Courses

women dancing

Cleonice Fonseca from Salvador, Bahia, Brazil, introduces aspects of Afro Brazilian dance at a workshop exploring Yoruba-rooted performance traditions in the diaspora. Philadelphia, 2018. The workshop was part of Intercultural Journeys' ModupĂșe | Ibaye: The Philadelphia Yoruba Performance Project. https://www.interculturaljourneys.org/yoruba

Photo Credit: Toni Shapiro-Phim

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, and the Spring 2023 Schedule. Instructors, please see the guidelines on cross-listing courses and developing core courses with CAST.

View the CAST Info Flyer.

Spring 2023 CAST Offerings

 

CAST 110B — Dance and Migration
Toni Shapiro-Phim | T 2:20 - 5:10 PM
Through an interdisciplinary lens, Dance and Migration highlights the aesthetic, political, social and spiritual potency of dance forms and practices as they travel, transform, and are accorded meaning both domestically and transnationally, especially in situations -- or in the aftermath -- of extreme violence and cultural dislocation. The class will investigate the phenomenon of dance in refugee camps in war zones, as well as in nightclubs and on national stages; we’ll explore both the production of new traditions and the re-creation of aspects of expressive culture identified as valued by communities in exile and diaspora, as groups and individuals imagine and explore ways to constructively transform dynamics and relationships of power. Usually offered every third year.

 

CAST 189A — Project Design Practicum
Toni Shapiro-Phim | T/Th7:05-8:25 PM
Prerequisite: All CAST practicums are open by permission to students who have taken the core course, CAST 150b, regardless of whether they are enrolled in the minor. While only one practicum is required for the minor, any student who has taken CAST 150b can take both the fall and the spring practicums for credit. Yields half-course credit.
Each student applies theories, skills, information, and critical questions to an individual project that engages with social transformation concerns in creative, practical, and ethically-sound ways. Although students undertake independent projects, this is a collaborative practicum in which all students help each other imagine and problem-solve. Usually offered every year.


Electives (see course catalog for prerequisites, university requirements fulfilled, and enrollment details)

Core Electives:

CAST 110B — Dance and Migration
Toni Shapiro-Phim | T 2:20 - 5:10 PM
Through an interdisciplinary lens, Dance and Migration highlights the aesthetic, political, social and spiritual potency of dance forms and practices as they travel, transform, and are accorded meaning both domestically and transnationally, especially in situations -- or in the aftermath -- of extreme violence and cultural dislocation. The class will investigate the phenomenon of dance in refugee camps in war zones, as well as in nightclubs and on national stages; we’ll explore both the production of new traditions and the re-creation of aspects of expressive culture identified as valued by communities in exile and diaspora, as groups and individuals imagine and explore ways to constructively transform dynamics and relationships of power. Usually offered every third year.

 

HISP 165B — The Storyteller: Short Fiction in Latin America
Julio Ariza | M/W 4:05 - 5:25 PM
Prerequisite: HISP 109b or HISP 111b, or permission of the instructor.
Through a study of Latin American short stories, some of them by consecrated writers, some of them by less well-known, we will reflect on the power of storytelling and narrative to shape subjectivity and community. We will examine topics that traverse Latin American cultures and are expressed in these stories, such tensions between literacy and oral traditions, hegemonic and minority voices, cultural diversity, ethnicity, class, migration, as well as contemporary concerns around issues of gender and sexuality, and in relation to the natural world. This class has an optional creative writing component, as students will have the chance, if so inclined, to write fiction applying concepts and themes studied in class (instead of critical/analytical assignments). Usually offered every third year.

MUS 3B — Global Soundscapes: Performing Musical Tradition Across Time and Place
Bradford Garvey | T/F 9:35-10:55 AM
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.

 

NEJS 173A— Trauma and Violence in Israeli Literature and Film
Ilana Szobel | T/Th 3:55-5:15 PM
Taught in Hebrew.
Explores trauma and violence in Israeli Literature, film, and art. Focuses on 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.

 

NEJS /WGS 110A— Sexual Violence in Film and Culture
Ilana Szobel | T/Th 2:20-3:40 PM
Explores the effects of sexualized violence in society. While exploring representations of gender-based sexual violence in documentaries and features, stand-up comedy, memoirs, poetry, and visual art, this course will offer a critical discussion on Rape Culture in the 21st century, with particular attention to the intersections of gender, race, sexuality, class, and disability in the construction of sexual violence. Usually offered every second year.

