An interdepartmental program in Creativity, the Arts, and Social Transformation

Last updated: September 14, 2017 at 4:09 p.m.

The undergraduate minor in Creativity, the Arts, and Social Transformation offers a coherent academic sequence through which to explore theory and practice at the nexus of the arts (i.e., music, literature, theater, visual arts, storytelling, digital art and broadcast media, architecture, conceptual art and folk expressions of all kinds); creativity; and social change. It challenges students to engage in, and reflect on, various modes of knowledge creation, including aesthetic, interpretive and analytical, as well as different modes of presentation, including creative, written, oral, and performative. It introduces them to a range of creative social change practices and the theories of change that are implicit in them, and encourages them to grapple with the ethical dilemmas inherent in the field. The minor supports students to imagine careers and vocations that link their talents and their interests both in the creative arts and social change with the needs of communities and issues of social justice. They will learn how artists, cultural workers and other change agents support communities to cultivate, restore and strengthen the capacities required to live creatively, sustainably, non-violently and ethically.

The minor in Creativity, the Arts, and Social Transformation will create a community of inquiry in which students and faculty members explore theories and practices at the nexus of the arts and cultural work, justice-seeking and peacebuilding, and creativity. Students will be introduced to a range of theories of change that link creative engagement with strategic thinking; acquire skills to think critically about artistic and cultural interventions; and begin to develop capacities to design, assess, enact, document and/or facilitate creative projects that contribute to more just and less violent communities.

Knowledge
The minor in Creativity, the Arts, and Social Transformation offers students an overview of recent interdisciplinary thinking about the nature of creativity and the conditions that give rise to it. In addition, they will explore how movements for economic, racial, gender and environmental justice as well as initiatives to transform violent conflict have incorporated the arts and cultural work, both in the United States and globally. Students also will consider the range of contributions of the various art forms (music, theatre, dance, literature, poetry, visual arts, film, etc.) and cultural institutions (museums, theatre ensembles, festivals, radio stations, etc.) to more just, more resilient, and less violent communities throughout the world. They will engage in, and reflect on, various modes of learning, including both aesthetic and analytical.

Skills and Capacities
Students will learn to:

1. Identify theories of change implicit in social movements and in creative practices.
2. Think critically about the possibilities and limitations of various artistic and cultural approaches to social transformation.
3. Analyze case studies of arts-based and culturally informed social change initiatives, articulating the relationship between aesthetic quality and socio-political efficacy, risks of doing harm, and other issues of ethics and efficacy.

Students will begin to develop capacities required to design, assess, enact, document and facilitate creative projects that contribute to more just and less violent communities. In addition to whatever artistic talents students may bring or cultivate through coursework, these include capacities to:

1. Inquire with multiple disciplinary frames of reference and multiple modes of knowledge-seeking and meaning-making.
2. Collaborate with teams of people from diverse backgrounds and disciplines.
3. Become aware of oneself as a listener and listen with qualities of presence that elicit difficult-to-tell stories.
4. Identify sources of resilience.
5. Combine analytic insights with creative acts.
6. Cultivate one’s own and others’ creativity.

Social Justice
Students will consider social justice within the larger frame of ‘social transformation’ including theories and practices from peacebuilding, development, restorative justice, non-violent social change, reconciliation, etc. Within the minor, students will:

1. Learn about, witness the works of, and engage with courageous and creative leaders of social transformation initiatives as well as socially engaged artists whose works explore themes of social transformation and inspire action toward social justice.
2. Explore the relationship between aesthetic excellence and socio-political efficacy. Students will be offered opportunities to express their own commitments to social justice in creative ways.

Rigor
Students enrolled in the minor will be expected to engage in a multifaceted but coherent inquiry in a rigorous fashion. As outlined below, the content of the introductory course, the distribution of the electives, and the menu of options for a capstone experience, taken together, embody our understanding of rigor for an undergraduate minor in this field. Students should demonstrate:

1. Awareness of, and increasing capacities to act in accordance with, the ethical sensibilities required to engage communities in creative processes, including an understanding of ways to minimize risks of harm and awareness of one’s self and social positions in relation to the dynamics of the context.
2. The ability to bring into relationship aesthetic, analytic and strategic modes of knowledge-production with different modes of presentation, including creative, written, oral, performative, etc.
3. The ability to link theory with creative practice.
4. Knowledge of historical and culturally diverse perspectives on the public and communal functions of the arts and cultural production, including on how artists (of all genres) and cultural workers have engaged communities and contributed to social, economic, environmental and restorative justice, and to the creative transformation of conflict.

The program is open to all Brandeis undergraduates. Students should take the core course, CAST 150b Introduction to Creativity, the Arts, and Social Transformation, as early as feasible in their student career, preferably in the first or second year. Because this minor requires students to integrate different modes of knowledge-generation and meaning-making, students are strongly encouraged to apply for the minor before the end of their junior year, by meeting with the Undergraduate Advising Head. In consultation with the student, the Undergraduate Advising Head will assign each student an adviser, chosen from program faculty, who will assist the student in structuring a coherent course of study. The options for the capstone requirement, as well as guidelines and acceptance procedures, will be discussed with students at the time when they enroll in the minor.

Cynthia Cohen, Co-Chair
(Peace, Conflict and Coexistence Studies)

Thomas King, Co-Chair and Undergraduate Advising Head
(English)

Cameron Anderson
(Theater Arts)

Gannit Ankori
(Fine Arts)

Elizabeth Bradfield
(English)

Jen Cleary
(Education, Theater Arts)

Judith Eissenberg
(Music)

Adrianne Krstansky
(Theater Arts)

Azlin Perdomo
(Romance Studies)

Fernando Rosenberg
(Latin American and Latino Studies)

Dan Terris
(American Studies; Coexistence and Conflict; Peace, Conflict and Coexistence Studies)

Completion of the minor in Creativity, the Arts and Social Transformation requires the successful completion of five courses.

