SUBJECT:    CUL255           Rock and Roll: A Cultural History


SEMESTER: Winter 2010

PROFESSOR Prasad Bidaye                      OFFICE:

SECTION:     A & AB                                  CONTACT:


Please read this addendum to the general subject outline carefully.  It is your guide to the subject requirements and activities in my class.  Be sure to read the outline containing key course information at

This course aims to provide students with a strong introduction to the culture of rock and the various styles of pop music that have followed it. We will use a multimedia approach to study the histories and contexts of this music through documentary films, audio recordings and journalistic articles.  Each module of the course will focus on the distinctive sounds of each decade since the end of World War II, from the inception of r&b in the fifties to the revolt of punk in seventies to dj culture in the contemporary age of globalization. While most of us enjoy music on a daily basis, this course is an opportunity to think about it from a wide range of perspectives: politics, racism, sexuality, drugs, spirituality, technology, capitalism, etc.. Students are encouraged to share their own personal experiences with any aspect of this music and incorporate it in their assignments and participation.


Participation/Personal Response:        5                                                       

Quiz 1:                                                10         

Quiz 2:                                                10         

Biography assignment:                     15       

Group presentations:                         15       

Research paper:                                  20

Final exam:                                         25



The History of Rock ‘n’ Roll (1995).

Depeche Mode – 101 (1989).

Truth or Dare (1991).

Modulations (1998).

Readings from Reference Material:

David P. Szatmary, Rockin’ in Time. 2004.

Hanif Kureishi and Jon Savage, The Faber Book of Pop. 1995.

David Toop, The Rap Attack (1984)

Jeff Chang, Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop (2005)

Simon Reynolds, Generation Ecstasy (1998)

Note:   Electronic dictionaries are not permitted during in-class writing or exams.

The term work for courses within the School of English and Liberal Studies includes a minimum of 250 pages of reading and 2000 words of writing. This is consistent with Seneca College policy for English and Liberal Studies courses.






1  January 11

Introduction to concepts of the course: rock music, culture, history

DVD THRR disc one/part one (excerpt)

Brainstorming session on the meaning of rock music


2 January 18

Blues, r&b and ‘race’ music

DVD THRR disc one/part one.


Personal response

3 January 25

Elvis, television and the teen market

DVD THRR disc one/part two.

Personal response

4 February 1

The Beatles and the British invasion

DVD THRR disc two/part one.

Personal response;

5 February 8

Soul music and the civil rights movement

DVD THRR disc two/part two.


Personal response;

Sign up for presentations

6 February 15

Psychedelic rock and the Vietnam war

DVD THRR disc three/parts one and two.

Quiz #1

Group work

7 February 22

The 70s: Progressive, glam, heavy metal and punk

DVD THRR disc three parts one and four.

Biography due

Group work





8 March 8

MTV, rock icons and late capitalism

DVD Truth or Dare.

Excerpts of Faber Book of Pop.

Group presentation;

Personal response

9 March 15

Hip-hop: the sound of urban alienation

DVD Wild Style.

Excerpt of The Rap Attack.

Group presentation;

Personal response


10 March 29

Synth-pop, industrial and ‘alternative’


DVD DM-101.

Excerpt of Faber Book of Pop

Group presentation;

Personal response

11 April 5

Dj culture, rave and electronic music


DVD Modulations.

Excerpt of Generation Ecstasy.

Quiz 2

Group presentation


12 April 12

Global perspectives

Audio presentation.

Group presentation;

Personal response

13 April 19

The Future

Audio presentation

and exam review

Research paper due

Group presentation

14 Final Exam





Format:                       Only work with a neat, professional appearance will be accepted for grading.  Out-of-class assignments must be word-processed.

Late Assignments:      Unless an extension has been granted, a late out-of-class assignment will be penalized at a reduction of ½ letter grade per school day with a one-week maximum for submission. 


Consistent attendance is important for success in this subject.  If you are absent from class, please notify me by phone or e-mail. You are still responsible for the material and assignments missed and may be required to provide documentation.  For extensions or special considerations, make the request to me well in advance of any due dates.

Considerate classroom conduct, adequate class preparation, and constructive participation will enhance your academic experience and that of your colleagues. In particular, you are asked to be prompt, courteous, responsible and collaborative.  


My office hours are Mondays 2:30-3:15pm.


For free assistance in English, visit our Writing Centre and make an appointment with one of our tutors. Tutors can offer guidance and help you remedy writing problems, but will not proofread, or correct grammar, or alter content.  The Writing Centre is located in Room 1120 of the Learning Commons.


It is your responsibility as a student of Seneca College to be aware of and abide by the academic and behavioural policies outlined in the College Academic Policy and the Student Handbook.  Here are some key policies:

ACADEMIC HONESTY   (Section 9 and Appendix E – Academic Policy)

“Engaging in any form of academic dishonesty to obtain any type of academic advantage or credit is an offence under this policy and will not be tolerated by the College. The penalty for a first academic honesty offence is a grade “0” on the work in which the offence occurred, and will result in a comment being placed on the transcript by the Academic Honesty Committee.  The penalty for the second academic honesty offence is an “F” in the subject where the offence occurred, a second comment on the transcript and suspension from the College for a time period determined by the Academic Honesty Committee, normally for a minimum of three (3) semesters.”