 

SOC 155B — Protest, Politics, and Change: Social Movements
Gowri Vijayakumar | M/W/Th 12:20-1:10 PM
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.

 

THA 138B — Creative Pedagogy
Jennifer Cleary | W 2:30-5:20 PM
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.

 

Creative Arts Electives:

CA 125A — Provocative Art: Outside the Comfort Zone
Will Chalmus | F 2:20-5:10 PM
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. Final project consists of students finding, articulating, and advocating for provocative art from multiple perspectives. Note: Students are responsible for attendance and assignments during the shopping period and must be present in those classes to be enrolled off the waitlist. Usually offered every semester.

 

CAST 110B — Dance and Migration
Toni Shapiro-Phim | T 2:20 - 5:10 PM
Through an interdisciplinary lens, Dance and Migration highlights the aesthetic, political, social and spiritual potency of dance forms and practices as they travel, transform, and are accorded meaning both domestically and transnationally, especially in situations -- or in the aftermath -- of extreme violence and cultural dislocation. The class will investigate the phenomenon of dance in refugee camps in war zones, as well as in nightclubs and on national stages; we’ll explore both the production of new traditions and the re-creation of aspects of expressive culture identified as valued by communities in exile and diaspora, as groups and individuals imagine and explore ways to constructively transform dynamics and relationships of power.Usually offered every third year.

 

THA 146A - Theatre adn the Holocaust
Dmitry Troyanovsky | T 3:55-5:15 PM
By studying plays and theatrical tools, students can gain insight into the Holocaust and what made it possible as well as its lasting impact. The course will examine how theater has attempted to represent the unimaginable as and communicate about the toxic appeal of antisemitic Nazi ideology, both in the context of the Holocaust and its legacy. Usually offered every third year.


FA 4A1 FA 4A2 (multiple sections) - Sculpture Foundation: 3-D Design I
Christoper Frost and Tory Fair  | M/W 1:20-3:10 | M/W 3:25-5:15
Beginning-level course. Preference to first-year students and sophomores. May be repeated once for credit if taught by different instructors.
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.

 

FA 187A — Approaches to Architecture and the City
T/F 12:45 -2:05 PM
Trains students in developing the ability to conduct architectural and urban analysis of the built environment. Through a comparative case-study approach, based on selected readings, real spaces, and creative projects, students will better understand architectural and urban design in relation to social, cultural, human, and political aspects. Usually offered every year.


MUS 3B - Global Soundscapes: Performing Musical Tradition Across Time and Place
Bradford Garvey | T/F 9:35-10:55 PM
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.

 

MUS 86B - Improv Collective
Thomas Hall | T/Th 6:30-9:30 PM
Continuation of MUS 86a. See MUS 86a for special notes and course description.
Usually offered every semester.

 

MUS 87B/MUS 87B 2XC - Music and Dance from Ghana
Benjamin Paulding | M/W 5:40 PM - 7:00 PM
Continuation of MUS 87a. See MUS 87a for special notes and course description.
Usually offered every year.

THA 138B — Creative Pedagogy
Jennifer Cleary | W 2:30-5:20 PM
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.

 

THA 150A — Global Theater: Voices from Asia, Africa, and the Americas
Joshua Williams | T/Th 5:30-6:50 PM
Explores dramatic literature and performance traditions from across the globe. Examines the ways various artists have engaged theater to express, represent, and interrogate diversity and complexity of the human condition. Usually offered every second year.

 

THA 180A - Multimedia and Video Design for Live Performance
Cameron Anderson | 9:35 AM-12:25 PM
Explores the convergence of multimedia theater, installation art, and video design. Students will learn about the use of technology in visual storytelling, and the cross-disciplinary and hybrid practices of multimedia design including sound, video, light and space. How can we use technology to enhance, frame or even reveal new perspectives on the stories we tell? Students will learn about tools and techniques from design professionals, and will engage directly and collaboratively with technology and space to design full-scale experiences focused around performance. No experience in performance, theater, or design expected. Usually offered every second year.


Humanities Electives:

AMST/ENG 167B —Writing the Nation: James Baldwin, Richard Wright, Toni Morrison
Brandon Callender | W/M 2:30-3:50 PM
May not be taken for credit by students who took ENG 57b in prior years.
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.

