Sound and Society (California State University)
This course analyzes sound, noise, and music as topics and methods through which to produce sociological data, and to render specific and theoretical understandings of society and its various social worlds. The course will focus on the relationships among sound, social structure, and power, and will investigate how listening as a methodological and theoretical approach can generate critical knowledge on the interconnective soundings, spaces, and states of race, ethnicity, class, gender, sexuality, and citizenship. The course will exist as a laboratory for the collection, application, and analysis of sound as a sociological phenomenon, and will also examine and utilize sound as an instrument for studying society.
Hip-Hop and Justice Studies (California State University)
This course involves sociological analyses of contemporary and historical theories and practices of justice through the lens of hip-hop music, art, aesthetics, politics, and culture; including an examination of criminal justice (regarding crime, policing, detention, and imprisonment), social justice (regarding racial, economic, gender, and sexual justice), and global justice (regarding transnational processes of capitalism, terrorism, technology, development, and immigration). Methods for study include close listening to hip-hop music, visual analysis of hip-hop film and photography, and critical engagement of a variety of interdisciplinary hip-hop studies and justice studies scholarship.
Social Movements: The Third World Left (California State University)
This course examines social movements from a uniquely interrelated local/global perspective, examining the historical, political, and economic influences of organized efforts for social change in Los Angeles and how they relate to social movement and social change processes on the national and global levels. This course is organized according to a variety of “movement moments,” or historical and contemporary occurrences, that signal societal change in the Los Angeles area, and ask students to think through the complexity of what produces, sustains, and/or ends social movements or social change processes. Central to the course will be an attempt to visualize social movements and social change through literature, presentations, and films.
Crowds, Publics, and Social Media (University of Southern California)
This course seeks to rethink and repurpose digital and social media technology toward scholarly ends in the service of documenting and analyzing social change and social movement processes as they are occurring locally and within a national and international context. Social change efforts are increasingly documented, expanded, (even begun) online, i.e. the Tea Party movement, Arab Spring, the Occupy Movement, Anonymous, etc. This course entails studying community organizing efforts for social justice both historically and in real-time with attention to, and through, the use of digital technology and traditional scholarship. The course will involve student-driven research of, and visits to, community organizing organizations and events in south and downtown Los Angeles, accompanied by multimedia data collection, editing, and analysis of social media, digital photography, film, and social movement literature.
The Culture of Incarceration (University of Colorado, Colorado Springs)
This course examines the culture and politics of U.S. imprisonment in order to engage the theoretical and material intersections of social control, political dissent, cultural production, and global governance. Using a transnational, cross-comparative perspective, the course examines literature, music, film, photographs, and public policy from and about prisons, to elucidate the structures and aesthetics of imprisonment from the inside and from without. The course asks students to consider the conditions, circumstances, and politics that lead to, and maintain, individual and group imprisonment, as well as the collective maintenance of prison policy and/or prison states. Concepts of agency, power, discipline, dissent, violence, nonviolence, punishment, revolt, terror, and revolution will be considered through case studies and theoretical approaches.
Music and Social Change (University of Colorado, Colorado Springs)
This course examines the intersections between popular music and popular politics in the U.S. and beyond, and the ways in which music produces, responds to, and shapes social change efforts, and vice versa. Central to the course’s aim is both a sociological examination of music, and a musicological examination of society. Using keywords such as movements, changes, and dynamics, the course seeks to explore the theoretical and material common-ground between music and social change. Special attention will be paid to the sounds and silences that inform and construct everyday identities such as race, class, gender, and sexuality; and the ways in which music can both amplify and muffle efforts for racial, economic, gender, and queer justice.