Music & Social Justice: Feminist, Gender, & Queer Studies


Solie, Ruth A., ed. Musicology and Difference: Gender and Sexuality in Music Scholarship. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1993.

This text is a great introduction to post-modernist musicology with feminist frameworks. In particular, the chapter "Charles Ives and Gender Ideology" is an example of how to contextualize artists that have been put on the canonic pedestal.

Cook, Susan C., and Tsou, Judy S. Cecilia Reclaimed : Feminist Perspectives on Gender and Music. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1994.

In this pathbreaking volume, ten of the best known scholars in the newly emerging field of feminist musicology explore both how gender has helped shape genres and works of music and how music has contributed to prevailing notions of gender. The musical subjects include concert music, both instrumental and vocal, and the vernacular genres of ballads, salon music, and contemporary African American rap. The essays raise issues not only of gender but also of race and class, moving among musical practices of the courtly ruling class and the elite discourse of the twentieth-century modernist movement to practices surrounding marginal girls in Renaissance Venice and the largely white middle-class experiences of magazine and balladry.

Meltzer, Marisa. Girl Power: The Nineties Revolution in Music. 1st ed. New York: Farrar Straus & Giroux, 2010.

Meltzer charts the development of the riot grrrl movement in the early 90s, which advertised "Revolution girl-style now." She also explores how riot grrrl ideology was filtered into the mainstream as "girl power" and the ongoing legacy of this revolution in music.

Davis, Angela Y. Blues Legacies and Black Feminism : Gertrude "Ma" Rainey, Bessie Smith, and Billie Holiday. New York: Pantheon Books, 1998.

In Angela Davis' "Blues Legacies and Black Feminism" she examines the work and music of Gertrude "Ma" Rainey, Bessie Smith, and Billie Holiday through a Black feminist lens. She argues that in order to analyze these works, it is important to include how these works were performed in order to theorize how these women were discussing power, race, sexuality, and gender.

Feldstein, R. (2013). How it feels to be free : black women entertainers and the civil rights movement.

Women artists from multiple genres of music talk about their reasons behind the civil rights and their involvement

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