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Bob Marley Course Sparks Intellectual Fire at NYU

By Andrea Swalec | December 11, 2012 7:06am


Legendary reggae artist and activist Bob Marley has been elevated to high academia, after NYU added a three-week class in January dedicated to his life and times.

The Tisch School of the Arts course, "Topics in Recorded Music: Bob Marley & Post-Colonial Music," will cover Marley's music, Jamaican history and Rastafarianism, instructor Vivien Goldman said Monday.

Goldman, who did public-relations work for Marley in 1975 before writing two books about him, said the two-day-per-week class — which costs $2,822, according to NYU's website — is open to anyone with a high school diploma. 

"By studying him, you get a sense for the arc that he lived," said Goldman, an adjunct professor. "He was born in colonialism, and through his work he helped push society forward, toward the transracial, transnational unity that he summed up as 'One Love.'"

Goldman, a writer and educator originally from London, knew Marley from 1975 until his death in 1981.

"I stayed at his house in Kingston, and we got to know each other very well," she said.

"Bob Marley lived up to the image you have of him. He did walk what he talked and live what he preached," she said. "He really had an urge to improve the situation around him."

The graded, two-credit class will be held Tuesday and Thursday nights from Jan. 7 through Jan 26.

Non-NYU students can enroll online through Jan. 6, according to the site.