COAS | Black Women in Music
S103 | 0071 | Shonekan


Seminar 0071 5:15p-7:45p T

This class introduces students to the music of Black women of America and the Diaspora through the literary genres of autobiography and biography. These works provide a rare and fascinating portrayal of the lives and musical contributions of Black women. However, approaches to these studies and the interpretation of data by journalists and musicologists often reflect limited perspectives, which result in sketchy and inadequate treatments of Black women in the context of Black music histories.

Thus, this course departs from the typical discourse on Black women in music by closely examining and intertwining two modes of expression—music and life stories—that allow Black women throughout the African Diaspora to speak for themselves. Here they reveal the various influences and expressions that shape their lives and musical expressions. Participants in this class will explore the connections between life and musical activities with a view to understanding the threads that bind the lives and music of women in the African Diaspora as a unified whole.