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Skidmore College
First-Year Experience

ID 151 Spring 2009

(004) Dead Serious: American Culture and the Grateful Dead
John Anzalone, Foreign Language & Literature
Michael Arnush, Classics

In this course we will study the different spaces the Dead occupy in the history of American culture since the 60s. From their origins in the counter-culture crucible of the Bay area, to their relentless experimentation in both their music and the ways in which it could be delivered to their audience, to their evolution and longevity as one of the benchmark jam bands, The Dead have long exercised appeal to intellectual interests across a broad spectrum. In addition to readings from  cultural histories of the 60s and from works by and about the band, we will also consider the texts and the music as examples of the philosophical questions that band constantly raised for themselves and their listeners.