News Highlights - Archive

Toni Shapiro-Phim

May 22, 2019

The Interdisciplinary Minor in Creativity, the Arts, and Social Transformation (CAST) at Brandeis University is delighted to announce the appointment of Toni Shapiro-Phim as Associate Professor of Creativity, the Arts, and Social Transformation and Assistant Director of the Program in Peacebuilding and the Arts (outside the tenure track). Beginning fall semester 2019, Professor Shapiro-Phim will co-chair the CAST minor, offer its core course (CAST 150b), develop two new CAST-designated courses, and support the program in Peacebuilding and the Arts. Read the full announcement.

POETIC JUSTICE, the Brandeis Poetry Slam Team
POETIC JUSTICE Enters Semi-Finals

Brandeis' Poetry Slam Team in Top 20 Collegiate Poetry Teams

POETIC JUSTICE, the Brandeis Poetry Slam Team is officially one of the top 20 collegiate poetry teams in country. This fact is made true, as the team is in preparation for SEMI-FINALS, which take place April 12 at 8:00pm. The team will be competing against Barnard, NYU, Oberlin and University of Miami.

Poestic Justice's travel to the semi-final slam poetry competion was sponsored by the Minor in Creativity, the Arts, and Social Transformation (CAST) with financial support from The Max and Sunny Howard Memorial Foundation (through the support of Naomi Sinnreich, P’13).

 

songbook

April 2: Concert & Book Launch Event

Let’s Make a Better World: Stories and Songs by Jane Sapp is a new resource for music educators, chorus leaders, activists and cultural workers. In it, the nationally admired cultural worker, musician, educator, and activist, Jane Wilburn Sapp, shares her approach to social transformation and its roots in African-American musical traditions. In the book, Jane tells the story of her childhood, nurtured by the Black community while living in the brutal world of the Jim Crow South. She describes her participation in the Black Power movement and introduces us to her mentors. She shares 25 songs she has written with young people and sung with people of all ages, and tells the stories behind each song and offers suggestions or teachers and chorus leaders. The book also includes scores, and all of the songs can be heard on podcasts where Jane’s approach to cultural work is illuminated through conversations with activists, cultural workers, and music educators.

From the introduction, “If You Really Want to Know Me:”

Too often social change work focuses on what communities don’t have: there aren’t enough economic resources; the education system is not responsive; and racism keeps Black people from reaching their full potential. But I began to wonder what would have if we focus on what we do have rather that our deficient. We have each other, our songs, our stories, our imaginations, our experiences surviving and making ugly beautiful. We know how to make a way out of no way. – Jane Sapp, p. 25

Purchase the book now!

 

academy of american poetsA poem by Sarah Terrazano '19, "Fire in the Woods," which examines the layers of occupation at Walden Pond (challenging Thoreau's primacy), was the selection for the 2019 Academy of American Poets Prize. The award was given as part of Brandeis's 2019 University and College Prize for the Academy of American Poets. An outside judge selected two poems, one for each prize.

Sarah is a rising senior at Brandeis, and the Peacebuilding and the Arts Undergraduate Assistant at the Ethics Center. A writer and poet, she is an English/Creative Writing major with minors in Creativity, the Arts, and Social Transformation (CAST) and Hispanic Studies. She is also the Editor-in-Chief of The Brandeis Hoot newspaper. 

Read Sarah's poem.

A Reflection on Ebony Axis

By Sarah Nzisabira, current student in CAST 150b, Introduction to Creativity, the Arts, and Social Transformation

LaShawn Simmons ’18 founded Ebony Axis, a poetry zine for Black women, with help from a CAST grant in 2015. Sarah Nzisabira, a current student of CAST 150b, reflects:

ebony

"I am forever grateful for the spaces I have shared ever since then with real poets, particularly poets of color. An individual who I am particularly appreciative of would have to be Brandeis and CAST alum, LaShawn Simmons ‘18, who cultivated one of the most culturally impactful and transformative spaces I have ever been in - Ebony Axis. Ebony Axis is a literary magazine dedicated to women of color on Brandeis’ campus and with each annual publishing comes a coffeehouse-esque sort of open mic/reading/celebration which I have attended each year since my start at Brandeis. Ebony Axis has been a literal and metaphorical healing space for many women of color, particularly Black women, as it allows us to take a physical and mental break from all that comes with being a Black woman studying on Brandeis’ campus and provides a space dedicated specifically to sharing, communing with and celebrating ourselves."

