Radio Free Jazz Europe

Andy Miller
Day/Time Taught: 
TR 5:00 - 6:15 pm
Course Number: 

Can a Jazz pianist or a radio station change the world? During the Cold War, the United States government created Radio Free Europe and sent musicians like Duke Ellington around the world to inspire liberty. This course explores America’s jazz and radio blitz against communism. We evaluate the motives and success of America’s ambitious cultural program amidst a time of civil rights strife at home. Rather than dwell solely in the past, we balance our time examining modern mass media and artistic cultural exchanges today. We explore how music and mass communication interact in a global environment. In a post 9/11 world, what opportunities and challenges accompany cultural exchange? When do they become propaganda or offensive to different cultures? A central question of the course is what role music and mass communication play in contributing to a global cultural dialogue. This course also explores opportunities on campus for you to be involved in a global dialogue. We take a close look at music and radio happenings on campus, including highlighting the musicians and the international exchange programs spearheaded by ASU’s jazz Studies Program. We also take a close look at college radio and student broadcasting opportunities at WASU, our student-run radio station.

Instructor Bio: 

Andy Miller believes in the phrase "college-ready."  Since 1999, his teaching craft has been shaped by unique experiences with Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, dual enrollment and the Early College movement.  Although attending college is ultimately a revolutionary experience in the life of a young person, Andy feels the transition from high school should be seamless. “It’s important for me to deeply understand both sides of the fence between the Senior Year and the First Year. But like Reagan, I want to tear down that wall.”

Andy’s college and high-school classrooms are talkative environments where all students are encouraged to think critically, debate and collaborate on meaningful projects.  Since 2012, he has taught in ASU’s First Year Seminar program.  His previous course, Darwinism at the Worlds Fair, explored Chicago’s 1893 Columbian Exposition.  

Andy is the Social Studies Department head at Avery County High School, where he teaches AP history and honors level courses in Avery’s STEM Academy program.  There, he regularly advises student teachers from ASU’s College of Education.  Andy also serves as an AP Reader, scoring the essay portion of the national AP history exam.  He earned a Masters Degree in Social Science Education at the University of Georgia, where he was involved in college radio and the early sustainability movement.  In addition to listening to Jazz and world music, Andy’s interests include world cuisine and paddling lazy rivers.

Contact FYS

The First Year Seminar is part of the General Education Program located in Anne Belk Hall, Room 250.

Phone: 828-262-2028

Our mailing address:
First Year Seminar
ASU Box 32065
Appalachian State University
Boone, NC 28608

Director of First Year Seminar:
Rick Klima

QEP Global Learning