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FYS: Hard Hitting Songs (Cathy Thomas-Grant): Home

This guide provides links to information that will help you answer research questions for weekly assignments and your midterm.

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Biographical Information

Historic Information



Further Resources


Weekly Presentations

Each week you will partner up with someone and share a song that is either from the reading or fits into the subject matter being discussed that day. Each presentation should last no longer than 10 minutes. You will provide:

  • A recording of the song on either YouTube, or Spotify.
  • The Lyrics to the song. You will email these to me in word format on the Monday before your presentation so that I can make copies for the class. These lyric sheets must include TITLE, COMPOSER, AND PERFORMER, YEAR OF PUBLICATION, RELEASE DATE and WHO HOLDS THE COPYRIGHT.
  • You will cover the songwriter, the singers, and tell us how their life or lives influenced the writing of the song  Biographical information
  • You will also speak about what is going on politically, socially and culturally at the time the song was written and the purpose of the song within that context. Historic information
  • You need to provide images of the event, find those powerful images that speak to you.  Perhaps you trade off with each other, moving through images as the other person speaks.  Work as a team. Archival information (Photos/ Magazines)
  • Written work handed in for this should include an outline of the presentation and all of the sources you used to pull the presentation together. 

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Sally Bryant
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Elizabeth Parang
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Evaluating Sources

Scholarly v. Popular

A scholarly publication is one in which the content is written by experts in a particular field of study - generally for the purpose of sharing original research or analyzing others' findings. Scholarly work will thoroughly cite all source materials used and is usually subject to "peer review" prior to publication.


POP aim to inform a wide array of readers about issues of interest and are much more informal in tone and scope. Examples include general news, business and entertainment publications such as Time Magazine, Business Weekly, Vanity Fair.

Note, special interest publications which are not specifically written for an academic audience are also considered "popular" i.e., National Geographic, Scientific American, Psychology Today.

A Popular and Scholarly take on the same subject... 

Look at the attached articles from Peace and Conflict Studies  and National Geographic about Ivory funding terror. how are similar, how are they different? 



...  In your presentation, please provide the following:              

            For the Artist

  • An in-depth profile of this artist’s life. Biographic information.  
  • Excerpts from at least three songs. Pick excerpts that speak the heart of each song and analyze the lyrics for us.
  • What political and/or cultural events triggered these songs? History, News,& Archival information 
  • You can use images, interviews, excerpts from documentaries, news commentaries etc… History, News, & Archival information 
  • Please provide lyrics for the class in some form.

For the Event

  • In-depth coverage of the particular event and this events historical impact.  History, News,& Archival information. Impact can be measure/determined different ways.
  • For the various artists you cover, a bit about their life, the songs and the relationship of the songs to the event.
  • You need to provide excerpts from a minimum of five songs.
  • Please provide lyrics for the class in some form.