GLLC-G220 Decline of the West (3 cr.) (GenEd S&H; CASE S&H, CASE GCC) (MW, 4:00–5:15 pm, FQ 012A) (Sec. #35142) Matthew Slaboch
In his 2012 State of the Union address, Barack Obama proclaimed that “anyone who tells you that America is in decline or that our influence has waned doesn’t know what they’re talking about.” In spite of the president’s proclamations that their country remains as vibrant as ever, Americans are skeptical: Gallup’s “right track, wrong track” question revealed that only 18% of the public were satisfied with the state of their union at the time of the president’s address. Halfway across the globe, Europeans express dissatisfaction with the state of their own union by protesting high unemployment and economic uncertainty. Greece, the cradle of Western civilization, has staggering levels of debt with which it cannot cope. Meanwhile, there’s talk about the “rise of China.” Given what’s going on worldwide, we might ask “Is the West in Decline?” This course investigates, looking at economic, military, moral, artistic, and other types of decline.
GLLC-G210 Country Music Around the World (3 cr.) (GenEd A&H; CASE A&H, CASE GCC) (TR, 4:00–6:15 pm, FQ012A) (Sec. #35121) Nate Gibson
Country music has often been described as the music of the South, the music of the working-class, or even the music of America. But with advanced technology and distribution, country music is now a multi-billion dollar global business. This course examines the broadly-defined genre of “country” to better understand how this music throughout the world has and continues to reflect upon significant issues such as religion, politics, and war. Through readings, selected listening exercises, and guest lectures, we will explore the transnational spread of country music and its impact throughout the world. Is country music in Nashville any more “real” than country music in Zimbabwe, Finland, or even Russia? More importantly, who is the music’s target audience and what does “country” mean to them? This course draws from the disciplines of ethnomusicology, folklore, history, musicology, performance studies, and sociology to widen our understanding of what it means to be “country.”