Daily Archives: February 19, 2010

The Proposition (AMS179)

In lieu of a final exam we drop Hip Hop Wars and use those 4 class meetings for group presentations.

A maximum of 4 students per group.

Presentations could focus on a theme, genre, “platform”, period or artist. For example, a presentation might consider the automobile in terms of texts (Christine, “Little Deuce Coup”) and their social significance (car culture, the automobile as a symbol of mobility, as an autonomous space for youth). A group could discuss the rise of Hip Hop or of the reality show; the difference between boom box and i-pod; the main features of pop culture in the Cold War; the significance of a particular artist or set of artists (dead pop stars, artists who perform drag or subvert gender roles, etc.). Remember that the basic critical operation is to relate text to context.

Presentations should evince depth and breadth of knowledge and critical savvy, taking up larger issues such as identity (national, racial, gender, etc.), ideology, politics, etc.

Presentations would be limited to about 20-odd minutes. A write-up would be required. Groups could use clips, tracks, powerpoint, handouts, or any other number of aids.

The group receives 1 grade. If, for instance, an A then everyone in the group gets an A.

OR, we go ahead with a final exam consisting of identification and short essays sections covering materials addressed in class after the midterm.

Remember to vote by 9 pm Monday Feb. 22.