A. The core course, CAST 150b Introduction to Creativity, the Arts, and Social Transformation. Ideally, this should be the first course taken for the minor, since it offers students an overview of the contributions of arts and cultural work to social justice and to the creative transformation of conflict, and frameworks that will help them bring subsequent courses into relationship. In any case, students are urged to take this course as early in their academic program as feasible.

Students who have previously taken PAX 250b The Arts of Building Peace may use this towards the core requirement.

B. Four elective courses, at least one each from the creative arts, humanities, and the social sciences (see course listing). Students may complete the requirement for one of the electives by taking two 2-credit courses.

In addition to the five courses required for the minor, CAST students are encouraged to take at least one course in disciplines such as Creative Writing; Film, Television and Interactive Media; Studio Art; Music; and Theater Arts that engage students in 'hands-on' art-making in any genre.

C. A capstone experience, which could be fulfilled as an internship, directed study or special topics course; or participation in a capstone event or series to be offered by the faculty each year. Students who wish to fulfill the capstone requirement through the submission of a portfolio or a co-curricular project are required to submit a proposal to the faculty committee before the beginning of classes in the last semester they will be in residence, thereby allowing time for review and acceptance prior to initiating their project.

Capstone options:

1. An internship or directed reading course, supervised by a member of the faculty committee. This course would count towards the elective requirement. 

2. An elective chosen from a core set of elective courses that strongly link theory and practice: ANTH 130b, ANTH 159a, COML 165a, COML 166b, ENG 151b, ENG 181a, SOC 154a, SOC 155b, THA 126a, THA 132a, THA 132aj, or THA 138b.

3. Completing a portfolio of work from the introductory course and four elective courses, accompanied by a narrative bringing theory and practice across these five courses into relationship, assessed and approved by a co-chair of the faculty committee.

4. With prior approval from the advising head, engaging in and reflecting on a co-curricular capstone experience that serves to integrate learning from the five courses taken to fulfill the curricular requirements of the major. A co-chair of the faculty committee will assess these presentations and reflections.

All students will be required to present on their capstone experience in a setting open to members of the campus community. Each student's capstone advisor plays an important role in shepherding the capstone project from conception through development and presentation. Students should present a written proposal in advance indicating the central themes, media, and mode of presentation of the project; and will work with their advisors to ensure the rigor, formal quality, professional presentation, and ethics of the project.

D. Students wishing to complete the requirements for the minor with a course other than one listed below should petition the faculty committee for permission to substitute a different course for one of the electives.

E. No course with a grade below C- can count toward fulfilling the minor requirements in Creativity, the Arts and Social Transformation.

F. No course taken pass/fail may count toward the minor requirements.

(1-99) Primarily for Undergraduate Students

CAST 92a Internship and Analysis in Creativity, the Arts, and Social Transformation
Staff

CAST 98a Independent Study in Creativity, the Arts, and Social Transformation
Staff

(100-199) For Both Undergraduate and Graduate Students

CAST 150b Introduction to Creativity, the Arts, and Social Transformation
[ ss ]
May not be taken for credit by students who took PAX 250b in prior years.
How can music, theater, poetry, literature, and visual arts contribute to community development, coexistence, and nonviolent social change? In the aftermath of violence, how can artists help communities reconcile? Students explore these questions through interviews, case studies, and projects. Usually offered every year.
Ms. Cohen

CAST 170a Documenting the Immigrant Experience
[ ss ]
Investigates documentary film as a genre, and explores the potential of the medium for engaging students with immigrant communities in Waltham through hands-on production experiences. Through the process of exchanging narratives with community members, students generate raw material for a film documentary. Usually offered every year.
Ms. Perdomo

Creativity, the Arts, and Social Transformation: Core Course

CAST 150b Introduction to Creativity, the Arts, and Social Transformation
[ ss ]
May not be taken for credit by students who took PAX 250b in prior years.
How can music, theater, poetry, literature, and visual arts contribute to community development, coexistence, and nonviolent social change? In the aftermath of violence, how can artists help communities reconcile? Students explore these questions through interviews, case studies, and projects. Usually offered every year.
Ms. Cohen

Electives in Creative Arts

AAAS/FA 74b Introduction to African Art
[ ca nw ss ]
Surveys the visual artistic traditions of Africa. Investigates the different forms of visual art in relation to their historical and socio-cultural context. Symbolism and complexity of Africa's visual art traditions are explored through analysis of myth, ritual, cosmology, and history. Usually offered every second year.
Mr. Hassan

AMST/MUS 39b Protest Through Song: Music that Shaped America
[ ca ss ]
Open to music majors and non-majors. Does not fulfill the Main Currents in American Studies requirement for the major.
Examines 20th and 21st century protest music to better understand the complex relationships between music and social movements. Through class discussions, reading, writing, and listening assignments, and a final performance students will discover how social, cultural, and economic protest songs helped shape American culture. Usually offered every second year.
Ms. Musegades

CA 125a Provocative Art: Outside the Comfort Zone
[ ca ]
Presents, analyzes and discusses art that provokes controversies, discomfort, and other strong responses. This class will focus on a broad range of artistic expressions, including visual art, theater, film, music, and literature with Brandeis faculty as well as visiting artists. Usually offered every second year.
Ms. Ankori and Mr. Brimhall-Vargas

FA 4a Sculpture Foundation: 3-D Design I
[ ca ]
Beginning-level course. Preference to first-year students and sophomores. May be repeated once for credit if taught by different instructors. Studio fee: $75 per semester.
Exploration of three-dimensional aspects of form, space, and composition utilizing a variety of materials and sculptural techniques. Emphasizes students' inventing of images through the use of modern materials and contemporary ideas about sculpture. Assignments are based on abstract thought and problem solving. The intent of this course is to give students a rich studio experience and promote a fresh and meaningful approach to visual concepts. Usually offered every fall.
Ms. Fair and Mr. Frost

