When Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton debuted at The Public Theater in early 2015 it sparked a resurgence of theatre into the national zeitgeist, something unseen since Rent premiered in 1996. Seemingly everyone is talking about Hamilton. In fact, at the Final Four in Houston this past April I overheard two men discussing the musical during halftime of Villanova’s buzzer-beating win over North Carolina.
Hamilton is everywhere.
Including the classroom. One night while teaching my elementary Spanish course at the University of Houston, on a whim, I cut short my lesson about the preterite vs the imperfect and decided to introduce my students to Hamilton. The result? They loved it. While they seemed apprehensive about watching musical theatre clips on YouTube, they left the classroom with a newfound opinion about what a musical could be.
Seeing my students’ interest in Hamilton, I did a google search for “Hamilton syllabus.” While there is a syllabus, or a reading list, for nearly every current pop culture phenomenon, nothing exists on Hamilton. Until now.
The Hamilton Syllabus (#Syllabus4Ham) is organized according to the following resources: Criticism, Perspectives, Ham4Ham, and Interviews (with Alex Lacamoire, Javier Muñoz, Renée Elise Goldsberry, and Lin-Manuel Miranda). I have limited my syllabus to resources that speak exclusively to the musical and it is my hope that someone else will create another syllabus that includes critical race theory, feminist theory, queer theory, performance theory, etc. to frame a critical discussion about Hamilton.
Whether you find yourself looking to include Hamilton in your high school or university classroom, want to write the next great musical, or just want to read more about the show, the resources below provide a starting point for conversations about Hamilton.
Racializing the American Revolution Review of the Broadway Musical Hamilton – Donatella Galella (Advocate)
Why Hamilton is Not the Revolution You Think it is – James McMaster (Café Onda/HowlRound)
Race-Conscious Casting and the Erasure of the Black Past in Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton – Lyra Monteiro (The Publican Historian)
Hamilton: the Musical: Black Actors Dress Up like Slave Traders…and It’s Not Halloween – Ishmael Reed (counter punch)
Hamilton– Stacy Wolf (The Feminist Spectator)
Hamilton missed a chance to highlight Haitian Revolution – Chinua Thelwell (Miami Herald)
Hamilton: Five Ways Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hip-Hopped History Musical Breaks New Ground – Jonathan Mandell (HowlRound)
Father Worship: Hamilton’s New World scripture – Peter Manseau (The Baffler)
Hamilton, Theatre, and Democracy in America – Patricia Herrera (Café Onda/HowlRound)
A Hamilton Skeptic on Why the Show Isn’t As Revolutionary As It Seems – Rebecca Onion (Slate)
Watching A Brown ‘Hamilton’ With A White Audience – Gene Demby (NPR)
‘Hamilton’: Meet the Man Behind Broadway’s Hip-Hop Masterpiece – Brian Hiatt (Rolling Stone)
The Making of the Hamilton Cast Album – CBS News
Questlove on ‘Hamilton’ and Hip-Hop: It Takes One – Ahmir Questlove Thompson (Rolling Stone)
Exploring ‘Hamilton’ and Hip-Hop Steeped in Heritage – Anthony Tommasini and Jon Caramanica (New York Times)
How ‘Hamilton’ Is Revolutionizing the Broadway Musical – Alisa Solomon (The Nation)
Non-stop Between Subway Stops: Underground Reflections on Hamilton – Oscar A. L. Cabrera (Café Onda/HowlRound)
Mi tierra, my testimony: a #HamilTestimonio – Rebecca Martínez (Café Onda/HowlRound)
Making His Story Their Story: Teaching Hamilton at a Minority-serving Institution – Erika Gisela Abad (Sounding Out!)
In the (Class)Room Where it Happens; Incorporating Hamilton into Theatre Curriculum – Heidi L. Nees (Theatre Historiography)
Teaching Hamilton: An American Musical as Contemporary American Drama – Sunny Stalter-Pace (Pedagogy & American Literary Studies)
Teaching Hamilton – Greg Specter (Pedagogy & American Literary Studies)
Teaching Revision through Hamilton: An American Musical – Caitlin L. Kelly (Pedagogy & American Literary Studies)
Early American Library History and Digital Humanities Using Hamilton – Laura Miller (Pedagogy & American Literary Studies)
Deconstructing Hamilton Lesson Plan – Heidi L. Nees
Hamilton Scavenger Hunt Lesson Plan – Heidi L. Nees
Ham4Ham: Taking Hamilton to the Streets – Trevor Boffone (Café Onda/HowlRound)
Hamilton’s Ham4Ham Preshow: The Complete Compendium (So Far) – Laura Reineke (Vulture)
The Show Is Nonstop – Forrest Wickman (Slate)
Broadway hit ‘Hamilton’ has a Web win on its hands – Rae Votta (Daily Dot)
Que Onda? with Alex Lacamoire, music director of Hamilton – Trevor Boffone (Café Onda/HowlRound)
The man behind the “Hamilton” sound: Hidden Beatles references, the “hip-hop horse” sample and why if “it’s all computerized, there’s no heart to it” – Suzy Evans (Salon)
Nerding Out With Hamilton Musical Director, Alex Lacamoire – Nate Jones (Vulture)
Interview with Javier Muñoz – Marisela Treviño Orta (Café Onda/HowlRound)
Javier Muñoz on What It’s Like to Play Alexander Hamilton When Lin-Manuel Miranda Isn’t – Jessica Goldstein (Vulture)
Renée Elise Goldsberry
An Interview with Renée Elise Goldsberry – Victoria Myers (The Interval)
Genius: A Conversation With ‘Hamilton’ Maestro Lin-Manuel Miranda – Rembert Brownie (Grantland)
How Lin-Manuel Miranda Shapes History – Edward Delman (The Atlantic)
11 thoughts on “#Syllabus4Ham: The HAMILTON Syllabus”
How is this licensed? May I adapt and use at my institution? With attribution, of course.
Please feel free to adapt and use this at your institution. I just ask that you give credit to me (Trevor Boffone) in doing so.
Thanks for the support. I’m glad this could be of use to you!
This is amazing! Great work, Trevor!
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Trevor, a thousand thanks. This is excellent and I’ll be sure to credit you!
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Thank you so much! I may use a few of these articles in my course this fall.
Thank you for sharing your ideas! I would love to use Hamilton in my classroom, and my students will benefit from your hard work and research. One question: How do you handle copyright issues? Are there any?
Hi! Thanks for reaching out. I don’t believe any copyright issues. I just ask that you credit the #Syllabus4Ham if you use it.
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