Folklore | Music, Mass Culture, & Globablization
F804 | 28055 | J. León

What has happened to music and other forms of expressive culture in
the twenty-first century?  Have transnational capitalist interests
compromised musics’ critical voice within society?  Do popular
musicians necessarily “sell out” when they cross-over into the mass
market?  Can new technologies and ways of making music empower
marginalized communities or are they the new “opiate of the
masses”?  How do market demands and a desire for “the exotic” affect
musical production around the world?

This seminar will look at the ways in which different schools of
thought have sought to address these questions and ultimately
evaluate their relevance when it comes to the ethnographic study of
music and popular culture.  While the seminar will be aimed at
ethnomusicologists and folklorists, the course is open to other
graduate students in the humanities.  Throughout the semester we
will examine key texts ranging from the foundational works of Marx,
and Gramsci, to the mass culture theories Bourdieu, the Frankfurt
and Birmingham schools, to current work in the fields of
ethnomusicology, folklore, anthropology, cultural studies,
communications and popular music studies.