FA 4b Sculpture Foundation: 3-D Design II
[ ca ]
Beginning-level course. Preference to first-year students and sophomores. May be repeated once for credit if taught by different instructors. Studio fee: $75 per semester.
See FA 4a for course description. Usually offered every spring.
Ms. Fair and Mr. Frost

FA 12b Introduction to Printmaking: Woodcut and Relief
[ ca ]
Prerequisite: Experience in drawing is strongly recommended. Studio fee: $75 per semester. May not be taken for credit by students who took FA 105b in prior years.
Introduction to relief printmaking using linoleum and woodblock. Students become familiar with working in a print shop, how to use color in printmaking, planning images, direct drawing on wood, and how to critique printmaking in a group setting. Usually offered every year.
Staff

FA 33b Islamic Art and Architecture
[ ca nw ]
Through case studies of cities, sites, and monuments, the course presents an overview of the art and the architecture of the Islamic world beginning from the seventh century up to the present. Some of the themes include, but are not limited to, Islamic material culture, orientalist imaginations, systems of governance and the colonial present, search for the local identity, urban modernity and nationalism, and globalization. Usually offered every third year.
Ms. Guvenc

FA 61a History of Photography
[ ca ]
May not be taken for credit by students who took FA 76b in prior years.
The history of photography from its invention in 1839 to the present, with an emphasis on developments in America. Photography is studied as a documentary and an artistic medium. Topics include Alfred Stieglitz and the photo-secession, Depression-era documentary, Robert Frank and street photography, and postmodern photography. Usually offered every second year.
Mr. Kalb

FA 69b Inventing Tradition: Women as Artists, Women as Art
[ ca ]
Provides an art-historical overview and a feminist critique of gender and representation followed by select case studies of the art and life of women artists. Examples include non-Western art. Usually offered every second year.
Ms. Ankori

FA 86b Museum Studies
[ ca ]
May not be taken for credit by students who took FA 85b in prior years.
An experiential learning seminar focused on the art object in the context of the museum; the history of museums (architecture, educational mission, curatorial presentation); museum ethics and provenance studies; new theories of museums and their expanded role in the community. Usually offered every second year.
Ms. Scott

FA 164a The Re-Invention of Art
[ ca ]
By the 1960s, the United States was the art-world capital. Radical art, however, appeared everywhere. Examines US art of the 1960's-1970s in light of artistic production in, among other places, Germany, England, Italy, Brazil, Argentina, Senegal, and Japan. Usually offered every year.
Mr. Kalb

FA 165a Contemporary Art
[ ca ]
May not be taken for credit by students who took FA 152a in prior years.
After theories of power and representation and art movements of pop, minimalism, and conceptual art were established by the 1970s, artists began to create what we see in galleries today. This course addresses art at the turn of the twentieth century with attention to intersections of art and identity, politics, economy, and history. Usually offered every second year.
Mr. Kalb

FA 169a Ecology and Art
[ ca ]
Provides a theoretical foundation and art historical background for discussion of contemporary art that draws attention to the ecologies, primarily natural but also cultural of which it and we are a part. Usually offered every third year.
Mr. Kalb

FA 174a Art and Trauma: Israeli, Palestinian, Latin American and United States Art
[ ca ]
May not be taken for credit by students who took FA 154b in prior years.
A comparative and critical examination of the various ways in which personal traumas (illness, death, loss) and collective traumas (war, the Holocaust, exile) find meaningful expression in the work of modern and contemporary artists from diverse regions. Usually offered every second year.
Ms. Ankori

FA 178a Frida Kahlo: Art, Life and Legacy
[ ca nw ]
Mexican artist Frida Kahlo (1907-1954) has become an international cultural icon. Her innovative paintings brilliantly re-envision identity, gender and the female body, inspiring celebrities from Madonna to Salma Hayek. This course explores the art and life of Frida Kahlo, as well as her immense influence on contemporary art, film and popular culture. Usually offered every second year.
Ms. Ankori

FA/NEJS 183a Breaking Boundaries in Contemporary Israeli Art
[ ca hum ]
Explores how the Creative Arts reflect, challenge, and reconfigure various cleavages and barriers that characterize contemporary Israeli society. This course will focus on literary, visual and cinematic artworks, organized around thematic clusters and major theoretical issues. Usually offered every second year.
Ms. Ankori and Ms. Szobel

MUS 3b World Music: Performing Tradition through Sound
[ ca nw ]
Open to all students. Required of all Cultural Studies track majors.
What are we listening to? Applies engaged listening skills and critical analysis for a deeper appreciation of (non-Western) music as a cultural expression. Focuses on particular traditions as well as social context, impact of globalization, cultural production, cultural rights, etc. Usually offered every year.
Ms. Eissenberg

MUS 86a Improv Collective
Offered exclusively on a credit/no credit basis. Yields half-course credit. Placement auditions will be held at the start of the semester. A maximum of four course credits will be allowed for all enrollments in Ensemble (80a,b – 88a,b) alone or Private Instruction and Ensemble together. May be undertaken as an extracurricular, noncredit activity by registering in the XC section.
Open to all Brandeis students who play an instrument or sing, regardless of skill or experience in improvising, the Improv Collective focuses on both individual creativity and group improvisation. The semester culminates with a performance in Slosberg Recital hall. Usually offered every semester.
Mr. Hall

MUS 86b Improv Collective
Continuation of MUS 86a. See MUS 86a for special notes and course description.
Usually offered every semester.
Mr. Hall

MUS 87a Music and Dance from Ghana
Offered exclusively on a credit/no credit basis. Yields half-course credit. A maximum of four course credits will be allowed for all enrollments in Ensemble (80a,b – 88a,b) alone or Private Instruction and Ensemble together. Instruments will be supplied by instructor.
Students in this course will study and perform a repertory of traditional music and dance of a variety of ethnic traditions from Ghana, West Africa. The drum ensemble includes bells, rattles and drums. The vocal music features call-and-response singing in local languages. The dances have choreographic formations as well as opportunity for individual expression. Drumming and dancing are closely intertwined; work will culminate in a final performance. Usually offered every year.
Mr. Paulding

