African Popular Music (HACU 0258)
This course focuses on twentieth century African popular music; it examines musical genres from different parts of the continent, investigating their relationships to the historical, political and social dynamics of their respective national and regional origins. Regional examples like highlife, soukous, kwaito and afro-beat will be studied to assess the significance of popular music as a creative response to social and political developments in colonial and postcolonial Africa. The course also discusses the growth of hip-hop music in selected countries by exploring how indigenous cultural tropes have provided the basis for its local adaptation. Themes explored in this course include music and identity; music, politics and resistance; globalization; appropriation, and the political significance of musical nostalgia. Student's final projects for this class could be in form of a live performance or a paper presentation focusing on any genre or aspect of African popular music.