Brazilian historian Marcus Napolitano describes popular music as a "field for reflection on social history." This class will read social histories through US popular music by looking at several different genres including boy bands, jazz, banda, hip hop, salsa and techno. We'll uncover history and social context in the songs and genres. We will also discuss academic theories that can help reveal meanings beyond what appears on the surface. Class work will include listening to and watching music, short academic essays, and presentations including films and other pop culture artifacts. Students will write short papers and presentations exploring the complicated relationships between "us" and "them."