MUS 87b Music and Dance from Ghana
Continuation of MUS 87a. See MUS 87a for special notes and course description.
Usually offered every year.
Mr. Paulding

THA 40a The Art of the Visual Narrative
[ ca ]
Explores the process of creating visual narrative - how do we travel from idea to image to visual storytelling? We will learn to create evocative environments and visual metaphor that transport the viewer, transcend reality, and make stories. We will construct and deconstruct the idea of performance space both theatrical and site-specific. How do we create the psychological landscape of a story? What can an architectural detail tell us about character? What can we learn from objects? We will approach design from an interdisciplinary perspective that will challenge students to combine visual art, new media, performance, and space, in surprising and meaningful ways. Of interest to designers, actors, directors, film-makers, fine artists, and anyone interested in the process of creating a visual story line. Usually offered every year.
Ms. Anderson

THA 109a Improvisation for Theatre: Acting Unscripted
[ ca ]
An approach to acting through the stimulation of the actor's imagination and creativity, freeing the actor's impulses and faith. Improvisation breaks down the elements of scene work and, through a series of exercises, makes these elements more personal and accessible to the actor. Usually offered every year.
Ms. Krstansky and Mr. Troyanovsky

THA 126a Playing for Change - Community Building and Social Change on Stage
[ ca ]
Examines ways in which theatrical arts can create change in a variety of non-traditional situations. This course is grounded in the discussion/practice of theater activists such as Augusto Boal’s Theatre of the Oppressed. For both theater and non-theater students, this course focuses on how and why this collaborative, useful art form can be introduced into sociological, psychological, political, cultural, educational, medical, and historical paradigms. Students will generate work surrounding social issues of importance to them. Usually offered every second year.
Ms. Cleary

THA 132a The Collaborative Process
[ ca ]
Formerly offered as THA 32a. May be repeated once for credit.
An exploration of the process of collaborative creation from the idea to performance. Students work as performers, directors, writers, and designers to create original theater pieces based on current events, literature, theater, genres, and personal obsessions. Usually offered every year.
Ms. Krstansky

THA 138b Creative Pedagogy
[ ca ]
Focuses on creativity in pedagogy from a theatrical lens and is meant for anyone who wishes to teach anyone just about anything! This course will focus on the building of community and confidence that takes place within any learning environment that utilizes creative and theatrical arts as a modality. We will discuss the foundation and theories behind teaching, learning, and creative expression, allowing students to ground their own work in what has and hasn't worked in the past, as well as to expand their own creative reach and risk-taking capabilities. Usually offered every second year.
Ms. Cleary

THA 142b Women Playwrights: Writing for the Stage by and about Women
[ ca wi ]
Introduces the world of female playwrights. This course will engage the texts through common themes explored by female playwrights: motherhood (and daughterhood), reproduction, sexuality, family relationships, etc. Students will participate in writing or performance exercises based on these themes. Usually offered every second year.
Staff

THA 145a Queer Theater
[ ca ]
Explores significant plays that have shaped and defined gay identity during the past 100 years. Playwrights span Wilde to Kushner. Examining texts as literature, history, and performance, we will explore religion, poiltics, gender, the AIDS epidemic, and coming out. Usually offered every third year.
Mr. Troyanovksy

THA 156a Making Mirth: Building Resilience and Creating Balance
[ ca pe-1 ]
Aims to build resilience through dance, movement, storytelling, comedy, improvisation and the power of play. Students will learn various methods for obtaining calm and balance while learning about the body and students will learn various methods for obtaining calm and balance while learning about the body's natural abilities in creating resilience. Usually offered every third year.
Ms. Dibble

THA 180a In Your Face: Staging the Self through Theatrical Installation
[ ca ]
Students will create a living theatrical self-portrait. Through an exploration of site-specific theater and performance art and design, students will explore themselves and their values in order to create an original live work of theater. We will ask ourselves how our experiences, past and present, can become fodder for a performance that creates social transformation and empowerment. What are the differences between how we see ourselves and how others see us? How can our narratives be transformed into mythology and metaphor? Assignments and exercises throughout the semester will focus on the nuance and interplay of written and visual elements, so that students’ self-portraits emerge as truly interdisciplinary installation pieces. The visual components of projects will not follow text but will emerge linked organically to performance. Some projects will begin with a writing exercise that explores the self (letters, emails, blogs, journals, poetry, memoirs, and autobiographies). These texts will then be translated into visual expressions (video, photo, and painting). Other projects will begin with the visual idea (family heirloom, object) and a text will be written in response. What story can emerge from a family heirloom? How can an heirloom be transformed into art? Finally, how can visual expression and text be combined to tell a powerful story of transformation? The course will culminate with the creation of a living self-portrait that will combine performance and design. No experience in performance, theater, or design expected. Of interest to students of all disciplines, of particular interest to theater-makers, filmmakers, and fine artists. Usually offered every second year.
Ms. Anderson

Electives in Humanities

AAAS 79b Afro-American Literature of the Twentieth Century
[ hum ss wi ]
An introduction to the essential themes, aesthetic concerns, and textual strategies that characterize Afro-American writing of this century. Examines those influences that have shaped the poetry, fiction, and prose nonfiction of representative writers. Usually offered every second year.
Ms. Abdur-Rahman or Ms. Smith

AAAS 125b Caribbean Women and Globalization: Sexuality, Citizenship, Work
[ ss wi ]
Utilizing perspectives from sociology, anthropology, fiction, and music to examine the relationship between women's sexuality and conceptions of labor, citizenship, and sovereignty. The course considers these alongside conceptions of masculinity, contending feminisms, and the global perspective. Usually offered every second year.
Ms. Smith

AAAS 155b Hip Hop History and Culture
[ ss ]
Examines the history of hip hop culture, in the broader context of U.S., African American and African diaspora history, from the 1960s to the present. Explores key developments, debates and themes shaping hip hop's evolution and contemporary global significance. Usually offered every second year.
Mr. Williams

