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A Love Supreme: Literatures of Jazz773

ENGL 773.401
instructor(s):
W 3-6

The last ten years has seen the rise of what scholars have come to know as Jazz Studies. Through the contributions of historians, musicologists, journalists, literary and cultural critics, and of course, musicians, Jazz Studies is characterized by vigorous debate on the methodological and historiographical tenets underlying acts of canon formation and periodization. In this seminar, we will juxtapose our readings of primary texts: novels, poems, drama, photography, and autobiographies against a variety of secondary texts. Our goal is to understand the ways that literary and cultural studies can contribute to Jazz Studies and in turn the ways the field can enliven approaches to expressive culture. Authors in the course may include Charles Mingus, Michael Ondaatje, Geoff Dyer, Nathaniel Mackey, Gayl Jones, and Toni Morrison. Students do not need to have an extensive knowledge of jazz music, but listening will be essential to the course.