Beginning with autobiography, and then moving through biography, poetry, drama, and, fiction, this seminar will look at jazz music and the literatures it has generated as a way to contest and revise conventional approaches to modernism. We will examine the influence of race, gender, and class on the development of a jazz subculture in the U.S. Readings in the course will likely include Mingus’s Beneath the Underdog, Holliday’s Lady Sings the Blues, Morrison’s Jazz, Wilson’s Seven Guitars, along with selections from The Jazz Poetry Anthology. We will also be looking at jazz and cinema, especially in films like Bird, Round Midnight, Mo’ Better Blues, and Paris Blues. There will also be guest lecturers in the class ranging from jazz historians, performers, and critics. While participants need not be well-versed in jazz history or ethnomusicology, they should have some experience reading literature and a familiarity with Cultural Studies.
Fulfills 3, 4, & 6 requirements.