
||Reflective journal, minimum four entries, pass/fail, 10%, summative. [LO2]
Blog post (indicative length 750-1000 words) 40%, summative, normally submitted week 8 [LO2, LO3, LO4]
2,500-3,000 word essay 50%, summative, normally submitted week 12. [LO1, LO2, LO3]
||Formative feedback sessions on blog posts will take place ahead of submission of the final post.
Students will be given written summative feedback on their blog post and essay after submission and returned in line with University policy on timeframes.
Feedback will be given on journal entries where appropriate and helpful.
|No Exam Information
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
- Demonstrate awareness and understanding of current academic discussions around music and racism.
- Critically engage with texts and other aspects of discourse around music with regard to the issue of racism and white supremacism.
- Communicate on issues relating to music, race and racism sensitively, appropriately and effectively.
- Apply their knowledge and understanding to effect change in the wider community.
Phil Ewell, "Music Theory and the White Racial Frame", Music Theory Online 26/2 (2020).
Ruth HaCohen, The Music Libel Against the Jews (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2011).
Matthew D. Morrison, "Race, Blacksound, and the (Re)Making of Musicological Discourse", Journal of the American Musicological Society 72/3 (2019), pp. 781-823.
Anna G. Piotrowska,"The Concept of Race in Musicological Thought: From General Remarks to a Case Study of So-called Gypsy Music in European Culture", in A. Morris-Reich & D. Rupnow (eds), Ideas of 'Race' in the History of the Humanities (Cham: Palgrave Macmillan, 2017), pp. 215-234.
Ronald Radano & Phil Bohlman (eds.), Music and the Racial Imagination (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2000).
Jennifer Lynn Stoever, The Sonic Color Line: Race and the Cultural Politics of Listening (New York: NYU Press, 2016).
|Graduate Attributes and Skills
||SCQF level 10:
Detailed knowledge and understanding in one or more specialisms, some of which is informed by, or at the forefront of, a subject/discipline/sector.
Critically identify, define, conceptualise and analyse complex/professional problems and issues.
Offer professional insights, interpretations and solutions to problems and issues.
Present or convey, formally and informally, information about specialised topics to informed audiences.
Work with others to bring about change, development and/or new thinking.
|Keywords||music,racism,race,discrimination,decolonising,human rights,social justice,musicology
|Course organiser||Dr Morag Grant
|Course secretary||Dr Ellen Jeffrey
Tel: (0131 6)50 2430