SPSCC professors get Motown with history

Eric Chase and James Schneider have combined forces to bring you United States History 3 linked with history of pop music, what Professor Chase has promised to be “the best class ever.”

Have you ever wanted to know just what exactly Hippies had to do with the anti-Vietnam War movement? How the rebirth of folk music and the emergence of rock’n’roll influenced politics? What is the social commentary of rap and hip-hop? What do punks really have to be angry about?

The class will explore the roots of American pop music and 20th century America. The purpose of the class is to examine the intersection of historic events and the development of the music of the times. Because nothing helps to better understand the jazz age than to deconstruct jazz music.

The ten credit class meets Mondays through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. and no prerequisites are required.

The course will cover the British Invasion, Rockabilly, Motown, and Bebop among other eras and popular genres. The different social histories will be uncovered while focusing on the cultural influences, social constructs, and historical consequences which they both helped influence and were influenced by.

Artists to be studied include Billie Holiday, Big Mama Thornton, Woody Guthrie, Phil Ochs, The Clash, Johnny Cash, and John Lennon. The socio-political context in which they performed will be examined, as well as their respective cultural heritages.

James Schneider is an English Composition and Humanities professor and has taught linked courses before. He has previously taught Writing linked with Psychology, as well as World Religions with English 101.

Eric Chase has been teaching at SPSCC for eleven years. He too has taught linked courses, including the class Food For Thought which combined Intro to Sociology and Writing, with a strong emphasis placed on food.

According to the online catalogue, their linked will emphasize music relating to the political, social and cultural history of the United States from 1920 to the present. This includes the Great Depression, World War II, The Cold War, and Vietnam as well as civil rights, equal rights and environmental movements.

Linked courses allow for an in depth analysis of not only one subject, but two and how those two subjects interact. They serve as an introduction to the kind of interdisciplinary studies universities, such as The Evergreen State College, are acclaimed for.

Schneider thinks highly of linked courses with their ability to offer students the benefit of having two teachers in the classroom, each able to contribute their expertise to the course from different fields.

“Spending a greater amount of time with the same professors and peers allows students to feel connected to their studies, their professors, and their classmates. It creates a learning community, a classroom model that is proven to engage students, as well as encourage ‘deep thinking’ and retention,” he said.

At the time of publication, this course had many seat openings available.