Course syllabus




Anthro 106/106G:  Issues in History in Popular Music


15 points

Course Convenor: 

Kirsten Zemke -


Course delivery format:

2 hours of lectures and 1 hour of tutorial

(Timetable and room details can be viewed on Student Services Online)


Course Outline Document (please read carefully)



Summary of Course Description:              

 A survey of popular music styles, artists, culture and issues which explores facets such as genre, subculture, industrial controls, politics, the sales process, race and gender.



  • Introduce strategies and the importance of studying popular music from an academic perspective
  • Approach a broad history of popular music looking at key styles and periods
  • Communicate current research-based understandings of popular music from a range of theoretical, methodological and historical perspectives
  • Assist students in the further development of key skills which include reading, writing and critical thinking
  • Get students to apply critical thinking to something they are familiar with
  • Enhance students’ understandings of the ubiquitous social, economic and artistic phenomenon that is popular music and stimulate interest in the field of study



  • At the completion of the course students are expected to:
  •  Demonstrate an understanding of some of the key decades and sub-genres of popular music
  • Be able to apply theoretical perspectives of race, gender and power to set genre and historical periods of popular music
  • Be familiar with some of the key research and academic writing on popular music
  • Be familiar with some of the key genre, styles and artists explored in the course
  • Demonstrate skills in reading, note-taking, critical thinking and writing at the appropriate level



 Assessment Summary:

10% Tutorials

20% Essay

20% Essay           

50% exam


Weekly Topics:

 Week 1 (2/3)  Style vs. Industry

 Week 2 (9/3)  Gender and Sexuality

Week 3 (16/3)  Rock and Roll

Week 4 (23/3)  Sixties and seventies Rock

Week 5 (30/1)  NO LECTURE (Good Friday)


Week 6 (20/4)  Jive, Jump & Boogie 

Week 7 (27/4)  Rock Subculture and Canon

Week 8 (4/5)  Soul, Funk, R & B

Week 9 (11/5)  Hip Hop I

Week 10 (18/5)  Hip Hop II

Week 11 (25/5)  EDM

Week 12  (1/6) Popular Music and Race


Prescribed Texts:

Articles on Canvas  (under Reading Lists)


 Workload and deadlines for submission of coursework:           

The University of Auckland's expectation is that students spend 10 hours per week on a 15-point course, including time in class and personal study. Students should manage their academic workload and other commitments accordingly. Deadlines for coursework are set by course convenors and will be advertised in course material. You should submit your work on time. In extreme circumstances, such as illness, you may seek an extension but you are required to provide supporting information attached to your assignment. Late assignments without a pre-approved extension will penalised by loss of marks – check course information for details.



Michael Jackson - Beat it



Course summary:

Date Details