social studies; history education; curriculum; film; musicals; race; racism


Film musicals serve as a tool to infuse historical and cultural content into social studies curricula towards greater student engagement—for example, Lin Manuel-Miranda's Hamilton has become a celebrated classroom piece due to its ability to blend history with hip-hop and pop culture. Yet beyond language and content scans, teachers rarely examine or utilize musicals for how their narratives (mis)represent racial communities. This critical film analysis of three film musicals, using the theoretical framework of history production, reveals themes of historical morality, romantic relationship and race, and implicit/explicit racial messaging. Although troubling in their overall contribution to racial projects, film musicals can in fact be an opportune way to engage in the complexities of teaching race and racism in educational spaces when treated as critical curriculums.



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Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.

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