Music Industry

I’m teaching now in the Music Industry Studies program at Loyola in addition to the History Department. I was a bit apprehensiveĀ about this at first, I have to admit. I wasn’t sure how I would feel about teaching in what I saw as mainly a vocational program. And I wasn’t sure if my music industry knowledge, which is 10 to 15 years out of date, is still relevant to this generation of students.

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Capitalism Course

I’m teaching two sections of a course I developed for Loyola called The Rise of Global Capitalism. Why? Well, without going too deep into the gory bureaucratic details, the History Dept. needed new courses to conform to the so-called Advanced Common Curriculum. The main requirements were that the courses be a) global in scope, or at least cover a lot of the world, and b) cover a really long time period, either the world up to 1500 or the world since 1500. I feel myself starting to nod off even explaining this stuff, but anyway, I figured it would be fun to revisit my undergrad interest in the history of economic thought, try to bottle some of the popularity of the subject (which I knew about because of the popularity of Jon Levy’s course at Princeton), and, not least, experience the stultifying existential pain of the course approval process.

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Teaching World Civ I

Teaching is hard, I’m not gonna pretend otherwise. Teaching the number of kids I have now (about 125, spread over 3 sections of World Civ I and 1 section of the United States to 1865 survey) is even harder. And teaching something like World Civ I, which goes from the moment the earth cooled up until the medieval period — in other words, an unthinkably huge swath of history about which I know hardly anything — is ridiculously hard. I’m using the state-of the-art, Princeton-developed textbook, Worlds Together, Worlds Apart, which Dan Crofts at TCNJ suggested, and some sort of textbook was obviously necessary to give me some structure, a lifeline, to guide me through this. But I don’t think I’ll use WTWA again — it’s too dense, too written-by-committee, too immersed in the sorts of analytic concepts and arguments that are the bread and butter of professional research historians, but are way over the heads of students who barely know who Alexander the Great was.

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