Date of Degree


Document Type


Degree Name





Norman Carey

Committee Members

Jane C. Sugarman

Vilna Bashi Treitler

Anthony Leach

Subject Categories

Africana Studies | Curriculum and Social Inquiry | Music | Music Pedagogy | Scholarship of Teaching and Learning | Social Justice


Higher Education Choral Music Curricula, African Diaspora, Racial Justice, Global Habits of Citizenship, First Voice Pedagogy


In higher education choral curricula, the opportunity to study the breathtakingly rich scope of music rooted in Africa and the African diaspora with rigor and depth is often marginalized, neglected, or missing. If studied, it may be framed in the context of “other music” in contrast to music of the Western European canon, creating an oppositional framework rather than an interdependent one. Moreover, opportunities to study the political economy of this music in relationship to race, class, gender, and religion are lacking. This has multiple ramifications for music students’ preparedness to engage in global habits of citizenship in support of racial justice.

Through an experimental design and case study of a college course, this qualitative research project explores the questions, “How are higher education choral curricula connected to racialized political and economic realities?” and “How do they perpetuate or undermine these realities?” Using Manning Marable’s Living Black History: How Reimagining the African-American Past Can Remake America’s Racial Future (Marable 2006) as a touchstone, the research is grounded in a combination of theories about race, history, music, and pedagogy applied to the design of a college course, “Choral Music of the African Diaspora in the United States: Toward a 'Living Black History.'” The case study is an assessment of students’ reflective writing that analyzes shifts in perspective from views that are oppositional to ones that are interdependent and is located in an inquiry into habits of citizenship toward racial justice in a global context.