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

Last updated: September 10, 2014 at 3:13 p.m.

Objectives

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.

Learning Goals

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:

  • Identify theories of change implicit in social movements and in creative practices.
  • Think critically about the possibilities and limitations of various artistic and cultural approaches to social transformation.
  • 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:

  • Inquire with multiple disciplinary frames of reference and multiple modes of knowledge-seeking and meaning-making.
  • Collaborate with teams of people from diverse backgrounds and disciplines.
  • Become aware of oneself as a listener and listen with qualities of presence that elicit difficult-to-tell stories.
  • Identify sources of resilience.
  • Combine analytic insights with creative acts.
  • 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:

  • 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.
  • 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:

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • The ability to link theory with creative practice.
  • 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.

How to Become a Minor

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.

Faculty

Gannit Ankori
(Fine Arts)

Joyce Antler
(African and Afro-American Studies, American Studies, History, Women's and Gender Studies)

Jen Cleary (on leave spring 2015)
(Education, Theater Arts)

Cynthia Cohen
(Peace, Conflict and Coexistence Studies)

David Cunningham
(Sociology, The Heller School for Social Policy and Management)

Judith Eissenberg
(Music)

Kathryn Graddy (on leave fall 2014)
(Economics, International Business School)

Thomas King
(English)

Adrianne Krstansky
(Theater Arts)

Sue Lanser
(Comparative Literature, English, Romance Studies, Women's and Gender Studies)

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

Requirements for the Minor

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, selected from the list below. Students may complete the requirement for one of the electives by taking two 2-credit courses.

Students are encouraged to take at least one course in Fine Arts, Music and Theater in courses that engage students in 'hands-on' art-making in any genre. These include: FA 1a, FA 3a, FA 3b, FA 4a, FA 4b, FA 9a, FA 105a, FA 105b, MUS 3b, MUS 82a, MUS 82b, MUS 84a, MUS 84b, MUS 86a, MUS 86b, MUS 87a, MUS 87b, MUS 107a, THA 40a, THA 109a, THA 126a, THA 132a, THA 138b, and THA 156a.

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, 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, and to attend three gatherings with others completing the minor during the period when they are completing their capstone experiences.

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.

Courses of Instruction

(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

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

FA 1a Basic Visual Concepts in Painting
[ ca ]
Beginning-level course. Preference to first-year students and sophomores. Studio fee: $75 per semester.
An exploration of two-dimensional visual concepts using oil paint. A semester-long course (intended for the beginner) in which students explore concepts of color, composition, drawing, and expression. Observations from still-life, models, and landscapes are translated into traditional and contemporary ideas as students learn the basic techniques of oil painting. Usually offered every year.
Mr. Downey

FA 3a Introduction to Drawing I
[ ca ]
Beginning-level course. No previous drawing experience necessary. Preference to first-year students and sophomores. May be repeated once for credit if taught by different instructors. Studio fee: $75 per semester.
A studio class that introduces a range of drawing materials and methods, intended for both studio majors and non-majors. Students will draw from direct observation of still-life, landscape, and the human figure. Drawing media may include graphite, charcoal, ink, and collage, as well as watercolor and pastel. The drawings of great artists throughout history will be studied to provide examples of what is possible within this broad and expressive visual language.
Mr. Downey, Ms. Lichtman, and Mr. Wardwell

FA 3b Introduction to Drawing II
[ ca ]
Beginning-level course. No previous drawing experience necessary. Preference to first-year students and sophomores. May be repeated once for credit if taught by different instructors. Studio fee: $75 per semester.
An introduction to the materials and methods of drawing, intended for both studio majors and non-majors. A topics-based course. Each section will offer basic drawing instruction through focus on a particular theme, such as figure drawing, watercolor, or printmaking.
Mr. Downey, Ms. Kim, and Mr. Wardwell

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 semester.
Mr. Abrams, Ms. Fair, and Staff

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 semester.
Mr. Abrams, Ms. Fair, and Staff

FA 9a Introduction to Digital Photography
[ ca ]
Prerequisite: One Brandeis studio art course. May be repeated for credit with permission of the instructor. Studio fee: $75. per semester.
An introduction to the visual forms and concepts of the photographic image. A range of digital techniques is covered along with aspects of the history of photography. Students must provide their own digital camera. Field trips and image presentations supplement the studio aspect of the course. Usually offered every semester.
Staff

FA 33b Islamic Art and Architecture
[ ca nw ]
May not be taken for credit by students who took FA 39b in prior years.
Introduces architecture and arts of the Islamic lands from seventh-century Levant to post-modernism in Iran, India, and the Gulf states. Provides an overview of major themes and regional variations, and their socio-political and historical context. Usually offered every third year.
Ms. Grigor

