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June 18 - June 24

Kenyon Summer Seminar

Rock ‘n’ Roll as History, History as Rock ‘n’ Roll

Instructor: Rich Cohen, author, 'The Sun & The Moon & The Rolling Stones'


Does pop culture reflect its moment, or does it create it? Did rock ‘n’ roll transform its culture and age, or was it merely a byproduct of social upheaval? Join Rich Cohen, bestselling author and co-creator of HBO’s Vinyl, to explore how rock ‘n’ roll moved from a fringe of a fringe to the mainstream, becoming America’s central music and form of expression. You’ll trace rock’s trajectory from its roots in American soul to Britain and back to America as something entirely new: a social catalyst for race, class and the birth of teen culture. Read, listen and learn about the world made by rock ‘n’ roll, how it prospered, and how it continues to influence who we are and what we think. Some of the world’s top artists and associated and historical events and players will make their appearances throughout this weeklong odyssey, but the main case study will be The Rolling Stones—the only rock ‘n’ roll band to survive it all and carry on.

Download the syllabus for this course.