FMST 026. Popular Music and Media

(Cross-listed as GMST 026/MUSI 005E/LITR 026)
What do classical music, teenie bop, soul, battle rap, and jazz have in common? Philadelphia. This team-taught interdisciplinary course investigates the histories, structures and cultural connections between popular music and other media in the city of Philadelphia. What links sound, image, and place? How do musical expressions and genres interact with urban life at specific junctures in Philadelphia history? How do modes of production and exhibition formats (radio vs. television, club v.s stadium) along with distribution venues (record store vs. Spotify) engage with genre, gender, and race configurations? What lies at the intersection of regional, national, and global fan cultures? How does celebrity culture then and now impact what is popular and how does it affect Philadelphia's music industry and vice versa? Providing a grounding in music and media history and theory, we will research and analyze mainstream and independent Philadelphia-specific case studies in radio, film, theater, television and social media in order to better understand and engage with the complex webs that characterize contemporary media, its production, and its consumption. Student projects will explore the intersections and interactions between individuals, ethnic and racial groups, established and new Philadelphians, city government, region, empire, and nation that have and continue to shape Philadelphia through the music and media created here. This course will be taught in Philadelphia.

Core class in the Tri-Co Philly Program.
1 credit.
Spring 2023. Blasina and Simon.
Catalog chapter: Film and Media Studies
Department website:

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