College Bulletin 2023-2024 
    Jul 15, 2024  
College Bulletin 2023-2024

MUSI 009B. Music as Oral Tradition

“Until the lions have their own historians, the history of the hunt will always glorify the hunter.” This African proverb, popularized by Nigerian novelist Chinua Achebe, reflects the absence of the voices of colonized subjects in recorded  histories of colonial domination.  

This course explores the music and oral traditions of African and African diasporic peoples as legible historical records that are valuable and credible receptacles of, and sources for the dissemination and comprehensive production of world knowledge. As receptacles of knowledge, the living archives of song, instrumental music, dance, storytelling, traditional foods, and spiritual practice offer communities a mode for remembrance, and for teaching, learning, and preserving valuable social information. As sources of knowledge production, the records that inhabit these living archives represent colonial histories from the perspective of the colonized, on their terms.

During this course, students will use selected case studies to examine how the living archives of colonized African and African diasporic people in continental Africa, the Caribbean, and the Americas have been influential in chronicling past and present struggles. They will consider how these records remain vital to communities’ ability not just to survive, but to thrive in the twenty-first century and beyond.
1 credit.
Eligible for GLBL - Paired, Lang Engaged Scholarship, BLST
Spring 2025. Stewart.

Access the class schedule to search for sections.