NEW CLASS SPRING 2019
Professor Imani Uzuri (photo by Petra Richterova)
WS/BLST 31540 “Somebody…Sing A Black Girl’s Song”: A study of Black Womxn* Musical Artists Interior Lives
W 5:00-8:00 pm, Room: SH374
Professor Imani Uzuri
This course will explore the interior lives of Black women, womxn and gender non-conforming vocalists, composers and instrumentalists through the lens of their chosen lyrical content, melodic structures and songs/compositional themes. We will analyze their music to endeavor to uncover details about the artists views on themselves, the cosmos and the world around them. Contemplating the work of both historical and contemporary artists, we will look at the multiple ways artists subvert, traverse, transgress and transcend societal and cultural gender norms.
We will examine the song creation and/or choices of artists such as, Bessie Smith, Big Mama Thornton, Marian Anderson, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Billie Holiday, Mary Lou Williams, Aretha Franklin, Rihanna, Odetta, Alice Coltrane, Nina Simone, Vera Hall, Jackie Shane, Whitney Houston, Sylvester, Mary J. Blige, Sade, Brenda Fassie, Grace Jones, Celia Cruz, Omou Sangare among others. We will read essays and passages to deepen our theoretical framework by scholars and artists such as Farah Jasmine Griffin, Angela Davis, Zora Neale Hurston and Ntozake Shange.
Imani Uzuri is an internationally acclaimed vocalist, composer and cultural worker who has been called "a postmodernist Bessie Smith" by The Village Voice. She composes music that celebrates her rural North Carolina roots where she grew up singing Spirituals and line-singing hymns with her grandmother and extended family as well as her travels around the world. Uzuri received her M.F.A. in Interdisciplinary Arts from Goddard College Vermont and her M.A. in African American Studies from Columbia University.
Dr. Matthew Reilly was just awarded a fellowship with the American Anthropological Association's Leadership Fellows Program of 2018!
The announcement was printed in Anthropology News
"I am thrilled to be part of the Leadership Fellows Program. The past plays a crucial role in understanding our present and shaping our future, and it is my intention to work with the AAA to facilitate more substantive dialogue between archaeologists and cultural anthropologists with the shared goal of striving for social justice. I will work hard to encourage student involvement and participation in the AAA and strive to build an inclusive, public-facing association that affects change at all levels of society." - Dr. Reilly