For more information on Academic Honesty go to:

STUDENT APPEALS  (Section 12 – Seneca College Academic Policy)

Students have the right to appeal academic decisions of the College.  The procedures for informal and formal appeals are outlined in Academic Policy.  If a student disagrees with the evaluation of an assignment or with a final grade, s/he must first discuss the matter with the professor in an attempt to resolve the disagreement. If the matter is not resolved, the student should discuss the problem with the Coordinator or the Chair of English and Liberal Studies.  Students must keep all assignments (including drafts and outlines) and exercises until they receive their final grade. No appeal will be considered unless a complete file is submitted at the time of the appeal. 


See the Student Handbook.  Faculty and students are reminded that College correspondence should only be disseminated electronically through official College-provided e-mail.  Alternate e-mail addresses, such as Yahoo mail or Hotmail mail, are not authenticable through Seneca.

COPYRIGHT – See the Student Handbook

“It is illegal to photocopy textbooks and other copyrighted materials (e.g. graphics from a web site).  Copyright information is available at  …”



All students and employees have the right to study and work in an environment that is free from discrimination and/or harassment. Language or activities that defeat this objective violate the College Policy on Discrimination/Harassment and shall not be tolerated. Information and assistance are available from the Resolution, Equity and Diversity Centre.


The college will provide reasonable accommodation for students with disabilities in order to promote academic success.  If you require accommodation, contact the Counselling and Disabilities Services Office at ext. 2900 to initiate the process for documenting, assessing and implementing your individual accommodation needs.

Approved by:    ____________________________________

                        Andrew Schmitz, PhD, Chair

                        School of English and Liberal Studies

Posted by Jane Campus

Possibility of college strike increases

Ontario college students are in a state of limbo as the possibility of a strike by their teachers looms ever larger.

The College Compensation and Appointments Council, which negotiates on behalf of college management, presented what it's calling its best and final offer and is asking the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU) to put it before its members.

The union said the offer is substantially the same as a deal imposed on instructors by the colleges last November and has been rejected through a strike vote.

Tyler Charlebois, of the College Student Alliance, said that students are growing con- cerned as the negotiations drag on without a conclusion.

"We're inching very close to that position where we'll be faced with a province-wide strike…. Things weren't progressing as positively as we had hoped and now it really is in the hands of the faculty," Charlebois said.

Some students are worried they'll be put in the uncomfortable position of having to choose between their teachers and their education, he said.

A strike could be a huge disruption for students, particularly the thousands who have come back to college for retraining after losing their jobs, and who have families to support and mortgages to pay, he said.

Niagara College spokesman Gord Hunchak said the college hasn't received an official response from OPSEU on whether it would allow the offer to go to the membership for a vote.

The college anticipate receiving a response early next week after OPSEU officials talk it over on the weekend, he said.

Hunchak said there will be contingency plans put in place once the college understands what the union's direction is going to be. Those contingencies will focus on making sure students don't lose the academic term and depend on whether there is going to be a strike and how long it would be.

"The goal is, one, to avoid any kind of a work stoppage and two, if there is one, to put plans in place so students don't lose the term," Hunchak said.

Posted 16 hours ago


Posted by Jane Campus

Seneca College – Canada

A mathematics lecture, apparently about linear...
Image via Wikipedia

The mission of Seneca College of Applied Arts and Technology is to contribute to the Canadian society by being a transformational leader in providing students with career-related education and training. Seneca College has approximately 90,000 part-time and 17,000 full-time students.
The College is a place of opportunities, to make goals a reality. Students can choose from more than 260 careers and receive the academic foundation, workplace experience and practical training needed to succeed. The College also offers co-operative education programs that allow students to gain real work experience.
Seneca College is dedicated to meeting the ever-changing needs of students. This ensures that the curriculum remains relevant for present careers. The College has transfer agreements with educational institutions across Canada and around the globe. Seneca College of Applied Arts and Technology has a dedicated faculty and staff, as well as facilities and…

Jane Campus
Main Campus
At the Jane Campus / Centre for New Technologies students are registered in pre-apprenticeship programs for Tool and Die Maker, Precision Machining and Mould Maker trades. Seneca College’s online store allows students to purchase goods without having to wait in line at one of the campus bookstores. This online store has items from all Seneca stores, including the computer store. Students can have purchases sent directly to them or they can pick them up in one of the stores….

Other Campuses:

King Campus
Newnham Campus
Seneca@York Campus
Markham Campus


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  1. Review the assignment guidelines and requirements carefully; when in doubt, ask the professor for clarification
  2. Start your assignment early to avoid stress
  3. Do not give your assignment, in any format, to another student, either before or after the due date.
  4. Do not refer or review another student’s assignment if yours is not completed
  5. Provide a citation and use quotation marks for any words that are not your own
  6. If you are unsure if you need to cite a passage, talk to your professor.
  7. Never buy a paper from an essay writing service
  8. Do not reuse a paper from a previous semester – yours or someone else’s paper
  9. If you are unsure that you are on the right track with your assignment see the professor
  10. It is your responsibility to be aware of all of the work done as part of a group assignment and that the Academic Honesty policy is followed by all members of the group
  11. Read the section on Academic Honesty in the Academic Policy


Posted by Jane Campus