Presentation Title

Music, Emotion & “Lived Experience”: A Phenomenological Approach to Critical Media Literacy

Biographical Sketch

Ana Cruz is Professor of Education at St. Louis Community College. Her research interests include critical pedagogy, social justice education, multicultural/international education, music & Deafness, and life & work of Paulo Freire. Ana is the recipient of awards for teaching excellence and student mentorship. She was Chair of the Paulo Freire Special Interest Group of the American Educational Research Association and is on the Editorial Board of the International Journal of Critical Pedagogy (IJCP), The SoJo Journal: Educational Foundations and Social Justice Education, and Critical Media Literacy Series. She regularly presents her work at national and international conferences. This past Summer, Ana was invited to present a series of lectures at the College of Education Science, Hunan Normal University, PR China.

Eric Meyer is Associate Professor of English at St. Louis Community College—Meramec where he teaches course in literature, composition, and film. His interdisciplinary research interests include narratology, psychology of the arts, genre studies, film and film music. Eric has presented at the Pop Culture/American Culture Association Conference, Two Year College Association Conference, and is a former board member of Gateway Media Literacy Partners.

Type of Presentation

Individual presentation

Brief Description of Presentation

Much critical media literacy attention focuses on visual culture; however, music nearly always accompanies images. To better understand how music elicits emotions, we use Phenomenology as “lived experience” as a qualitative approach along with recent interdisciplinary research by musicologists, philosophers, and cognitive scientists to explore how western tonal music evokes images and triggers the simulation mechanism of the brain that helps us detect the emotional states of others, allowing listeners to attribute emotions to music. Musical examples accompany the analysis.

Abstract of Proposal

Much critical media literacy attention focuses on visual culture, and rightly so; however, music nearly always accompanies images. The ability to critically understand how music manipulates emotions is as important as understanding how to interpret visual images. Recent interdisciplinary research by musicologists, philosophers, psychologists, cognitive scientists, and anthropologists explores the relationship between music and emotion, in particular how music elicits emotions. Central questions of this inquiry involve the source of emotions (in the music or performance? in a persona? in the mind or body of the listener?), the nature of those emotions (utilitarian, aesthetic, epistemic), and the process or “routes” through which emotions are elicited by music (appraisal, memory, entrainment, emotional contagion, empathy). This presentation provides an overview of these important concepts in addition to using Phenomenology as “lived experience” (Van Manen, 1990, 2014) as a qualitative methodological approach to explore how western tonal music evokes images and triggers the simulation mechanism of the brain that helps us detect the emotional states of other people thereby allowing listeners to attribute emotions to music. Musical examples accompany the analysis.

Start Date

2-24-2018 9:50 AM

End Date

2-24-2018 11:20 AM

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Feb 24th, 9:50 AM Feb 24th, 11:20 AM

Music, Emotion & “Lived Experience”: A Phenomenological Approach to Critical Media Literacy

Much critical media literacy attention focuses on visual culture, and rightly so; however, music nearly always accompanies images. The ability to critically understand how music manipulates emotions is as important as understanding how to interpret visual images. Recent interdisciplinary research by musicologists, philosophers, psychologists, cognitive scientists, and anthropologists explores the relationship between music and emotion, in particular how music elicits emotions. Central questions of this inquiry involve the source of emotions (in the music or performance? in a persona? in the mind or body of the listener?), the nature of those emotions (utilitarian, aesthetic, epistemic), and the process or “routes” through which emotions are elicited by music (appraisal, memory, entrainment, emotional contagion, empathy). This presentation provides an overview of these important concepts in addition to using Phenomenology as “lived experience” (Van Manen, 1990, 2014) as a qualitative methodological approach to explore how western tonal music evokes images and triggers the simulation mechanism of the brain that helps us detect the emotional states of other people thereby allowing listeners to attribute emotions to music. Musical examples accompany the analysis.