WKU POP 201

Introduction to Popular Culture Studies

Extra Credit (4/26 event: Thoughts on Pop)

Posted by tommistowers on April 27, 2017

Yesterday I went to the extra credit opportunity you gave us that was called Thoughts on Pop. The event was split up into two sections with two different speakers. Dr. Andrew Rosa talked about “A Strike for Justice”: St. Clair Drake and the Struggle for Educational Reform at Hampton Institute. While Dr. Michelle Dvoskin took a different turn and talked about musicals. She focused on three main musicals that are reenacting history through musicals.

The first section was Dr. Andrew Rosa reading parts from Black Metropolis and the way he interpreted it. John Gibbs St. Clair Drake was the author of Black Metropolis: A Study of Negro Life in a Northern City. John Gibbs wrote this story after he attended Hampton University that was a huge impact into writing Black Metropolis. After Gibbs had enough of the way he was being treated him and other Hampton students began a strike. The strike started by a list of reasons such as for more black teachers, higher academic standards, the dismissal of racist and unqualified faculty, an end to various strict disciplinary policies, and more.

The second section was presented by Dr. Michelle Dvoskin. Throughout the entire presentation she focused on three different musicals. These three musicals were Hamilton the musical, the 1776 musical, and Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson musical. Hamilton the musical was based on the life of Alexander Hamilton. This musical had more of a hip hop feel Dr. Dvoskin noted. 1776 the musical was based on the events that surround the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson was based on Andrew Jackson’s life. This musical had a rock and emo feel said Dr. Dvoskin. Dr. Dvoskin said that all the musicals performed are a performance of the past but not the past itself. The musicals are about the events from the past that are made into a story form. Dr. Dvoskin made an excellent point that really stuck out to me! She said, “History book edit and simplify the pass to clean it up. You do not see the founding fathers trying to get out of signing the Declaration of Independence or the heartbroken responses that Eliza (Hamilton’s ex wife). History books don’t show the arguments and any mocking that was happening throughout these events. Although these musicals are to educate people and they are well educated musicals they still had some incorrect events. One incorrect event that Dr. Dvoskin talked about was a scene from Hamilton called “Burn”. Eliza is heartbroken by Hamilton’s public affair. The song states that she is burning the records of her ever being Hamilton’s wife. Dr. Dvoskin said this timing was off. By the time Eliza burned the letters Hamilton wrote to her, he was already dead. Therefore, this was not directly after the affair, it was years after. Dvoskin states that the challenges with these musicals are to make sure the musicals have correct historical events and in the correct order.

In conclusion, at the beginning of this event I thought it was going to be boring. Once Dr. Dvoskin started talking things started to turn up. Overall, I thought this was a good event!

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2 Responses to “Extra Credit (4/26 event: Thoughts on Pop)”

  1. vene131 said

    I went to this as well and really enjoyed the part where she talked about how Burn was historically unproven. This kind of just shows how history is never really accurate because we are always getting the story from someone else. We’re never really in the room where it happened.

  2. emmaeled said

    I did not attend the event but hearing your description of it is extremely interesting. You can tell by the level of detail that you really enjoyed the presentation and learned something and I feel like I have learned a lot about the historical timing faults and different purposes of musicals and history mixing together just by reading your post.

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