FA 68a Israeli Art and Visual Culture: Forging Identities Between East and West
[ ca ]
May not be taken for credit by students who took FA 153a in prior years.
An examination of the visual arts created in Israel since the beginning of the twentieth century. Combines a chronological overview of major trends with an in-depth examination of select case studies of individual artists and specific themes.
Ms. Ankori

FA 69b Inventing Tradition: Women as Artists, Women as Art
[ ca ]
May not be taken for credit by students who took FA 61b in prior years.
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 76a Palestinian and Israeli Art, Film and Visual Culture: Intersecting Visions
[ ca ]
Israelis and Palestinians have been creating vibrant and bold works of art that both reflect and transcend the region's conflict-ridden history. This course offers a critical comparative study of Israeli and Palestinian art, exploring contentious expressions of pain and trauma as well as shared visions of hope and peace. Usually offered every second year.
Ms. Ankori

FA 105a Introduction to Printmaking: Intaglio
[ ca ]
Prerequisite: Experience in drawing is strongly recommended. Studio fee: $75 per semester.
Using the etching press in the Printmaking Studio, this course is an introduction to basic intaglio processes of drypoint and etching as well as monotype, carborundum prints and collograph. Students will work on metal, plastic or cardboard plates and make experimental, painterly images in both black and white, and color. Usually offered every second year.
Mr. Gisholt

FA 105b Introduction to Printmaking: Woodcut and Relief
[ ca ]
Prerequisite: Previous drawing experience. Studio fee: $75 per semester.
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 second year.
Mr. Gisholt

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 182b Politics of Public Space
[ ca ]
An exploration of the politics of public space primarily in the Middle East and North Africa in the 20th and 21st centuries. Examines architectural monuments, urban landscapes, urban fabrics and square, and the use of historical landmarks as contentions of modern identity politics and power. Usually offered every third year.
Ms. Grigor

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 82a University Chorus
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.
Performs in concert great literature from the sixteenth to the twentieth centuries. Aspects of singing, musicianship skills, and ensemble building are emphasized. Usually offered every year.
Mr. Hampton

MUS 82b University Chorus
Continuation of MUS 82a. See MUS 82a for special notes and course description.
Usually offered every year.
Mr. Hampton

MUS 84a Orchestra
Offered exclusively on a credit/no-credit basis. Yields half-course credit. Acceptance into ensemble contingent on instructor’s approval based on auditions 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.
The orchestra gives several concerts each year performing major works from the symphonic repertory. Students prepare independently, outside of scheduled rehearsals. Usually offered every year.
Mr. Hampton

MUS 84b Orchestra
Continuation of MUS 84a. See MUS 84a for special notes and course description.
Usually offered every year.
Mr. Hampton

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.
Staff

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

MUS 107a Introduction to Electro-Acoustic Music
[ ca ]
Prerequisite: Any music course or permission of the instructor.
A course designed to give students basic studio skills and a context for listening to and working in electronic music. Topics include basic acoustics, sound design, digital and analog recording techniques, and assignments on the pioneers and current practitioners of electro-acoustic music. Involves hands-on experience in the use of MIDI-controlled synthesizers, samplers, production equipment, and includes individual studio projects based on individual studio time. Usually offered every second year.
Staff

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
[ 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

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 with the work of theater activists, such as Augusto Boal. Students will be encouraged to bring their own ideas to the table as well - creating new work is part of the goal in this course. For theater and non-theater students, the focus is on how and why this collaborative, useful art form can be introduced into sociological, psychological, political, cultural, educational, medical, and historical paradigms. 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 The Real American Idols: Education through Creativity and Theatrical 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 a learning environment that utilizes creative and theatrical arts as a modality. We will discuss foundation and the theories behind education, learning, and expression through storytelling, theatre, and creative dramatics. This exploration will help 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. 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: motherhood (and daughterhood), reproduction, sexuality, abuse, family relationships, etc. Usually Offered every second year.
Staff

THA 144b African-American Theatre: From Emancipation through the Obama Administration
[ ca ]
Explores the history, development and voice of African-American theater. The course will examine commercial controversial and crucial work in the canon of African-American theater. Usually offered every second year.
Staff

THA 145a Queer Theater: Wilde to Fabulous
[ 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.
Staff

THA 156a Making Mirth: Building Psychological and Physical Resilience Through the Power of Play
[ ca pe-1 ]
Trains fitness and resilience through movement skills and gaming. Students study protective factors that contribute to resilience to stress and adversity through dance, story, improvisation, and game design principles. Students will obtain more balance and awareness of the body and its natural abilities. Usually offered every third year.
Ms. Dibble

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

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

COML 165a Reading, Writing, and Teaching across Cultures
[ hum nw wi ]
Examines contemporary literary representations of literacy, schooling, and language from a cross-cultural perspective. Students also analyze their own educational trajectories and experiences with writing and reading. Usually offered every year.
Ms. Hale

