Mar 29, 2020  
2018-2019 Catalog 
2018-2019 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

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THE 332 - Hamilton

Costa, Culpepper, Lewis

This interdisciplinary course centers on the ground-breaking, innovative musical by Tony-Award-winning Lin-Manuel Miranda.  More specifically, it focuses on the artistic process that Miranda followed in transforming white-male-centered, potentially dry Revolutionary history into popular entertainment with a cast whose major roles are played mostly by people of color and whose music mixes hip-hop, rap, and R&B ballads with both traditional American musical theater and classical forms.  Miranda’s version of Hamilton’s story is about who owns American history and who has charge of the narrative.  He offers a reimagined, inclusive version of the making of America through which everyone gets to be in “the room where it happened.”  The course’s starting point is Miranda’s: Ron Chernow’s biography of Alexander Hamilton.  From that point on, the course will investigate the Hamilton libretto, musical score, and choreography through a comparison with Chernow’s book and public schools’ telling of American history. Students will often learn experientially through performing aspects of the musical in class.  The class will attend a performance of Hamilton at the Blumenthal Performance Center and will enjoy appearances by both other Davidson faculty and guests from outside the college; all such extra expenses of the class have been generously underwritten by a Bacca Humanities grant.  Each student will complete a final project for the course that involves an artistic transformation of the type Hamilton represents, whether in creative writing, musical composition, theatrical composition, or analysis in one of those areas that, like the work of a dramaturg or a theatrical director, will be grounded in performance.

Satisfies the Visual and Performing Arts requirement.
Satisfies a requirement in the Theatre major.
Counts as an Innovation Course in the English major.
Satisfies a requirement in the Music major and minor.

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