Teaching America ‘Online’: Designing and delivering the Online Distance course ‘A History of the Blues’
The sixth post in the ‘Teaching America’ series is by Dr Christian O’Connell (University of Gloucestershire), author of Blues, How Do You Do? Paul Oliver and the Transatlantic Story of the Blues, who discusses the benefits to online distance learning when teaching the history of U.S. music.
Re-Imagining the Blues: A Transatlantic Approach to African-American Culture
Revisionists writers, such as Elijah Wald and Marybeth Hamilton, have argued that representations [of the blues] by white and, therefore, ‘alien’ observers during the post-war blues revival of the 1950s and 1960s distorted historical truths, and ‘invented’ the blues as we know it […] The work of [blues writer] Paul Oliver … is representative of the fact that meanings and representations of African American music and culture have been constructed within a transatlantic context. […] His work demonstrates how the blues became a reified ideal constructed in opposition to the forces of modernity, represented by the commercial music industry and the growth of teenage oriented pop in the 1950s and 1960s. African American music became a source of cultural capital for those that were disillusioned with Western consumerism and mass culture in the post-war era.
60 Seconds With Christian O’Connell
“What advice would you give to early career academics?”
Don’t discount yourself from anything, apply to every job that you would like to do, no matter how competitive if may be, apply for all available research funding (you don’t ask, you don’t get!), and go to as many conferences as possible!