ENG 18b Writing the Holocaust
[ hum wi ]
Examines fiction, poetry, memoir, diaries, letters, testimonials, interviews, and historical records; explores written representations of the Holocaust. Considers the role second, third, and fourth generation responses to the Holocaust, including the responses of students, who will write their own post-Holocaust narratives. Usually offered every third year.
Ms. Skorczewski

ENG 20a Bollywood: Popular Film, Genre, and Society
[ hum nw ]
An introduction to popular Hindi cinema through a survey of the most important Bollywood films from the 1950s until today. Topics include melodrama, song and dance, love and sex, stardom, nationalism, religion, diasporic migration, and globalization. Usually offered every third year.
Ms. Anjaria

ENG 52a Refugee Stories, Refugee Lives
[ hum nw ]
Examines the functions of storytelling in the refugee crisis. Its main objective is to further students understanding of the political dimensions of storytelling. The course explores how reworking of reality enable people to question State and social structures. Usually offered every third year.
Ms. Diouf

ENG 57b Writing the Nation: James Baldwin, Philip Roth, Toni Morrison
[ hum ]
An in-depth study of three major American authors of the twentieth century. Highlights the contributions of each author to the American literary canon and to its diversity. Explores how these novelists narrate cross-racial, cross-gendered, cross-regional, and cross-cultural contact and conflict in the United States. Usually offered every third year.
Ms. Abdur-Rahman

ENG 58a Literature and Medicine
[ hum wi ]
How has literature grappled with illness, healing, and the patient-doctor encounter? How can poetry and storytelling communicate with experience of bodily pain--and how does the body seek to communicate its suffering without language? We examine literary responses to the body's biological vulnerabilities, and seek to contextualize the vulnerable body within the cultural and political fields that shape medical knowledge and practice. Readings in fiction, poetry, essay, and drama will suggest the art, or craftsmanship, involved in the healing sciences, as well as the diagnostic nature of literary criticism. Reading for new approaches, generated by the literary imagination, to controversial issues in medical ethics. Usually offered every third year.
Mr. Sherman

ENG 60a Storytelling Performance
[ hum oc ]
This experiential course is a workshop for students to craft and perform stories for live audiences at Brandeis and elsewhere in the Boston area. Through a series of collaborative exercises and rehearsals, students will develop a repertoire of several kinds of stories, including autobiographies, fictions, folk tales, and local history. We will tell our individual and group stories, as a team, at youth programs, open mics, and other public spaces. Usually offered every second year.
Mr. Sherman

ENG 64b From Libertinism to Sensibility: Pleasure and the Theater, 1660-1800
[ hum ]
Investigates the exchange between performance texts and contemporaneous discussions of class, nationality, and political party. Emphasizes the emergence of modern gender and sexual roles and the impact of the first professional women actors. Usually offered every second year.
Mr. King

ENG 80a Black Looks: The Promise and Perils of Photography
[ hum ]
Explores photography and Africans, African-Americans and Caribbean people, from the mid-nineteenth century to the present. This course will examine fiction that refers to the photograph; various photographic archives; and theorists on photography and looking. Usually offered every third year.
Ms. Smith

ENG 107a Women Writing Desire: Caribbean Fiction and Film
[ hum ]
About eight novels of the last two decades (by Cliff, Cruz, Danticat, Garcia, Kempadoo, Kincaid, Mittoo, Nunez, Pineau, Powell, or Rosario), drawn from across the region, and read in dialogue with popular culture, theory, and earlier generations of male and female writers of the region. Usually offered every third year.
Ms. Smith

ENG 111b Postcolonial Theory
[ hum ]
Introduces students to key concepts in postcolonial theory. Traces the consequences of European colonialism for politics, culture and literature around the world, situates these within ongoing contemporary debates, and considers the usefulness of postcolonial theory for understanding the world today. Usually offered every third year.
Ms. Anjaria

ENG 139a Publishing Workshop: Literary Editing and Publishing
[ hum wi ]
Offered exclusively on a credit/no credit basis. Students will be selected after the submission of an introductory letter including student's major, writing/editing experience, why publishing is of interest to them, any experimental literary publications/performances they've experienced. This course fulfills a workshop requirement for the Creative Writing major and minor. Please refer to the Schedule of Classes for submission formats and deadlines within the Registration periods.
Editing and publishing a literary journal -- either digital, print, or in more experimental forms -- can be an important component of a writer's creative life and sense of literary citizenship. This experiential learning course will engage students with theoretical and historical reading as well as provide practical hands-on tools for literary publishing. Broadsided Press (www.broadsidedpress.org) will be used as a case study. A group publishing project will be part of the coursework, and this can be tied into journals already being published on campus. By the end of the semester, students will have a fuller sense of the work, mindset, difficulties, strategies, and values of a literary publisher. Usually offered every second year.
Ms. Bradfield

ENG 151a Queer Studies
[ hum ]
Recommended preparation: An introductory course in gender/sexuality and/or a course in critical theory.
Historical, literary, and theoretical perspectives on the construction and performance of queer subjectivities. How do queer bodies and queer representations challenge heteronormativity? How might we imagine public spaces and queer citizenship? Usually offered every second year.
Mr. King

ENG 151b Performance Studies
[ hum ]
Prerequisite: A course in dramatic literature and familiarity with theatrical production.
The theater, etymologically, is a place for viewing. Theory, etymologically, begins with a spectator and a viewing. Reading theories of theater and performance against paradigmatic dramatic texts and documents of social performance, speculation, and spectatorship are reviewed. Usually offered every third year.
Mr. King

ENG 170a The Globalization of Nollywood
[ hum nw ]
Introduces students to Nigeria's film industry, one of the world's largest. It focuses on both the form and the content of Nollywood films. Examines how Nollywood films project local, national, and regional issues onto global screens. Usually offered every third year.
Ms. Diouf

