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Title: Blues, identity and place : blues in the schools programmes in the United States of America
Author: Huskinson, Amanda
Awarding Body: University of Nottingham
Current Institution: University of Nottingham
Date of Award: 2012
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This thesis contributes to the geographical literature on music, education, race and the social economy through an examination of 'blues in the schools' (BITS) programmes in the United States. BITS is an umbrella term used to describe a variety of educational programmes, the aims of which include promoting live music, providing blues instruction, and increasing appreciation of African American culture. The thesis draws on ethnographic research to investigate how these programmes are enacted across an uneven and unequal educational1andscape, and how blues artists, organisations and teachers attempt to address the social and educational inequities that exist within the American school system. Interconnections between race, place and identity are investigated through a comparison of programmes presented by black and white artists in schools of varying ethnic diversity and in locations that one mayor may not associate with the music. The thesis charts the development of BITS, examining the programmes as a form of social economy initiative. It then investigates the gendered and racialised organisational structures and networks that support the programmes and help to confer authenticity on certain types of artists. The utilisation of the blues to teach students about American history, their cultural heritage, and the racial politics of their country is discussed. The thesis goes on to explore the challenges blues artists face as they transfer their working environment from the club to the classroom. It also investigates the performance spaces created through BITS in school auditoriums, classrooms and at festivals. In conclusion, the thesis underlines the importance of place in the production of BITS programmes, and how race affects the ways in which they are delivered and received. It explores the problem of unequal access to high quality music education, and questions whether artist-in-school programmes such as BITS are an effective and socially valuable pedagogical tool.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available