Free course

Janis Joplin and the Sexual Revolution

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Janis Joplin and the Sexual Revolution

This free course, Janis Joplin and the Sexual Revolution, will introduce you to issues around the sexual revolution and how this, and other contemporary social revolutions of the 1960s, impacted upon American rock musician Janis Joplin (1943-1970). You will investigate the extent to which the contemporary sexual revolution brought about greater gender equality for female popular musicians such as Janis Joplin, and consider whether it might be more accurate to view this as a superficial revolution which masked the reality of continued sexual conservatism. You do not need to play an instrument, to sing, to read music or have any prior musical knowledge to be able to complete this course.

This OpenLearn course is an adapted extract from the Open University course A113 Revolutionsand is part of a set of four OpenLearn courses, covering Revolutions of the Sixties.


Course learning outcomes

After studying this course, you should be able to:

  • understand the notion of the academic study of popular music (sometimes referred to as Popular Music Studies)
  • consider the extent to which the sexual revolution brought about greater equality of opportunities for female popular musicians, such as Janis Joplin
  • situate the position of female American popular musicians, such as Janis Joplin, during the 1960s within the wider context of other social ‘revolutions’ taking place at the same time in the United States, including the Civil Rights Movement, the sexual revolution, and development of the counterculture
  • develop your skills in close listening to music.

First Published: 07/12/2020

Updated: 07/12/2020

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