Literature & Music — Roots, Rock, Reggae

This course will examine the culture of reggae music from an interdisciplinary perspective.  In this way, we will examine the cultural history of reggae from a historical perspective in addition to examining how reggae is represented in literature and film.  To that end, we will read novels, poetry, music lyrics, and watch documentaries and dramas representing various aspects of reggae culture.  In this class we will pay particular attention the political underpinnings of reggae.  Some texts include but are not limited to: Michael Thelwell’s The Harder they Come, Roger Mais’s Brother Man,Kamau Brathwaite’s Trenchtown Rock, Linton Kwesi Johnson’s Selected Poems, Alex Wheatley’s Brixton Rock, and Wheel and Come Again: An Anthology of Reggae Poetry.  Films will include: The Harder they Comeand This is Reggae Music.


*Two long essays (6 to 7 pages)

*Three close readings

*Three poem or scene analyses

*Attendance and participation

*Reading Quizzes