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music history, social power structures, digital humanities, archival research, social justice


Key Points:

  • construct ideas about how music informs and reflects social identity.

  • analyze power structures & individual agency.

  • cultural relativism.

  • digital humanities.

Detailed Description:

Music history is the study of culture—both historical and current—through musical artifacts. By examining musical events, including who made music, who listened to music, how people (may have) behaved, and how the music served culture, we can begin to understand both ourselves and the world around us. 

Questions we consider in this stream include: How does engaging with musical performance (re)create identity? In what ways do music and society influence each other? How do people navigate systems of power in music culture? How can music, including music scholarship, work towards equity?  By understanding how musical performance can be connected to different aspects of identity, we can recognize diverse historical voices, analyze how those voices were constructed and often oppressed, and ultimately reflect on how current musical performances affect ourselves and those around us.


Key Points:

  • recognition of social structures.

  • celebration of diverse voices.

  • source authority & bias.

  • evidence as data.

  • creative inquiry.

Detailed Description:

We can use musical evidence to not just study music culture and culture writ large. Through analyzing how others have navigated music culture and the levels of agency they have (not) had, we can better examine structures and agency in our own cultures and reflect on how we participate in them.  


To do this work, we engage with a variety of sources and learn to critique their authority and use of evidence; skills that matter both when studying music culture, reading the most recent political news article, or preparing a legal argument. These are skills that are transferrable to other subjects and any career.

Ultimately, by becoming critical readers and understanding how culture is constructed, we can make informed decisions about how we want to engage with music, media, and people around us. 


Key Points:

  • interpret information critically.

  • assembling evidence.

  • archival & participant observation 

  • web design.

  • data analysis.

  • data visualization.

  • collaborative projects.

Detailed Description:

Students in this research stream will learn transferable information literacy skills such as close reading of texts, how to interpret those texts in meaningful ways, and how to support statements with authoritative evidence. In learning these skills, you will engage in both digital and physical archival research, learning how to find and navigate a variety of sources. In transferring evidence into digital humanities formats to produce public-facing projects, you will learn data visualization, web design, and geographic information systems (GIS). 

Through completing individual research projects that work towards a collective goal, you will build important transferrable research skills such as understanding project organization, scope, and value & relevancy of information.

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