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ERIC Number: EJ1007521
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 10
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0007-8034
A Conspicuous Gap in Cultural Studies: Popular Music in the English Studies Classroom
Knippling, Jim
CEA Forum, v42 n1 p262-271 Win-Spr 2013
For the author, the key analytic question about a popular song is not "What does it mean?" or "What hidden or coded meaning does it express?" but "What does its popularity tell us about the cultural moment when it resonated with its public?" How did the song "create its audience," so to speak? Obviously, a 1973 hit song, if it could time-travel, would meet with a different fate in 1943 or 2013. It's not in a vacuum that a song makes a splash, pushes psychic buttons, rings a bell, creates good vibrations, or bangs a gong in the public mind. It is a hit in the sense that contact is made with the hearts and minds of particular people at a particular moment in their history. It is the reception of a song that can be most productively analyzed--not timeless meanings. Songs are cultural artifacts that are uniquely and especially of their moment. For that reason, the author has been experimenting with a Popular Song Analysis assignment in advanced composition courses--an assignment in which he tries to steer students away from limiting their analysis strictly to lyrics. What kind of student writing, then, can be elicited by an assignment such as this? In this article the author discusses the outcome of this assignment.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A