ENG 170b Contemporary Theatre and Performance: Between Rights and the Post-Human
[ hum ]
Surveys English-language drama and performance after the innovations of Beckett and Brecht, investigating theater and performance artists' engagement of human rights, identity politics, decolonization, state, and interpersonal violence, environmental justice and climate change, and performance after the Anthropocene. Usually offered every year.
Mr. King

ENG 172b African Literature and Human Rights
[ hum nw ]
Human rights have been central to thinking about Africa. What do we mean when we speak of human rights? Are we asserting a natural and universal equality among all people, regardless of race, class, gender, or geography? Usually offered every third year.
Ms. Diouf

ENG 197b Within the Veil: African-American and Muslim Women's Writing
[ hum ]
In twentieth-century United States culture, the veil has become a powerful metaphor, signifying initially the interior of African-American community and the lives of Muslims globally. This course investigates issues of identity, imperialism, cultural loyalty, and spirituality by looking at and linking contemporary writing by African-American and Muslim women. Usually offered every third year.
Ms. Abdur-Rahman

ENVS 43b Visions of the American Environment, Images to Action
[ hum ss ]
May not be taken for credit by students who took FYS 43b in prior years.
Explores the role of the natural environment in the North American vision through the lens of books and selected readings, films and art. We focus on the 1800's to present as we consider how these works reflect our relationship with the environment over time and shape our treatment of natural resources as we address daunting environmental challenges. As we examine a series of broad environmental themes and issues, including environmental justice concerns and the meaning of "place" and "home" in the American vision, our field trips and hands-on work with local groups help bring our studies to life and meaning. Usually offered every year.
Ms. Goldin

FA/NEJS 183a Breaking Boundaries in Contemporary Israeli Art
[ ca hum ]
Explores how the Creative Arts reflect, challenge, and reconfigure various cleavages and barriers that characterize contemporary Israeli society. This course will focus on literary, visual and cinematic artworks, organized around thematic clusters and major theoretical issues. Usually offered every second year.
Ms. Ankori and Ms. Szobel

FREN 139a Bad Girls / Les Filles de mauvais genre
[ fl hum ]
Prerequisite: FREN 106b or the equivalent, or permission of the instructor.
Through a selection of literary texts, articles, images and films, students will explore how works from the Middle Ages to present day depict female figures in the French and Francophone world who have failed to conform to expectations of their gender. Usually offered every second year.
Ms. Harder

HECS 42b Literature and Human Rights in Latin America
[ hum nw ]
Taught in English.
Examines literature, fiction and non-fiction, from Latin America in relation to the construction and uses of the narrative of human rights. Usually offered every third year.
Mr. Rosenberg

HISP 160a Culture and Social Change in Latin America
[ fl hum nw wi ]
Prerequisite: HISP 109b or HISP 111b, or permission of the instructor.
Examines the relationship between the arts (including literature, film, and fine arts) and society in Latin America during the twentieth century by focusing on three historical conjunctures when this relationship was particularly rich: the political and artistic vanguards of the 1920s (with particular attention to the Mexican Revolution and its aftermath); the 1960s, marked by the historical turning point of the Cuban Revolution; and the decade of the 1990s, characterized by the transition to democracy, the emergence of human rights and other social movements. Usually offered every second year.
Mr. Rosenberg

JAPN 130a The Literature of Multicultural Japan
[ hum nw ]
"Multicultural" may not be an adjective that many associate with Japan, but as we will find in this class, Japan's modern literary and cinematic tradition is rich with works by and about resident Koreans, Ainu, Okinawans, outcasts, and sexual and other marginalized minorities. Why then does the image of a monocultural Japan remain so resilient? Usually offered every third year.
Mr. Fraleigh

NEJS 173a Trauma and Violence in Israeli Literature and Film
[ fl hum ]
Taught in Hebrew.
Explores trauma and violence in Israeli Literature, film, and art. Focuses in man-made disasters, war and terrorism, sexual and family violence, and murder and suicide, and examines their relation to nationalism, Zionism, gender, and sexual identity. Usually offered every second year.
Ms. Szobel

NEJS 174a Minorities and Others in Israeli Literature and Culture
[ fl hum ]
Taught in Hebrew.
An exploration of poetics and identity in modern Hebrew literature. By offering a feminist and psychoanalytic reading of various Hebrew texts, this seminar explores questions of personal and national identity, otherness, visibility, and marginality in the Israeli context. Usually offered every second year.
Ms. Szobel

NEJS 184b Disability in Israeli Literature, Film, and the Arts
[ hum ]
Explores representations of disability within Hebrew and Israeli culture. By focusing on literature, film, dance, and visual art, it pursues various applications of phyiscal, mental, and emotional disability experiences and theories to Zionist, Jewish-Israeli narratives and rhetoric. Usually offered every second year.
Ms. Szobel

NEJS 194b Sufism: Mystical Traditions in Classical and Modern Islam
[ hum nw ]
An examination of the teaching and practices of the Sufi tradition. Explores the foundations of Sufism, its relation to other aspects of Islam, the development of Sufi teachings in both poetry and prose, and the manner in which Sufism is practiced in lands as diverse as Egypt, Turkey, Iran, India, Malaysia, and Europe. Usually offered every second year.
Mr. Dost

Electives in Social Sciences

AAAS 164b Afrofuturism
[ ss ]
Analyzes the various ways in which African Diaspora cultural producers - writers, visual artists, musicians, and filmmakers - use Afrofuturism to critique racial asymmetries in the present and to imagine as-yet-unrealized, free black futures. Usually offered every second year.
Ms. Abdur-Rahman

AAAS/FA 74b Introduction to African Art
[ ca nw ss ]
Surveys the visual artistic traditions of Africa. Investigates the different forms of visual art in relation to their historical and socio-cultural context. Symbolism and complexity of Africa's visual art traditions are explored through analysis of myth, ritual, cosmology, and history. Usually offered every second year.
Mr. Hassan

