CCOG for MUC 219 Summer 2024

Course Number:
MUC 219
Course Title:
Sonic Constructions of Identity
Credit Hours:
Lecture Hours:
Lecture/Lab Hours:
Lab Hours:

Course Description

Examines the historical and present role of sound in the social construction of identity, with an emphasis on constructs of race, gender and class. Encourages development of a socially conscious practice of listening. Audit available.

Intended Outcomes for the course

Upon completion of this course students should be able to:

  • Analyze how the normalcy of whiteness and W.E.I.R.D. (western, educated, industrialized, rich, democratic) shapes habits of hearing, speaking and sound-making.
  • Analyze how assumptions around race, gender and class influence perceptions of sound.
  • Analyze how raced, gendered and classed sounds reinforce stereotypes.
  • Provide multiple historical examples wherein types or classes of sounds are tied to social identities through legislation, regulation, mainstream media productions, or other instruments of culture.
  • Identify personal habits of listening and implicit social assumptions.

Course Activities and Design

  • Lectures
  • Classroom discussions
  • Critical listening exercises
  • Small projects completed both in and out of class

Outcome Assessment Strategies

Instructor will provide students with multiple methods for demonstrating knowledge and competency, honoring the wide range of lived experiences, learning styles, learning curves, and communication habits of students. Instructor will determine how students demonstrate learning in conversation with students, and understanding how they learn and most comfortably and successfully share. Additional methods of assessment include small audio editing projects, written responses to course content, and attendance.

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)


  • Influence of raced, gendered and classed sounds on accepted norms and stereotypes
  • Deconstructing/decentering whiteness  in the context of it's affect on lived aural experience
  • Disassembling personal experiences of sound into objective and subjective components


  • Subtexts of voices and noises
  • Raced, gendered, classed perceptions of raced, gendered and classed sounds


  • How do the auditory components of different environments (homes, job sites, prisons, institutions, neighborhoods, etc) affect their inhabitants?
  • Sanctioned sound: Who has the right to make noise? Whose noise is regulated and in what ways?


  • Audio editing
  • Critical listening
  • Working with sound to convey meaning and communicate ideas