COML 166b Literacy, Language and Culture
[ hum nw ]
Examines contemporary cross-cultural literary representations of the relationships among languages and cultures. We will read texts such as Hoffman's Lost in Translation, Dangarembga's Nervous Conditions, and Ngugi's Decolonising the Mind as well as poetry and essays from Haiti, French Guyana, the Navajo Nation and a variety of immigrant communities in the US. Questions we will consider include: Does language carry culture? When is language an instrument of power? What's the difference between learning to speak and/or write a particular language? What happens when children must learn a new language when they enter school? Students will share their own richly diverse linguistic experiences. Usually offered every year.
Staff

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 87b Queer Readings: Beyond Stonewall
[ hum ]
How have LGBTQ writers explored the consolidation, diaspora, and contestation of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered, and queer personhoods since the 1960s? Texts include fiction, poetry, drama, memoirs, and film. Usually offered every second year.
Mr. King

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 ]
Seminar in postcolonial theory with relevant background texts, with an emphasis on the specificity of its theoretical claims. Readings from Spivak, Said, Bhabha, Appiah, Mudimbe, Marx, Lenin, Freud, Derrida, Césaire, and Fanon, among others. Usually offered every third year.
Ms. Anjaria

ENG 145b Just Jane Austen: Gender, Justice, and the Art of Fiction
[ hum ]
Explores the novels of Jane Austen in historical context, with particular attention to the ways in which they engage ethical questions, address the economic and social implications of gender, and negotiate tensions between social justice and narrative form. Usually offered every third year.
Ms. Lanser

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 167a Decolonizing Fictions
[ hum nw ]
An introduction to basic concepts in postcolonial studies using selected literary works from South Asia, Africa, and the Caribbean. Specific themes covered include the colonial encounter; colonial education and the use of English; nationalism; gender, violence, and the body; and postcolonial diasporas. Usually offered every third year.
Ms. Anjaria

ENG 181a Making Sex, Performing Gender
[ hum ]
Recommended preparation: An introductory course in gender/sexuality and/or a course in critical theory.
Gender and sexuality studied as sets of performed traits and cues for interactions among social actors. Readings explore the possibility that differently organized gender and sexual practices are possible for men and women. Usually offered every third year.
Mr. King

FYS 43b JustBooks: Visions of the American Environment, Images to Action
[ hum ]
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. Offered as part of the JustBooks program.
Ms. Goldin (Environmental Studies)

HISP 160a Culture and Social Change in Latin America
[ fl hum nw wi ]
Prerequisite: HISP 109b, or HISP 110a, 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

HISP 194b Borderland Literature and Visual Culture in Latin America and the United States
[ hum nw wi ]
Open to all students; conducted in English.
Examines literature, visual art, and cinema produced at the intersection between North and South America, focusing on the U.S.-Mexico border, the Southern United States, and immigrant Latino communities. We consider works by William Faulkner, Toni Morrison, Gabriel García Márquez, Junot Díaz, Roberto Bolaño, Coco Fusco, Lourdes Portillo, and Luis Valdez, among others. Usually offered every second year.
Mr. Arellano

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
[ hum ]
Prerequisite: HBRW 141a, 143a, 144a, 146a, or permission of the instructor. 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 194b Sufi Teachings
[ 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. Lumbard

PHIL 113b Aesthetics: Painting, Photography, and Film
[ ca hum wi ]
Explores representation in painting, photography, and film by studying painters Rembrandt, Velázquez, and Vermeer, as well as later works by Manet, Degas, Cézanne, and Picasso; photographers Ansel Adams, Dorothea Lange, Edward Weston, Walker Evans, Alfred Stieglitz, and Diane Arbus; and filmmakers Renoir and Hitchcock. Usually offered every second year.
Mr. Teuber

PHIL 119a Human Rights
[ hum wi ]
May not be taken for credit by students who took PHIL 19a in prior years.
Examines international human rights policies and the moral and political issues to which they give rise. Includes civilians' wartime rights, the role of human rights in foreign policy, and the responsibility of individuals and states to alleviate world hunger and famine. Usually offered every second year.
Mr. Teuber

SAS 130a Film and Fiction of Crisis
[ hum nw ]
Examines novels and films as a response to some pivotal crisis in South Asia: Independence and Partition, Communal Riots, Insurgency and Terrorism. We will read and analyze texts from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, and Sri Lanka in an effort to examine how these moments of crisis have affected literary and cinematic form while also paying close attention to how they contest or support the narrative of the unified nation. Usually offered every third year.
Ms. Singh

SAS 140a We Who Are at Home Everywhere: Narratives from the South Asian Diaspora
[ hum ]
Looks at narratives from various locations of the South Asian Diaspora, while paying close attention to the emergence of an immigrant South Asian public culture. Examines novels, poetry, short stories, film, and music in order to further an understanding of South Asian immigrant culture. Usually offered every third year.
Ms. Singh

