Recently, academic researchers have brought critical attention to representations of the Iraq War in popular culture. Most of this work, however, focuses on film and music, leaving the influential medium of music video largely unexplored. A number of artists produced music videos that capture the zeitgeists of competing movements leading up to and following the United States' involvement in the Iraq invasion. This project, "Stars, Stripes, Cameras and Decadence: Music Videos of the Iraq War," seeks to survey music videos in order to understand how music video helps shape Americans' relationship to heavily polarized public discourses in the United States regarding this controversial military act. The thesis will take a multi-dimensional approach to analyzing each music video. The study will incorporate data on public opinion, audience reaction and political shifts in relationship to each video. On the most elementary level, the thesis will address the "anti" and "pro" war stances portrayed by music videos to understand both how they were shaped by their relationship to power and how they consequently shape their audience's relationship to power. The study will also undertake to understand these music videos aesthetically. Both "anti" and "pro" music videos draw upon schools of political messaging that largely dictate the art of the music video. Each school portrays soldiers, violence, war, enemies, families and loved ones in different ways. The thesis will delve into the histories of how various political traditions use images of war to shape their messages and how music videos continue (or break from) these traditions.
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Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)
College of Arts and Humanities
Arts and Humanities -- Dissertations, Academic;Dissertations, Academic -- Arts and Humanities
Length of Campus-only Access
Honors in the Major Thesis
Miller, Henry, "Stars, stripes, cameras and decadence music videos of the Iraq War era" (2011). HIM 1990-2015. 1163.