Sex, Race and Rock in the USA (USSC2604)


This unit explores the cultural history of and intersections between sexuality, race and rock music in the United States from Elvis to Lady Gaga. Influenced by black and working-class cultures, and with sexuality embedded in its form and practice, rock music challenged and transformed existing norms of family, sex and gender. Through subjects including black women, glam rock, and disco, students will learn that rock music, far from frivolous, provided a realm for rebellion, freedom, community and profit.

Our courses that offer this unit of study

Further unit of study information


2x1-hr lectures/week, 1x1-hr tutorial/week


Tutorial readings exercise(500wds)(10%) 500wd essay proposal and annotated bibliography(10%) 2000wd research essay (40%) Take home exam (1500wds)(30%) Class participation (10%)

Faculty/department permission required?


Unit of study rules


12 junior credit points from one of the following subject area; American Studies, Anthropology, Music, Gender Studies, Cultural Studies, English, European Studies, Government and International Relations, History, International and Global Studies, Media and Communications, Performance Studies, Philosophy, Political Economy or Sociology



Study this unit outside a degree

Non-award/non-degree study

If you wish to undertake one or more units of study (subjects) for your own interest but not towards a degree, you may enrol in single units as a non-award student.

Cross-institutional study

If you are from another Australian tertiary institution you may be permitted to underake cross-institutional study in one or more units of study at the University of Sydney.