CAT 2A: The Process of Music:
A Study of Listening, Composing, and Performing

A Study of Listening, Composing, and Performing

David "Joe" Bigham

Tues/Thurs 3:30 - 4:50

This course examines how we actively negotiate music as listeners and musicians by examining music’s layers of process and procedure. We will consider how music is learned, performed, composed, recorded, and heard in examples including jazz (Miles Davis’ Bitches Brew), hip-hop (J-Dilla’s Donuts), rock (The Beatles’ “Strawberry Fields” and Radioheads’ In Rainbows), and art-music (Terry Riley’s In C). We will give special attention to the technologies that have transformed musical processes, ranging from Auto-tune to YouTube. Section work will draw parallels between musical processes and rhetorical composition. You will describe the layers and procedures of musical activity through written and graphical descriptions. You will also document your own learning experience, by learning a simple instrument, song, or instrumental technique using online media. A final essay project will argue for or against one of the processes we examine in the course. Our goals in the course are multifaceted: developing the skills to document process, evaluating and critiquing process, and considering music as linked activities rather than a fixed product. 

CAT 2B: Translation Theory and Practice

Translation Theory and Practice

Amelia Glaser

Tues/Thurs 11:00 - 12:20

How have humans, from the ancient world to the present, made themselves understood across languages? What methods have proved the most effective and under what circumstances? This course seeks to answer these questions by examining innovations in translation from the Rosetta Stone, to Biblical translation, to web-based language technology. You will read essays and articles exploring the possibilities and impossibilities of translating jokes, slang, and terms of endearment. We will discuss how translators, the "work horses of literature" have sought to render poetry into different languages. We will test new technologies that are changing the way we approach foreign texts. In-class exercises will allow you to try your hand at a variety of translation techniques. You do not need to know a foreign language for this class, but if you do you might have a chance to use it. 


CAT 2C: Society of the Spectacle

Spectacle

Charles Thorpe

MWF 12:00 - 12:50

In consumer capitalism, we are surrounded and bombarded by images from the media and advertising. Commodities increasingly take the form of images, since branding is all important. With today's interactive technologies, we carry on our social relationships mediated by technologies and we construct virtual representations of ourselves on sites like Facebook. Contemporary society can therefore be understood as a 'society of the spectacle.' In his path-breaking book of this title, Guy Debord argued that in advanced capitalist societies "all of life presents itself as an immense accumulation of spectacles. Everything that was directly lived has moved away into a representation."

In the course, we will read Debord's text, and other analyses of capitalism, consumerism, and media, as well as reading science fiction literature, and viewing film. We will also pay attention to the (sub)urban environment of San Diego as a consumer capitalist city. The course aims to provide a space in which we can gain analytical distance from the spectacle and develop a critical understanding of how it shapes our everyday lives.


CAT 2D: The Process of Music:
A Study of Listening, Composing, and Performing

A Study of Listening, Composing, and Performing

David "Joe" Bigham

Tues/Thurs 5:00 - 6:20

This course examines how we actively negotiate music as listeners and musicians by examining music’s layers of process and procedure. We will consider how music is learned, performed, composed, recorded, and heard in examples including jazz (Miles Davis’ Bitches Brew), hip-hop (J-Dilla’s Donuts), rock (The Beatles’ “Strawberry Fields” and Radioheads’ In Rainbows), and art-music (Terry Riley’s In C). We will give special attention to the technologies that have transformed musical processes, ranging from Auto-tune to YouTube. Section work will draw parallels between musical processes and rhetorical composition. You will describe the layers and procedures of musical activity through written and graphical descriptions. You will also document your own learning experience, by learning a simple instrument, song, or instrumental technique using online media. A final essay project will argue for or against one of the processes we examine in the course. Our goals in the course are multifaceted: developing the skills to document process, evaluating and critiquing process, and considering music as linked activities rather than a fixed product.


CAT 2E:  “A House is (Not) a Home:”
Examining Race, Gender, and Technology at Home 

CAT_2_WI17_House-Is-not-a-Home_Course_image
Phoebe Bronstein

MWF 10:00 - 10:50

This CAT2 course will examine the idea of the American home, family, and domesticity as these concepts and ideologies developed in and around the television. Not only was television physically integrated into the new postwar domestic space (literally built into the structure of suburban homes) but its programming defined new--white, middle class, and suburban--ideas of the home and asserted raced and gendered roles within that space. We will think of television as an active site (vs the boob tube or “vast wasteland”) re-shaping the home, inspiring new technologies, and even familial relations (like the advent of the TV dinner). In many ways this is a television history class, but we will also consider contemporary television families and how we watch television now--from appointment viewing in primetime to Netflix binging on our computers. In tracking the evolution of domestic tropes (like the housewife or the maid), the technology itself, and how domestic space is articulated as raced and gendered, we will ask questions about what home and television meant and continue to mean as a function of Americanness. We will use these explorations to hone our writing and critical thinking skills, perform close readings, and learn how to make and support ethical arguments. We will read a combination of academic and popular press articles and watch a lot of television and hopefully these texts will serve as inspiration and models for your course projects, which might include essays; short writing assignments; and a video essay.



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