Courses

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

View the CAST Info Flyer.

Fall 2022 CAST Offerings

Core courses:

CAST 150B - Introduction to Creativity, the Arts and Social Transformation
Toni Shapiro-Phim | T 2:20-5:10 PM
How can music, theater, dance and visual and other arts contribute to community building, 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.

 

CAST 170A — Documenting Immigrant Experiences
Jenny Alexander and Maya Jamaleddine | W 5:30-8:20 PM
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 third year.


CAST 181B - Ethics of Community Engagement Practicum

Toni Shapiro-Phim | T/Th 7:05 PM - 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.
Combining theory and practice, this course supports students in the Creativity, the Arts, and Social Transformation (CAST) minor as they imagine and create a proposal for a particular project. Projects may involve local, regional, and even international collaborations, all helpful in fostering an empathetic and compassionate sense of people's and communities' situations, values, and choices. When this work is conducted within a non-profit organization, it is also a way to nurture future leaders and supporters of community-based and other associations aiming to constructively transform society. Ethical concerns must be at the forefront of the planning and implementation of all such endeavors. Usually offered every year.


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

Core Electives:

CAST 170A — Documenting Immigrant Experiences
Jenny Alexander and Maya Jamaleddine | W 5:30-8:20 PM
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 third year.

 

ANTH 159A — Museums and Public Memory
Ellen Schattschneider | T/F 12:45-2:05 PM
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.

ENG 139A — Publishing Workshop: Literary Editing and Publishing
Elizabeth Bradfield | W 2:30-5:20 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.

 

ENG 143A — The History of Mediascapes and Critical Maker Culture
Dorothy Kim | T/F 11:20 AM-12:30 PM/ Th 11:15 AM-12:05 PM
Class has a required lab component and yields six semester-hour credits towards rate of work and graduation.

To consider how 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, girdle books, wampum, pamphlets, zines, and wearable media technology. Usually offered every third year.

 

FA 181A — Housing and Social Justice
Muna Guvenc | M/W 2:30-3:50 PM
Employs housing as a lens to interrogate space and society, state and market, power and change, in relation with urban inequality and social justice. It trains students to become participants in the global debates about housing. In doing so, it teaches students about dominant paradigms of urban development and welfare and situates such paradigms in the 20th century history of capitalism. It will explicitly adopt a comparative and transnational urban approach to housing and social justice, showing how a globalized perspective provides important insights into local shelter struggles and debates. Usually offered every second year.

 

LGLS 129A — Transitional Justice: Global Justice and Societies in Transition
Melissa Stimell | T/Th 2:20-3:40 PM
Introduces transitional justice, a set of practices that arise following a period of conflict that aim directly at confronting past violations of human rights. This course will focus on criminal prosecutions, truth commissions, and the contributions of art and culture. Usually offered every second year.

 

NEJS 184B — Disability Cultures: Art, Film and Literature of People with Disabilities
Ilana Szobel | T/Th 2:20-3:40 pm
Explores cultural representations of disability in Israel, Europe, and the US. By focusing on literature, film, dance, and visual art, it explores physical, mental, and emotional disability experiences, and their relations to gender, sexuality, nationalism, and identity politics. Usually offered every second year.

 

THA 40A — The Art of Visual Narrative and Production Design
Cameron Anderson | T 9:35AM - 12:25 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 132A — The Collaborative Process
Adrianne Krstansky | W 2:30-5:20 PM
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.


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.


FA 4A1 FA 4A3 (multiple sections) - Sculpture Foundation: 3-D Design I
Christoper Frost | M/W 11:15 AM - 1:05 PM
Tory Fair | T/F | 9:35 AM - 11:25 AM
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 165A — Contemporary Art
M 2:30-5:20 PM
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 millennium with attention to intersections of art and identity, politics, economy, and history. Usually offered every second year.


MUS 86A 1 - Improv Collective
Thomas Hall | T 6:30 PM - 9:30 PM
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.

 

MUS 87A - Music and Dance from Ghana
Benjamin Paulding | M/W 5:00 PM - 6:20 PM
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.

THA 40A — The Art of Visual Narrative and Production Design
Cameron Anderson | T 9:35 AM - 12:25 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 132A — The Collaborative Process
Adrianne Krstansky | W 2:30-5:20 PM
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.


Humanities Electives:

AAPI/ENG 102A — Transpacific Science Fiction
Howie Tam | T/F 9:35 - 10:55 AM
Through critically acclaimed examples of science fiction set in the vast, multitudinous site of the Pacific and its continental edges, this course explores the intersection of technology and the humanities through a range of topics including scientific colonialism, techno-orientalism and dystopia, racial formation in the post-apocalypse, artificial intelligence, and environmental destruction. Some of the course materials include films (Blade Runner, Ghost in the Shell), novels (Chang-Rae Lee, Ruth Ozeki), and a graphic novel. Special one-time offering, fall 2022.

 

ENG 20A — Bollywood: Popular Film, Genre, and Society
Ulka Anjaria | M/T/Th 10:10-11:00 AM
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.

 

ENG 42A — Blackness and Horror
Brandon Callender | M/W/Th 12:20-1:10 PM
Examines the tense and transformative place that blackness has within the horror tradition, beginning with the late nineteenth century and moving into the present. In addition to documentaries and critical texts, we will analyze literature, films, and various aspects of material culture that explore the relationship between blackness and horror. Usually offered every third year.

 

ENG 43B — Medieval Play: Drama, LARP, and Video Games
Dorothy Kim |  T/Th 2:20-3:40 PM
Works with a selection of medieval mystery plays, medieval-themed video games and participatory live-action role play to explore: play structures and design; alternative-world creation by way of immersion; the significance of gender, race, disability, and sexuality in performance. Usually offered every third year.

 

ENG 139A — Publishing Workshop: Literary Editing and Publishing
Elizabeth Bradfield | W 2:30-5:20 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.

 

ENG 143A — The History of Mediascapes and Critical Maker Culture
Dorothy Kim | T/F 11:10 AM-12:30 PM / Th 11:15 AM-12:05 PM
Class has a required lab component and yields six semester-hour credits towards rate of work and graduation.

To consider how 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, girdle books, wampum, pamphlets, zines, and wearable media technology. Usually offered every third year.

 

ENG 171B — African Feminism(s)
Emilie Diouf | M/W/Th 1:25-2:15 PM
Examines African Feminism(s) as a literary and activist movement that underlines the need for centering African women's experiences in the study of African cultures, societies, and histories. Usually offered every third year.

 

NEJS 184B — Disability Cultures: Art, Film and Literature of People with Disabilities
Ilana Szobel | T/Th 2:20-3:40 PM
Explores cultural representations of disability in Israel, Europe, and the US. By focusing on literature, film, dance, and visual art, it explores physical, mental, and emotional disability experiences, and their relations to gender, sexuality, nationalism, and identity politics. Usually offered every second year.

 

Social Sciences Electives:

CAST 170A — Documenting Immigrant Experiences
Jenny Alexander and Maya Jamaleddine | W 5:30-8:20 PM
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 third year. 

 

ANTH 159A — Museums and Public Memory
Ellen Schattschneider | T/F 12:45-2:05 PM
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.

 

LGLS 129A — Transitional Justice: Global Justice and Societies in Transition
Melissa Stimell | T/Th 2:20-3:40 PM
Introduces transitional justice, a set of practices that arise following a period of conflict that aim directly at confronting past violations of human rights. This course will focus on criminal prosecutions, truth commissions, and the contributions of art and culture. Usually offered every second year.