 

COML/ENG — Environmental Film, Environmental Justice
Caren Irr | M/W/Th 1:20-2:10 PM
Examines films that address nature, environmental crisis, and green activism. Asks how world cinema can best advance the goals of social and environmental justice. Includes films by major directors and festival award winners. Usually offered every third year.

 

ENG 62B— Contemporary African Literature, Global Perspectives
Emilie Diouf | T/F 11:10 AM-12:30 PM
What is "African" in African literature when the majority of writers are somehow removed from the African societies they portray? How do expatriate writers represent African subjectivities and cultures at the intersection of Diaspora and globalization? Who reads the works produced by these writers? Usually offered every third year.

 

HISP 165B — The Storyteller: Short Fiction in Latin America
Julio Ariza |  M/W 4:05-5:25 PM
Prerequisite: HISP 109b or HISP 111b, or permission of the instructor.
Through a study of Latin American short stories, some of them by consecrated writers, some of them by less well-known, we will reflect on the power of storytelling and narrative to shape subjectivity and community. We will examine topics that traverse Latin American cultures and are expressed in these stories, such tensions between literacy and oral traditions, hegemonic and minority voices, cultural diversity, ethnicity, class, migration, as well as contemporary concerns around issues of gender and sexuality, and in relation to the natural world. This class has an optional creative writing component, as students will have the chance, if so inclined, to write fiction applying concepts and themes studied in class (instead of critical/analytical assignments). Usually offered every third year.

 

JAPN 130A — The Literature of Multicultural Japan
Matthew Fraleigh | M/W 2:30-3:50 PM
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.

 

NEJS 173A — Trauma and Violence in Israeli Literature and Film
Ilana Szobel | T/Th 3:55-5:15 PM
Taught in Hebrew.
Explores trauma and violence in Israeli Literature, film, and art. Focuses on 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.

 

NEJS /WGS 110A— Sexual Violence in Film and Culture
Ilana Szobel | T/Th 2:20-3:40 PM
Explores the effects of sexualized violence in society. While exploring representations of gender-based sexual violence in documentaries and features, stand-up comedy, memoirs, poetry, and visual art, this course will offer a critical discussion on Rape Culture in the 21st century, with particular attention to the intersections of gender, race, sexuality, class, and disability in the construction of sexual violence. Usually offered every second year. 

 

Social Sciences Electives:

AAAS/WGS 136A— Black Feminist Thought
Anya Wallace | M/W/Th 12:20-1:10 PM
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.

 

AAPI/WGS 137B — Performing Asian/American Women on Screen and Scene
Yuri Doolan | T/Th 2:20-3:40 PM
Examines performances of Asian/American women and how they have changed over the course of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. We analyze American film, television, and stage performances to trace the shifting, yet continuous participation of Asian/American women on screen and scene in the United States. Important issues include Orientalism and representation, race and racism, immigration and diasporas, militarisms and empire, gender and hypersexuality, yellow face practices then and now, as well as assimilation and resistance. We ask: what have dominant representations of Asian/American been like from the silent film era to the current digital age? How have the figures of the lotus blossom, the dragon lady, the trafficked woman, the geisha, the war bride, the military prostitute, the orphan, among other problematic tropes emerged to represent Asian/American women? How has the changing political, social, and cultural position of Asian/Americans shaped their participation in media production, as well as their media representations in the United States broadly speaking? Usually offered every second year.

 

SOC 155B— Protest, Politics, and Change: Social Movements
Gowri Vijayakumar | M/W/Th 12:20-1:10 PM
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.

 

WGS 107B - In and Beyond the Powwow Arena: Introduction to Native American Indigenous Dance
Evangelina Macias | M/W/Th 1:20-2:10 PM
Introduces history, contemporary practices, and cultural contexts of Native American Powwow dancing within the United States and Canada. The first half of the semester will focus on Native American Powwows and Powwow dances in their emergence. The second half of the semester will focus on examining contemporary practices and iterations of Powwow dancing outside of the Powwow arena. This course will touch on topics of gender and gender expansiveness, decolonization, body sovereignty, sexual sovereignty, and the crisis of Missing and Murdered Indigenous women, Girls, Two Spirit and Trans people (MMIWG2ST). Special one-time offering, fall 2022.