Music and Race | Will Schneider

American anthropologist and ethnographer Frances Densmore records the Blackfoot chief Mountain Chief in 1916 for the Bureau of American Ethnology. Source: Library of Congress.


In this episode of Beyond Footnotes, we explore the history of the American West through music. Our guest is William Schneider, a second-year graduate student who recently completed his Master thesis “Music and Race in the American West,” [read the abstract]. We discuss how music is a valuable form of historical analysis, despite being underutilized by historians, and that it plays a significant role in understanding racial power dynamics in the 19th century American West. Will also describes his experience writing a thesis; from the beginning research to the defense, which is enlightening information for those working on a masters or honors thesis.

Keep an eye out on PDXScholar for access to Will’s thesis,“Music and Race in the American West.” He is slated to graduate this quarter. His research focuses on the social and intellectual history of the United States with an emphasis on the 19th century.

Beyond Footnotes is a history-themed podcast on local KPSU, sponsored by Portland State University’s Department of History, and run by history graduate students, Lyndsay Smith, Evan Smiley and Jeffrey Stone. Beyond Footnotes features interviews with the talented faculty and students of PSU, providing a forum for local historians to share their work with each other and the community. The show was co-created and formerly hosted by Ryan Wisnor and Joshua Justice of Dive Audio and originally launched on October 9, 2015.