HSTS 4241: The History of Rock and Roll Dr. Ryan K.

Anderson Office Hours: M/W: 1pm-2pm and by appointment in Dial 211 Phone: 775-(4263) Email: ryan.anderson@uncp.edu
We will explore American life through the prism of rock n’ roll. While this most dangerous and American art form provides a focal point for our discussions, its chief utility is not as the object of our study, but as a vehicle for understanding various political, economic, social, and cultural movements affecting American life since the midtwentieth century. Our inquiry takes shape from the relationship between three interrelated groups of people: those who made, those who sold, and those who listened to rock. The course opens with an exploration of rock’s roots and its emergence within the youth culture of the fifties, as well as adult reactions against its popularity. Moving on to the sixties, we will examine the tension between rock’s growing commercial appeal and its political uses. Finally, our semester ends with a look at the fragmentation of rock and of its audience since the seventies. On a theoretical level, we will invest a good amount of energy delving into the historical contexts from which rock and roll took shape. Black culture, hillbilly culture, demographic forces, economic prosperity and peril, and the emergence of the teenager all interwove issues related to gender, race, business, class, and politics into this popular music’s evolution. Our primary goal this semester comes by way of our inspection of the political, economic, social, and cultural negotiations embedded into rock and roll’s history. By the end of the semester, you will better understand how popular culture both reflected and engaged the historical forces influencing American life today. All semester long, you will ask yourself, “What does this tell me about American life at this point in history?” In this course you will refine your conception of what is possible within the study of History. That mission is the heart of an intellectual movement referred to as “The New Social and Cultural History.” Rather than recounting a narrative of facts, dates, places, people, and events, we will strive towards an understanding of how historical developments related to popular culture affected people, how those folks influenced popular culture, and by extension, how their times represent that relationship. Just as important is making such inquiry relevant to the general historical field. Doing so requires using traditional investigative methods, as well as innovative and interdisciplinary tactics. On a more vocational plane, you will prove your ability to think as a historian, communicate through spoken and written word at a level commensurate with an upper-division student majoring in History, and read and synthesize written/audio/visual material in an effective manner. One final note. I am not kidding when I call rock n’ roll America’s most dangerous art form. Rock is sexist, racist, classist, offensive, misogynistic, beautiful, enlightening, entertaining, soul-searching, and awe-inspiring. Sometimes it is one or more of these things at once. It uses the “N-word,” “C-word,” and all sorts of other “words.” This is my way of saying that I cannot promise that you will not find some aspect of the music we study this semester offensive on multiple levels. But, I can promise you that if it you hear it here it is relevant and I am not including it for mere shock value.

2 Texts
Nick Tosches. Hellfire: The Jerry Lee Lewis Story. Grove Press, 1998. ISBN: 0802135668 Ray Allen. Gone to the Country: The New Lost City Ramblers and the Folk Music Revival. University of Illinois Press, 2010. ISBN: 0252077474 Mark Kemp. Dixie Lullaby: A Story of Music, Race, and New Beginnings in a New South. University of Georgia Press, 2006. ISBN: 0820328723 Michael Azerrad. Our Band Could Be Your Life: Scenes from the American Indie Underground 1981-1991. Back Bay Books, 2002. ISBN-10: 9780316787536 I also provide primary source materials via Facebook each week that tie into lecture—this is mandatory reading.

Supplemental Resources Facebook
o Our class will communicate with each other through a Facebook wall entitled “HSTS 4241/5410: History of Rock and Roll.” I will post relevant links, encourage discussion, and communicate with you through our class wall. o You do not have to “friend” me to use the wall. In fact, I do not friend students during the semester. If you do not have a Facebook profile, you must get one. It is easy to establish and you do not have to provide any personal information for public consumption. You my even employ an alias, if you wish. Please see me during office hours if you have any questions. o The use of Facebook is required.

o Scrbd.com is a self-publishing site. I post readings for the class here and link the documents to our Facebook wall. You can print the materials from the site (be sure to choose the download and print option).

Kelly Schrum, Alan Gevinson, and Roy Rosenzweig, U.S. History Matters: A Student Guide to U.S. History Online (2009)
o This index lists online archives for historical resources. It is outside of my office.

On Mary Livermore Library’s “Electronic Resources” page, choose “History” in the “Databases by Subject” pull-down tab.
o o o o o o J-STOR America History and Life Historical New York Times NewspaperARCHIVE Accessible Archives America's Historical Newspapers: 1690-1922

On Mother Internet
o o o Making of America: http://moa.cit.cornell.edu/moa/ Library of Congress Digital Collections Page http: //www.loc.gov/library/libarch-digital.html Historical Newspapers Online: http://gethelp.library.upenn.edu/guides/hist/onlinenewspapers.html


Grading • Essays: 100 points each/400 total points
o These assignments require you write a five-page essay combining information from lecture, supplemental reading, and the monographs you’ll read over the course of the semester. I’ll pose a question that you’ll answer using the materials at hand. You’ll be graded on your ability to express an argument with a thesis, to defend that thesis with evidence culled from the material mentioned above, and to exhibit higher-ordered analytical and critical thinking skills. I’ll also evaluate grammar, formatting, and style.

