Fiction and Culture of the Americas
Sounding American: Literature, Music, Technology and Race - Online Course
What is meant when we say someone or something “sounds American”? Can a person sound like a certain gender, social class, sexuality, or race? How would we possibly define that sound? What role does disability play in these sonic identities and sonic technologies? And what might it mean to think of a culture through the ways it sounds and listens, instead of how it looks or sees? This course will explore these questions and others by studying novels, songs, podcasts, poems, and the changing forms of sonic technologies like microphones, radios, mp3s, turntables, and more. We will examine the social politics of “vocal fry,” the creation of sonic warfare, the techno-sonic inventions of hip hop, punk rock, and EDM, the sonic color line, the secrets of autotune, and literature’s role in helping us learn to listen. Authors and songwriters will include Gloria Anzaldúa, Langston Hughes, Lady Gaga and Beyoncé, Theresa Hak Kyung Cha, Claudia Rankine, Bob Dylan, Richard Wright, Eudora Welty, David Sedaris, and others.
This course fulfills the American Cultures requirement.
Comparative Literature majors/minors: This course does not automatically count towards the historical period requirement. If you would like this course to count for the historical period requirement, you must email the Undergraduate Major Advisor, Nina Rennert Cohen, at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss your major/minor timeline.