First-Year Seminar: On Broadway - Musicals, Race, Place

MUSIC 1165

The Broadway theatres are closed but pressure to make these stages more racially and ethnically diverse when they re-open is strong. This course looks at the history of the Broadway theatres and the ways this coveted theatrical real estate in midtown Manhattan has played host to white and non-white performers in the signature American theatrical genre: the musical. Using digital and archival research tools, including an abundance of maps, our study stretches from the creation of the Theatre District at the turn of the twentieth century to the present. We will examine groundbreaking and all-too-typical shows-from Show Boat to Hamilton-and look closely for how systemic racism has played out on Broadway stages for Broadway's mostly-white audience. We will produce original research and explore digital humanities methods to questions of racial inequality in commercial popular culture. This course is for first-year, non-transfer students only.
Course Attributes: EN H; FYS; BU Hum; BU BA; AS HUM; AS SC