Course - Music and Social Justice: Artistic Activism and Applied Research in the Twenty-First Century - MUSV3132
MUSV3132 - Music and Social Justice: Artistic Activism and Applied Research in the Twenty-First Century
Lessons are not given in the academic year 2020/2021
Music is often invested with strong ideas of morality and power. In different cultures and at different historical times, music has been used to alleviate human suffering, bring about positive social change, and to nurture social harmony. While musicology has long clung to the idea of musical autonomy, music researchers over the last thirty years have been very interested in the social, psychological, political and medical impact music can have. Indeed, many scholars today actively engage in wider social issues and apply their own research to address larger social challenges of the twenty-first century. Today, music is employed by networks of artists, activists, academics, NGOs and state authorities in a wide variety of socially engaged artistic projects. While these projects are often celebrated in the media, there is less public discussion about the projects lasting impacts, the wider ethical issues they raise, and the persisting social inequalities they supposedly overcome.
This course will foster critical discussion and reflection on a wide range of artistic activism and applied research. What is musical activism? What kind of social responsibilities do music researchers have? Can music be used to bring about social justice? Topics and case-studies we will focus on include: music as a tool to address the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Uganda; the West-Eastern Divan orchestra and the hope of peace in the Middle East; musical projects with refugees in Europe; music therapy in post-conflict regions such as Bosnia and Herzegovina; Fargespill and multicultural social integration in Norway; music used in European aid and development in the Global South; multicultural education and outreach programmes in North America; music in global environmental activism; the Festival au Désert and the fight against musical censorship in Mali. Interrogating the ideological foundations of such projects, this course will provide a global overview of the political potentials and ethical challenges of employing music to pursue social justice.
An examinee with a completed qualification in MUSV3132
- has learned about specific musical activist projects in different parts of the world
- has deepened their understanding of current global social, political, environmental and health issues
- has gained insights into the social responsibility of researchers and the ethics of applying their work
An examinee with a completed qualification in MUSV3132 will have
- gained the ability to discuss musicological texts
- developed their skills in assessing audio-visual material
- deepened their expertise in presenting (both orally and in writing) original thoughts on current debates.
Learning methods and activities
This course will consist of mandatory lectures and seminars. Each lecture will address particular case studies and a specific debate on musical activism; each accompanying seminar will introduce interactive group work that further deepens discussion of the lecture topic. Within each lecture and seminar, discussion will focus around set texts and audio-visual material as well as various materials prepared by students. It is expected that students will be prepared to discuss these texts and their views on them at each lecture/seminar.
- Satisfactory participation in compulsory instruction
Further on evaluation
Students are required to submit two semester essays. One will be due half way through the semester, the second at the end of the course. Each essay should be 8-10 pages long, with font size 12, line spacing 1.5.
If the course is not passed, the student must only retake the part of the assessment that was not passed. If the candidate retakes the exam, there is no need to retake the compulsory assignments.
Exam registration requires that class registration is approved in the same semester. Compulsory activities from previous semester may be approved by the department.
Admission to a programme of study is required:
Music Performance (MMUSP)
Music Performance Studies (BMUSK)
Music Performance Studies (BMUSP)
Music Technology (BMUST)
Music Technology (MMUST)
Recommended previous knowledge
It's recommended that students have a good understanding of musicology, have an interest in current debates in social justice and are open to exploring music in its social, cultural and political context.
Required previous knowledge
Requires admission to one of the Bachelor's or Master's programmes in Musicology, Music Technology or Music Performance Studies.
Credits: 7.5 SP
Study level: Second degree level
Language of instruction: English
- Music History
- Music Theory
- Music Pedagogy Subjects
- Music Technology
Department with academic responsibility
Department of Music
- * The location (room) for a written examination is published 3 days before examination date. If more than one room is listed, you will find your room at Studentweb.
For more information regarding registration for examination and examination procedures, see "Innsida - Exams"