Electives in Social Sciences

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 and 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. They also will address the issues by assisting low income residents in Waltham at the Tenant Advocacy Clinic, and collaborating in projects with EPA, DEP and local organizations such as Healthy Waltham, the Waltham Family School, Waltham Family YMCA, Jewish Family and Children's Service, Joseph Smith Community Health Center and others. Offered as part of JBS program.
Ms. Goldin

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 66a Heritage and Society: The Politics of the Past
[ ss ]
Explores issues relating to the definition, presentation, and study of heritage as both an anthropological concept and a lived experience. Topics covered include heritage management and conservation, public archaeology, national and international law, and heritage tourism. Also examines how factors such as colonialism, nationalism, and ethnicity have impacted cultural heritage over the centuries. Usually offered every second year.
Staff

ANTH 130b Visuality and Culture
[ ss ]
Explores the nature of the visual image in sociocultural theory and in ethnographic representation. Topics include the history of ethnographic film, development of indigenous arts, visuality in popular culture and mass consumption, and film in postcolonial representation. Usually offered every second year.
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

ECON/FA 87a Economics and the Arts
[ ca ss ]
Prerequisite: ECON 2a or 10a; FA 30a, 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.
Inquiry and exploration in the visual arts have the capacity to develop the creative problem solving essential to both teaching and learning. Students will work in different media, examine interpretations of art, reflect in journals, and teach children about contemporary art. Students will complete a twelve-hour practicum as part of this course. Usually offered every year.
Ms. Miller

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

PSYC 131a Child Development across Cultures
[ ss wi ]
Prerequisite: PSYC 33a or 36b. Juniors and seniors have priority for enrollment.
In this seminar child development is compared across two cultures within the United States: the dominant European American culture and Navajo culture. The main objective of the course is to help students learn about the processes involved as culture influences development. Usually offered every year.
Mr. Watson

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.
Mr. Cunningham

SOC 155b Protest, Politics, and Change: Social Movements
[ ss ]
Utilizes case studies of actual movements to examine a variety of approaches to contentious politics. Covers collective behavior, resource mobilization, rational choice, and newer interactive models. Usually offered every second year.
Mr. Cunningham

Creativity, the Arts, and Social Transformation: Capstone

ANTH 130b Visuality and Culture
[ ss ]
Explores the nature of the visual image in sociocultural theory and in ethnographic representation. Topics include the history of ethnographic film, development of indigenous arts, visuality in popular culture and mass consumption, and film in postcolonial representation. Usually offered every second year.
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

COML 165a Reading, Writing, and Teaching across Cultures
[ hum nw wi ]
Examines contemporary literary representations of literacy, schooling, and language from a cross-cultural perspective. Students also analyze their own educational trajectories and experiences with writing and reading. Usually offered every year.
Ms. Hale

COML 166b Literacy, Language and Culture
[ hum nw ]
Examines contemporary cross-cultural literary representations of the relationships among languages and cultures. We will read texts such as Hoffman's Lost in Translation, Dangarembga's Nervous Conditions, and Ngugi's Decolonising the Mind as well as poetry and essays from Haiti, French Guyana, the Navajo Nation and a variety of immigrant communities in the US. Questions we will consider include: Does language carry culture? When is language an instrument of power? What's the difference between learning to speak and/or write a particular language? What happens when children must learn a new language when they enter school? Students will share their own richly diverse linguistic experiences. Usually offered every year.
Staff

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 181a Making Sex, Performing Gender
[ hum ]
Recommended preparation: An introductory course in gender/sexuality and/or a course in critical theory.
Gender and sexuality studied as sets of performed traits and cues for interactions among social actors. Readings explore the possibility that differently organized gender and sexual practices are possible for men and women. Usually offered every third year.
Mr. King

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.
Mr. Cunningham

SOC 155b Protest, Politics, and Change: Social Movements
[ ss ]
Utilizes case studies of actual movements to examine a variety of approaches to contentious politics. Covers collective behavior, resource mobilization, rational choice, and newer interactive models. Usually offered every second year.
Mr. Cunningham

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 with the work of theater activists, such as Augusto Boal. Students will be encouraged to bring their own ideas to the table as well - creating new work is part of the goal in this course. For theater and non-theater students, the focus is on how and why this collaborative, useful art form can be introduced into sociological, psychological, political, cultural, educational, medical, and historical paradigms. 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 The Real American Idols: Education through Creativity and Theatrical 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 a learning environment that utilizes creative and theatrical arts as a modality. We will discuss foundation and the theories behind education, learning, and expression through storytelling, theatre, and creative dramatics. This exploration will help 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. Usually offered every second year.
Ms. Cleary