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This class is a guide to understanding and enjoying American popular music from the late nineteenth century to the present. We will survey a variety of popular genres, including rock, blues, jazz, country, R&B, and hip hop, probing the links between music and issues of race, gender, class, economics, and politics. Through this course, students will learn the art of critical listening, as they participate in an interactive learning process of reading, listening, and discussion, and complete a final research paper on a topic of their choosing. No textbook required (Spotify subscription recommended) and fulfills the GER-ARTS requirement!