“Teaching music history using case studies”

Hosted by Sara Haefeli


As the field of musicology is coming to terms with its exclusionary, colonialist history, many instructors are thinking critically about course content. Professor Haefeli suggests that we need to consider not only what we teach, but how we teach it. She proposes that a case study pedagogy can decenter the West and whiteness in the curriculum, and all sources of authority that reify the privilege of the canon—including the professor as the primary source of knowledge and authority in the classroom. A case study approach can accommodate diverse musical examples without risk of tokenization.

Using the creation of Lincoln Center in the 1960s as a sample case study, she will demonstrate how to create a music-historical case, how to guide discussion, and how to assess student work. She will also describe how students can learn to create research questions of their own inspired by a case and how they can work collaboratively on projects that begin to explore these questions.

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