Courses for the Creativity, the Arts, and Social Transformation minor are from the creative arts, humanities and social sciences.

For complete information on CAST courses, see the Online University Bulletin.

CAST 150b Introduction to Creativity, the Arts, and Social Transformation 
May not be taken for credit by students who took PAX 250b in prior years.

Fall 2019:

How can music, theater, dance and visual and other arts contribute to community development, coexistence, and nonviolent social change? In the aftermath of violence, how do artists help communities reconcile? Students explore these questions through interviews and case studies. Usually offered every year.

Fall 2019 CAST Electives

Creative Arts:

FA 4A – Sculpture and Foundation: 3-D Design (Tony Fair, Christopher Frost)
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.  [ca]

FA 181A – Housing and Social Justice (a capstone course) (Muna Guvenc)
Employs housing as a lens to interrogate space and society, state and market, power and change, in relation with urban inequality and social justice. [ca, deis-us, dl, ss]

MUS 86A – Improv Collective (Thomas Hall)
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. Yields half-course credit.

MUS 87A – Music and Dance from Ghana (Benjamin Paulding)
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. Yields half-course credit.

THA 138B – Creative Pedagogy (a capstone course) (Jennifer A. Cleary)
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. [ca, oc]

THA 144B – Black Theater and Performance: New! (Isaiah Wooden)
Explores aesthetic innovations and transformations in African American theater and performance and examines the crucial role the stage has played in shaping perceptions and understandings of blackness. [ca, deis-us]


AAAS/ENG 80A – Black Looks: The Promise and Perils of Photography (Faith Smith)
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. [deis-us, djw, hum, wi]

ENG 52A – Refugee Stories, Refugee Lives (Emilie Diouf)
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. [hum, nw]

ENG 58A – Literature and Medicine (David Sherman)
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? [dl, hum, wi]

ENG 143A – The History of Mediascapes and Critical Maker Culture (Dorothy Kim)
To decolonize book history and "maker culture," the class examines colonial erasure, colonial knowledge production, race, gender, disability, neurodiversity, sexuality in making an alternative book history that includes khipu, the girdle book, the wampum, pamphlets, zines, and wearable media technology. [deis-us, dl, hum, oc]

ENG 151B – Performance Studies (a capstone course) (Tom King)
Explores paradigms for making performance inside and outside of institutionalized theater spaces, with an emphasis on the performance of everyday life. Students read theories of theater and performance against paradigmatic dramatic texts and documents of social performance. Combining theory with practice, students explore and make site-specific and online performances. Note: In fall 2019, we will focus on performative responses to climate change. [hum]

ENG 161A – Literature and Counterculture (a capstone course) (David Sherman)
Explores alternative, subversive publics created through literature and art. Readings into avant-garde movements and their legacies, with a focus on creative political engagements with public spheres. We'll consider writing, experimental theater, visual art, and musical performance at the cultural edges and outsides. This is creative expression that plays with textual circulation and political subversion.

ENG 167B – Writing the Nation: James Baldwin, Richard Wright, Toni Morrison (Gabrielle Everett)
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. [deis-us, hum]

ENG 172B – African Literature and Human Rights (Emilie Diouf)
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?  [hum, nw]

HISP 196A – Topics in Latinx Literature and Culture New! (Muria J. Duran)
Topic for fall 2019: Latinx Theatre: Politics, Performance, and Social Change. This course examines Latinx theatre as a creative and political force for social change in the United States from the 1960s to the present. We will examine Latinx theatre’s politics, cultural practices, and artistic expressions. We will read representative works by Latinx playwrights while integrating supplementary texts including performance reviews, critical analyses, and theoretical studies. Plays will be studied using various modes of inquiry including linguistic, performance studies, gender studies, and borderlands theory. [hum, wi]

Social Sciences:

SOC 119A – Deconstructing War, Building Peace (Gordie Fellman)
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. [ss]

Read more about Fall 2019 CAST elective courses and events!