Samantha Sasaki

Samantha Sasaki in front of greenery.

Project title: “Do you hear the people sing?”: How music can facilitate social and political change.

Project description: My project aims to uncover how and why music has been an integral part of social movements, particularly those since the 1960s. I hope to understand the role music plays in developing cultural identities and bonds that enable members of a social movement to overcome the collective action problem of organizing and fight for change. For my project, I will explore the musical elements of protest songs and their affective responses on participants, study social movement and cultural identity theories, and examine comparative cases of “movement music.”

Most important accomplishment: Placing 3rd in the Grand Prix of Nations 2019 (an international choral competition) with the Cantabile Youth Singers of Silicon Valley.

Reflections on the College Scholar Program: The program has given me the opportunity to dive into a subject that has fascinated me for years. I came to Cornell hoping to be a part of the program and I am so thrilled to not only be part of it but also to work alongside so many brilliant and innovative thinkers. Being able to brainstorm and collaborate with my fellow College Scholars has been the highlight of the program so far and I am incredibly excited for the next few years!