Protest Music as Responsible Citizenship (September 10-11, 2003) focuses on how music helps to construct the political consciousness of a nation, how songs mobilize thousands of people around issues affecting American life, and how music addresses the role of America in the global context. The event and conversation brings together Harry Belafonte, Holly Near, Bernice Johnson Reagon, and Pete Seeger, four musicians who have played key public roles in the past decades. Issues of citizenship, music, and social change take on increasing significance in this time of increasing polarization both at home and globally. Music and social change have been documented through autobiographies and biographies of performers, ethnographic studies of music and cultural performance, and ethnomusicology research on music and revolution. However, little has been documented about the role of public music performances in shaping citizen responses to political events.
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