Album Review: 300 points
o 200 for preparatory writing and research assignments [detailed explanation on Album Review handout] Proposal/initial bibliography [50 points] Annotated index cards/bibliography [50 points] Outline [50 points] Rough draft [50 points] 100 for final draft This assignment requires that you write an eight to ten page analysis of an album’s historical significance. You’ll be graded on your ability to express an argument with a thesis, defend that thesis with evidence culled from the material mentioned above, and to exhibit higher-ordered analytical and critical thinking skills. I’ll also evaluate grammar, formatting, and style. Your goal is to write a conference-quality paper that you can present at PURC or an undergraduate level conference.


Class Participation: 100 Points
o 40 points for two topical academic journal article bibliographies related to our monograph reading. These should list five items—web pages are not allowed. This must be cited according to Chicago Manual of Style and include a 3-5 sentence annotation that shows you know the author’s argument, how they defended that argument (rhetorical strategy and evidence), and convey what you learned from the article. You should state the topic of your bibliography in the heading. I grade these on your ability to find appropriate sources, format the citations correctly, and annotate them meaningfully—that includes content and grammar. 40 points for general discussion contributions both in-class and online. I grade both on quantity and quality; I cannot grade you in this category if you miss class regularly. I will provide you with informal updates on your progress in this area. 20 points [2x @ 10 points ea] for constructing questions for book discussion on two occasions this semester [a sign-up sheet will circulate through class on 8/22].



Various assignments that I see fit to assign:
o These are generally worth 10 points each; I assign them when I feel like the class needs extra incentive to prepare as well as possible for class.

Attendance: o I do not take attendance in this course. If you miss what I consider an excessive amount of class meetings
and do not turn in work, I reserve the right to discuss with you whether or not you should continue in the class.

Meetings o I will return assignments related to the Album Anlaysis via personal meetings. This gives us a chance to talk
face to face about your project, which I know is important to completing successful research projects.


Grading Scale o I grade within the +/- system, per UNCP guidelines o A: above 720 o B: 719-640 o C: 639-560 o D: 559-480 o F: 479 and below

The fine print . . . ADA statement: Any student with a documented learning, physical, chronic health, psychological, visual or hearing disability needing academic adjustments is requested to speak directly to Disability Support Services and the instructor, as early in the semester (preferably within the first week) as possible. All discussions will remain confidential. Please contact Disability Support Services, DF Lowry Building, Room 103 or call 910-521-6695. This publication is available in alternative formats upon request. Please contact Disability Support Services, DF Lowry Building, 521-6695. Religious Holiday Policy: Students may have two excused absences for the observance of religious holiday. If you think you will take advantage of this opportunity, you must inform your instructor within the first two weeks of classes. I do not offer extensions on papers. If you turn in an assignment late you will be docked a letter grade (ten points) and an additional ten points for every day that passes that you do not contact me (this includes weekends and university holidays). Don’t plagiarize or cheat. That means: don’t write in conjunction with a classmate; don’t Google the book title and “borrow” from other people; don’t use ANY internet sources; don’t pay someone else to write it or accept a paper written by someone else; and if you’ve read the book and written a paper on it before you must write a new paper. If you do any of these things or anything else dishonest (read up on the university policy if you’re cloudy on what that means), you will receive a zero with no chance of redemption and will fail the course. I’ll revisit this topic later in the semester to make sure I am explicitly clear.


Course Calendar
*subject to change

Week One: 8/17-8/19 Course Introduction/Research Project Description Week Two: 8/22-8/26 Roots of Rock and the Business of Rock Week Three: 8/29-9/2 Elvis and the “Bad Boys” of Fifties Rock 8/31: Proposal and Initial Bibliography Cards Week Four: 9/5-9/9 Payola, Dick Clark, and Kleen Teens No class: 9/5 9/7: Receive Essay One Week Five: 9/12-9/16 Motown and Stax-Volt 9/12: Tosches Week Six: 9/19-9/23 Folk 9/19: Essay One Due Week Seven: 9/26-9/30 The Beatles Apocalypse Week Eight: 10/3-10/7 The Counterculture 10/5: Annotated Note Cards/Outline Week Nine: 10/10-10/14 The End of the Sixties 10/10: Receive Essay Two/Allen Fall Break: 10-13/14

Week Ten: 10/17-10/21 The FM Revolution 10/19: Essay Two Due 10/17: Last day to drop with a "W" grade Week Eleven: 10/24-10/28 Me /Southern Rock Week Twelve: 10/31-11/4 Funk 11/1: Receive Essay Three/Kemp 10/31: Rough Drafts Week Thirteen: 11/7-11/11 I Want My MTV/New Wave Week Fourteen: 11/14-11/18 Metal/Punk Week Fifteen: 11/21-11/25 Punk No Class: 11/23-25 Week Sixteen: 11/28-12/2 The Nineties 11/28: Receive Essay Four/Azerrad 11/28: Album Review Final Draft Week 17 12/5-12/9 [Finals] 12/7: Essay Four [my office by 4:30pm]

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