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Division: Eugene Lang College The New School for Liberal Arts
Department: Lang College
Course Number: LNGC 1486
Course Format: Seminar
Location: NYC campus
Permission Required: Yes
- Media Studies
- Cultural Studies
“American Idol” is not just one of the most successful shows in the history of television, it is also just one of many song and singing contests that attract immense and enthusiastic audiences worldwide today. This course explores the history and cultural theory behind this song contest phenomenon, considering the tradition of song contests in mythology, traditional and non-Western cultures, and in European cultures from the medieval period through the nineteenth century. In the twentieth century, Eurovision, the grandfather of today’s televised song contests, continues to inspire popular and also academic interest though it is hardly known in the United States. Building on this historical and theoretical foundation, students will investigate the cultural, economic, and media structures behind the international franchises of “Idols,” “The X Factor,” and “The Voice” to find out what it means to sing for some kind of prize.
Open to Undergraduate students.
Open to Freshman students.