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Author ORCID Identifier


Campus-Only Access for Five (5) Years

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Program

Afro-American Studies

Year Degree Awarded


Month Degree Awarded


First Advisor

Traci Parker

Second Advisor

Britt Rusert

Third Advisor

Stephanie Shonekan

Fourth Advisor

James Smethurst

Fifth Advisor

Emily Lordi

Subject Categories

African American Studies | American Popular Culture | Cultural History | Ethnic Studies | Ethnomusicology | Performance Studies | United States History


“Though Some Days the Blues Was Our Parade, Still We Marched Through All the Tears We Made": A Historical Examination of Soul Aesthetics & the Functionality of (Re)Evaluation is a historically based comparative study that examines the connection of Black music from the soul era to contemporary Black music. It argues that the musical legacy of the soul era is not just mid-twentieth century ephemera but instead is still recognizably influential among contemporary Black musicians. Extant scholarship on soul music explores convergences between the music and the modern struggle for civil rights – the symbiotic relationship between Black mobilization and popular culture. Yet it has failed to appreciate the everyday importance of this musical genre. In each chapter I offer two close readings of Black musicians – one from the soul era and one from the contemporary – to illustrate the continuity of soul era aesthetics into the present. Drawing from history, cultural studies, and (ethno)musicology, my project proves that quotidian dimensions of soul music are representative of private or interior expressions of Black life during the soul era and are not exclusively informed by large-scale moments of mobilization. By uncovering the individualistic nature of soul combined with other musical styles—country, psychedelia, disco, and progressive soul—each chapter affirms the quotidian legacy of the soul era on contemporary music.


Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Available for download on Wednesday, September 01, 2027