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"Have a Nice Decade," Rock and Roll and American Culture in the 1970s

Date: 10/08/2012

Time: 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM

Location: Continuing Education and Conference Center

Cost: $80


This two-session short course is offered by the College of Continuing Education's LearningLife program.


Bruce Springsteen, King Crimson, Patti Smith, The Eagles, the Grateful Dead, Warren Zevon, George Clinton, and Earth, Wind, & Fire... With music of the rock and roll era being the soundtrack to many of our most intimate, challenging, and celebratory moments, there is no doubt that rock and roll has entered into our individual processes of identity formation and become a part of who we are. But the influence of rock music extends beyond the personal. This course examines rock and roll as not only a musical style, but also as a broader social movement and as a cause of significant cultural transformations in American history. With a focus on the 1970s, you'll explore the mainstreaming of rock and roll as commercialized and "classic" artistic expression, and as an illustration of progressive changes in material culture and technology. Associated issues include social changes related toracial integration, human sexuality, fine art, and public politics in the era of Vietnam and Watergate. The music scenes related to funk, disco, art rock, and arena rock, and the early emergence of punk and new-wave rock androll also will be examined in relation to the broader culture. The following are just a few of the questions that will help guide our conversation: What is distinctive about 1970s rock music? Which influences from rock and roll of the 1950s and 1960s influenced the direction of rock music in the 1970s? What messages are conveyed by 1970s rock and roll? Did rock music contribute to social problems (drug use, delinquency, promiscuity, emotional immaturity) among those who grew up with the music?

David Jones is a professional musician and scholar in the areas of American cultural history and popular music, primarily blues and rock and roll. He is the former executive producer for the Wisconsin Public Radio series "Jazz, Blues, and Beyond," and is currently an associate professor of English at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and a faculty fellow for the University's Honors Program. His essay, "Postmodernism, Pop Music, and Blues Practice in Nelson George's Post-Soul Culture," appeared in a recent issue of the African American Review.


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LearningLife is a program of the University of Minnesota College of Continuing Education. Established in 1913, the College provides high-quality continuing education and lifelong learning opportunities for professional development, personal enrichment, career transitions, and academic growth.


  • Name: College of Continuing Education Information Center
  • E-mail: cceinfo@umn.edu
  • Phone: 612-624-4000
  • Sponsored by: College of Continuing Education

More information: http://z.umn.edu/8ts

Disability Options:

To request disability accommodations, please contact the College of Continuing Education Information Center at 612-624-4000 or at cceinfo@umn.edu.

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