AAAS/WGS 136a Black Feminist Thought
[ ss ]
Formerly offered as AAAS 136a.
Critical examination of the historical, political, economic, and ideological factors that have shaped the lives of African-American women in the United States. Analyzing foundation theoretical texts, fiction, and film over two centuries, this class seeks to understand black women's writing and political activism in the U.S. Usually offered every second year.
Ms. Abdur-Rahman or Ms. Johnson

AMST 102aj Environment, Social Justice, and Empowerment
[ oc ss wi ]
Yields six semester-hour credits towards rate of work and graduation.
This community-engaged course involves students first-hand in the legal, policy, science, history and social impacts of current environmental health issues challenging individuals, families and communities today, with a particular focus on low-income, immigrant communities and the profound and unique roles played by women. Students will engage directly in the topics through field trips, visiting speakers and discussions with stakeholders themselves, taking on vital issues with some of the most disadvantaged communities from inner-city Boston and Waltham to the rural coal mining mountains of Appalachia. Students will address issues such as toxic exposure, access to safe housing, healthy food and clean water. Offered as part of JBS program.
Ms. Goldin

AMST/MUS 39b Protest Through Song: Music that Shaped America
[ ca ss ]
Open to music majors and non-majors. Does not fulfill the Main Currents in American Studies requirement for the major.
Examines 20th and 21st century protest music to better understand the complex relationships between music and social movements. Through class discussions, reading, writing, and listening assignments, and a final performance students will discover how social, cultural, and economic protest songs helped shape American culture. Usually offered every second year.
Ms. Musegades

ANTH 26a Communication and Media
[ ss ]
An exploration of human communication and mass media from a cross-cultural perspective. Examines communication codes based on language and visual signs. The global impact of revolutions in media technology, including theories of cultural imperialism and indigenous uses of media is discussed. Usually offered every second year.
Ms. McIntosh

ANTH 130b Visuality and Culture
[ ss ]
Introduces students to the study of visual, aural, and artistic media through an ethnographic lens. Course combines written and creative assignments to understand how culture shapes how we make meaning out of images and develop media literacy. Topics include ethnographic/documentary film, advertising, popular culture, viral videos and special effects, photography, art worlds, and the technological development of scientific images. Usually offered every second year.
Ms. Alvarez Astacio and Ms. Schattschneider

ANTH 140a Human Rights in Global Perspective
[ ss ]
Explores a range of debates about human rights as a concept as well as the practice of human rights work. The human rights movement seeks the recognition of universal norms that transcend political and cultural difference while anthropology seeks to explore and analyze the great diversity of human life. To what extent can these two goals--advocating for universal norms and respecting cultural difference--be reconciled? The course examines cases from various parts of the world concerning: indigenous peoples, environment, health, gender, genocide/violence/nation-states and globalization. Usually offered every third year.
Ms. Ferry

ANTH 159a Museums and Public Memory
[ ss ]
Explores the social and political organization of public memory, including museums, cultural villages, and memorial sites. Who has the right to determine the content and form of such institutions? Working with local community members, students will develop a collaborative exhibition project. Usually offered every second year.
Staff

ANTH 184b Cross-Cultural Art and Aesthetics
[ nw ss ]
A cross-cultural and diachronic exploration of art, focusing on the communicative aspects of visual aesthetics. The survey takes a broad view of how human societies deploy images and objects to foster identities, lure into consumption, generate political propaganda, engage in ritual, render sacred propositions tangible, and chart the character of the cosmos. Usually offered every second year.
Mr. Urcid

CAST 170a Documenting the Immigrant Experience
[ ss ]
Investigates documentary film as a genre, and explores the potential of the medium for engaging students with immigrant communities in Waltham through hands-on production experiences. Through the process of exchanging narratives with community members, students generate raw material for a film documentary. Usually offered every year.
Ms. Perdomo

ECON/FA 87a Economics and the Arts
[ ca ss ]
Prerequisite: ECON 2a or 10a; FA 30a, 30b, 57a, 59a or 62a. The FA course may be taken concurrently with ECON/FA 87a.
Economics and art history provide dual lenses for studying the mechanics of art auctions and building collections. The course will focus on the intersection of history and patronage of specific artists and works of art with the marketplace. Usually offered every second year.
Ms. Graddy and Ms. Scott

ED 158b Looking with the Learner: Practice and Inquiry
Does not satisfy a school distribution requirement--for education studies core course credit only. Lab fee: $40.
Links theory to practice in learning through the visual arts through three types of experiences: 1) looking at art; 2) museum-based interactions with students from Stanley Elementary School in Waltham; and 3) documenting our experiences as lookers, learners, and teachers. What can we learn about art, artists, ourselves, and young learners through the processes of looking at art? How can we best support students in their own encounters with art and learning? How can museums serve as a model for education in various settings? Usually offered every year.
Ms. Bernson

ENVS 43b Visions of the American Environment, Images to Action
[ hum ss ]
May not be taken for credit by students who took FYS 43b in prior years.
Explores the role of the natural environment in the North American vision through the lens of books and selected readings, films and art. We focus on the 1800's to present as we consider how these works reflect our relationship with the environment over time and shape our treatment of natural resources as we address daunting environmental challenges. As we examine a series of broad environmental themes and issues, including environmental justice concerns and the meaning of "place" and "home" in the American vision, our field trips and hands-on work with local groups help bring our studies to life and meaning. Usually offered every year.
Ms. Goldin

HIST 112a Nationalism in the Middle East
[ nw ss ]
Seminar examining the history of nationalism in the modern Middle East. Covers divergent theories and practices of nationalism in the region, and explores the roles of gender, memory, historiography, and art in the formation and articulation of Middle East nationalisms. Usually offered every second year.
Ms. Sohrabi

