Gender as Musical Performance

In this final paper, you will research a musician of your choice and analyze how their gender identity is
performed musically (both in stage and studio performances). This paper should draw from at least 2 course
readings and expand on our discussions in a detailed case study. A detailed rubric and expectations will be
posted on Canvas.

What We Saw at #DecolonizeZhigaagoong
MAKE AN ASSERTION (15 points total): Provide a thesis statement in the opening of your assignment
contextualizing how your artist of choice performs their gender in stage and studio performances. Be sure to
The name of the musician(s)
Their gender identity and any other significant information
Which specific performance you will focus on for your paper
THEORETICAL UNDERPINNING (30 points total): Drawing from at least two course texts, give context to
your interpretation of this gender performance.
Summarize each reading and its main arguments/evidence.
Connect these discussions to the musician’s performance of gender. How do these discussions inform your
You may draw from other peer-reviewed sources to contextualize your conversations. You may also draw from
non-academic sources but please limit these references.
SONIC ANALYSIS (30 points total): After connecting the album’s theme to our discussions of gender in class,
then ground your arguments in an analysis of the musical material present in the album. This section of your
paper may be separate from the section above or interwoven into your connection to course material.
What musical idioms explicitly reference this musician’s gender? Please be specific by referencing particular
musical moments throughout the album/performance and provide timestamps.
While you may draw from textual (lyrics)/visual elements, please focus on the sonic qualities of the album
i.e., scales, ornamentation, instrumentation, melody, etc.
CONCLUSION (15 points total): Finally, summarize your paper’s arguments. While you should bring up the
new ideas below, this final section should overall serve as a summary of your paper so that I as a reader am
assured that I understood your overall argument. Do not be afraid to explicitly summarize the road-map of your
paper (“First I did this. Then, after talking about that, I did this…). As you wrap-up your argument, also include
a discussion of the following:
How is gender performed and/or defied in this performance?
What are the larger conversations created in the music that speak to our understandings of gender in the course?
The paper should be 6-8 pages (1600-2000 words) of prose, in black, size 12-font, no more than 1-inch margins,
and the entries should be double-spaced. All papers should include an introduction, conclusion and title.
Include a Chicago Manual of Style citation for “internet sources” to cite our course texts and any other outside
peer-reviewed texts used to contextualize your argument.

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