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Classy Classes: Students go ham for ‘Hamilton’ in AFRICAAM 5I

Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

In a 1-unit lecture series, AFRICAAM 5I/AMSTUD 5I/CSRE 5I/HISTORY 3G: “Hamilton: An American Musical,” students examine the life of Alexander Hamilton and his contemporaries through an in-depth analysis of the critically-acclaimed Broadway musical that lends its namesake to the course title. The interdisciplinary course invites faculty from several departments —  African & African American studies (AAAS), comparative studies in race and ethnicity (CSRE), theater and performance studies (TAPS) and history, to name a few — to share their perspectives on the music, casting and storytelling of the musical.

“Hamilton: An American Musical” narrates the life of American founding father Alexander Hamilton, with book, music and lyrics by Lin-Manuel Miranda. Allyson Hobbs, associate professor of American history and director of AAAS, launched the course this quarter to investigate the way “Hamilton” redefined traditional sound, casting and storytelling on Broadway.

Hobbs said she was inspired to create the class after seeing “Hamilton” last summer. She said she was “blown away” by the play, and that creating a platform for other professors to speak about the play was a way for her to channel the enthusiasm she felt when she first viewed it.