Radio-Free: Jazz in Europe

This course explores the origins and successes of a music and radio-based cultural exchange program led by the US State Department during the Cold War. Through simulated radio shows, research projects and presentations, students explore the impact of Jazz artists, Blues musicians, radio disc jockeys and dancers who were employed to bridge the cultural gap between the United States and countries behind the Iron Curtain, perhaps modern history’s most extreme cultural barrier. Nearly spanning the length of the Cold War itself, this program occurred during an era of enormous global and domestic social change. Students examine past and current social issues from several perspectives. Readings probe the global response to the use of soft diplomatic power in countries such as Poland, Japan and Iraq. Small group discussions and socratic dialogues uncover both past and current views on cultural exchange programs. Through discussion, students assess modern day attitudes on bridging cultural divides. Primary sources are used to highlight the views of both Americans and people from host countries in Europe, the Middle East and Asia. The second paradigm of perspectives relates to various domestic social vectors that influenced the key players in this story. Here, we discuss the interaction between this Jazz ambassador program and the Civil Rights, Sexual Liberation and Anti-War movements. Additionally, strategic integration of conceptually-correlated current events illustrate the relevance of this analytical approach and provide students with additional opportunities to examine different perspectives.

NOTE:  This course is offered as a hybrid with 50% required in-person meeting times and 50%  required meeting times via Zoom.

Course Details
Course Number: 
Section Number(s) and Day/Times Taught: 
148: MW 5:30pm-6:45pm - hybrid
Fall 2024
The Arts
Global Issues

Andy Miller

Andy Miller

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.