LGLS 130a Conflict Analysis and Intervention
[ oc ss ]
Examines alternatives to litigation, including negotiation and mediation. Through simulations and court observations, students assess their own attitudes about and skills in conflict resolution. Analyzes underlying theories in criminal justice system, divorce, adoption, and international arena. Usually offered every second year.
Ms. Stimell

SOC 119a Deconstructing War, Building Peace
[ ss ]
Ponders the possibility of a major "paradigm shift" under way from adversarialism and war to mutuality and peace. Examines war culture and peace culture and points in between, with emphases on the role of imagination in social change, growing global interdependence, and political, economic, gender, social class, and social psychological aspects of war and peace. Usually offered every year.
Mr. Fellman

SOC 154a Community Structure and Youth Subcultures
[ ss ]
Examines how the patterning of relations within communities generates predictable outcomes at the individual and small-group level. Deals with cities, suburbs, and small rural communities. Special focus is given to youth subcultures typically found in each community type. Usually offered every second year.
Ms. Schor

SOC 155b Protest, Politics, and Change: Social Movements
[ ss ]
Introduces major sociological theories about leadership, political context, culture, and identities in social movements in transnational perspective. Examines historical and contemporary cases of social movements through the lenses of race, gender, class, and sexuality. Usually offered every second year.
Ms. Vijayakumar

Creativity, the Arts, and Social Transformation: Capstone

ANTH 130b Visuality and Culture
[ ss ]
Introduces students to the study of visual, aural, and artistic media through an ethnographic lens. Course combines written and creative assignments to understand how culture shapes how we make meaning out of images and develop media literacy. Topics include ethnographic/documentary film, advertising, popular culture, viral videos and special effects, photography, art worlds, and the technological development of scientific images. Usually offered every second year.
Ms. Alvarez Astacio and Ms. Schattschneider

ANTH 159a Museums and Public Memory
[ ss ]
Explores the social and political organization of public memory, including museums, cultural villages, and memorial sites. Who has the right to determine the content and form of such institutions? Working with local community members, students will develop a collaborative exhibition project. Usually offered every second year.
Staff

CAST 170a Documenting the Immigrant Experience
[ ss ]
Investigates documentary film as a genre, and explores the potential of the medium for engaging students with immigrant communities in Waltham through hands-on production experiences. Through the process of exchanging narratives with community members, students generate raw material for a film documentary. Usually offered every year.
Ms. Perdomo

ENG 139a Publishing Workshop: Literary Editing and Publishing
[ hum wi ]
Offered exclusively on a credit/no credit basis. Students will be selected after the submission of an introductory letter including student's major, writing/editing experience, why publishing is of interest to them, any experimental literary publications/performances they've experienced. This course fulfills a workshop requirement for the Creative Writing major and minor. Please refer to the Schedule of Classes for submission formats and deadlines within the Registration periods.
Editing and publishing a literary journal -- either digital, print, or in more experimental forms -- can be an important component of a writer's creative life and sense of literary citizenship. This experiential learning course will engage students with theoretical and historical reading as well as provide practical hands-on tools for literary publishing. Broadsided Press (www.broadsidedpress.org) will be used as a case study. A group publishing project will be part of the coursework, and this can be tied into journals already being published on campus. By the end of the semester, students will have a fuller sense of the work, mindset, difficulties, strategies, and values of a literary publisher. Usually offered every second year.
Ms. Bradfield

ENG 151b Performance Studies
[ hum ]
Prerequisite: A course in dramatic literature and familiarity with theatrical production.
The theater, etymologically, is a place for viewing. Theory, etymologically, begins with a spectator and a viewing. Reading theories of theater and performance against paradigmatic dramatic texts and documents of social performance, speculation, and spectatorship are reviewed. Usually offered every third year.
Mr. King

FA/NEJS 183a Breaking Boundaries in Contemporary Israeli Art
[ ca hum ]
Explores how the Creative Arts reflect, challenge, and reconfigure various cleavages and barriers that characterize contemporary Israeli society. This course will focus on literary, visual and cinematic artworks, organized around thematic clusters and major theoretical issues. Usually offered every second year.
Ms. Ankori and Ms. Szobel

SOC 154a Community Structure and Youth Subcultures
[ ss ]
Examines how the patterning of relations within communities generates predictable outcomes at the individual and small-group level. Deals with cities, suburbs, and small rural communities. Special focus is given to youth subcultures typically found in each community type. Usually offered every second year.
Ms. Schor

SOC 155b Protest, Politics, and Change: Social Movements
[ ss ]
Introduces major sociological theories about leadership, political context, culture, and identities in social movements in transnational perspective. Examines historical and contemporary cases of social movements through the lenses of race, gender, class, and sexuality. Usually offered every second year.
Ms. Vijayakumar

THA 126a Playing for Change - Community Building and Social Change on Stage
[ ca ]
Examines ways in which theatrical arts can create change in a variety of non-traditional situations. This course is grounded in the discussion/practice of theater activists such as Augusto Boal’s Theatre of the Oppressed. For both theater and non-theater students, this course focuses on how and why this collaborative, useful art form can be introduced into sociological, psychological, political, cultural, educational, medical, and historical paradigms. Students will generate work surrounding social issues of importance to them. Usually offered every second year.
Ms. Cleary

THA 132a The Collaborative Process
[ ca ]
Formerly offered as THA 32a. May be repeated once for credit.
An exploration of the process of collaborative creation from the idea to performance. Students work as performers, directors, writers, and designers to create original theater pieces based on current events, literature, theater, genres, and personal obsessions. Usually offered every year.
Ms. Krstansky

THA 138b Creative Pedagogy
[ ca ]
Focuses on creativity in pedagogy from a theatrical lens and is meant for anyone who wishes to teach anyone just about anything! This course will focus on the building of community and confidence that takes place within any learning environment that utilizes creative and theatrical arts as a modality. We will discuss the foundation and theories behind teaching, learning, and creative expression, allowing students to ground their own work in what has and hasn't worked in the past, as well as to expand their own creative reach and risk-taking capabilities. Usually offered every second year.
Ms. Cleary