Learn more about LaShawn Simmons and about Ebony Axis.

Associate Professor of the Practice or Assistant/Associate Professor
(outside the tenure structure)
in Creativity, the Arts, and Social Transformation
Brandeis University

Deadline: March 1, 2019

The minor in Creativity, the Arts, and Social Transformation (CAST) and Brandeis University’s International Center for Ethics, Justice and Public Life (The Center) invite applications for a full-time 9-month position to provide intellectual leadership for our dynamic interdisciplinary minor and to serve as Assistant Director of the Program in Peacebuilding and the Arts, housed in The Center. This is a non-tenured, three-year position, pending positive review at the end of the first year, with potential renewal at the conclusion of three years. The role includes teaching, coordinating faculty development, student advising, planning CAST events, research and creative activities, as well as administrative responsibilities. It is possible that, over time, the position could become year-round. CAST and The Center will offer communities of inquiry supportive of this faculty member’s own research and creative work, ideally at the intersection of practice, reflection and analysis.

Read the full position description. Review of applications will begin on Monday, February 25. March 1, 2019 is the final deadline.

Flawless: More than a Single Story

November 16, 2018

6-8:30pm

Location: Intercultural Center (ICC), Swig Lounge

Come eat, listen, and mingle at our annual coffeehouse event in celebration of this year's issue of Ebony Axis. This community journal features the creative work of self-identifying black women in the Brandeis community. Make sure you come to hear from this year's contributors and special guests Poetic Justice, Brandeis' Slam Poetry Team, eat great food from Flames Restaurant, and receive a copy of the journal (while supplies last!).

If you would like to volunteer the night of the event, please fill out this form.

Make sure to RSVP on Facebook if you plan to attend. We hope to see you there!

Sponsored by Brandeis Pluralism Alliance, CAST Minor, AAS Department, and PARC.

flawless

Listen. Share. Create. Connect.
Listen. Share. Create. Connect.

November 8, 2018

6:30 - 8:00 pm

Location: ICC Lounge

You're invited to join in an evening of creative response and resilient community building in the face of our traumatically divisive political moment. 

Refreshments will be served.

This event is sponsored by the UDRs for the minor in Creativity, the Arts, and Social Transformation (CAST).

She Begat This
20 Years of the Miseducation of Lauryn Hill: A Conversation with Joan Morgan

November 7, 2018

Time: 3:30 pm

Location: Rapaporte Treasure Hall, Goldfarb Library

Joan Morgan is an award-winning cultural critic, feminist author and pioneering hip-hop journalist. Morgan coined the term "hip-hop feminism" in 1999, when she published the groundbreaking book, When Chickenheads Come Home to Roost: A Hip-Hop Feminist Breaks it Down, which is taught at universities globally. Regarded internationally as an expert on the topics of hip-hop, race and gender, Morgan has made numerous television and radio appearances. She has been a Visiting Scholar at The New School, Vanderbilt, Duke and Stanford and is currently a doctoral candidate at New York University. Her most recent book is She Begat This: 20 Years of the Miseducation of Lauryn Hill.

This event is sponosored by the Department of African and African American Studies and cosponsored by the Dean of Students and the minor in Creativity, the Arts, and Social Transformation (CAST).

The Liberian Women's Chorus for Change

Photo Credit: Toni Shapiro-Phim

Because of the War

November 6, 2018

2:00 - 3:30pm

Location: Wasserman Cinematheque, Sachar, Brandeis University

The minor in Creativity, the Arts, and Social Transformation (CAST) welcomes the community to a screening of the award-winning film Because of the War, by Toni Shapiro-Phim, produced in conjunction with the Philadelphia Folklore Project.

In West Africa and North America, four Liberian women use their music to address injustice and inspire action for social change. By telling the stories of Fatu Gayflor, Marie Nyenabo, Zaye Tete, and Tokay Tomah, the Philadelphia Folklore Project aims to link Liberians of all generations and the general public with some of the most renowned traditional Liberian singers and dancers, in order to deepen understandings of the active , constructive roles artists can take in moments of crisis in the lives of families and communities. Gayflor, Nyenabo, Tete, and Tomah formed The Liberian Women's Chorus for Change in 2013 to dedicate themselves to addressing issues of Liberian immigrant women through the performance of traditional and newly-composed songs.

The screening will be followed by a Q&A with the filmmaker.

This is an open session of CAST 150b, Introduction to Creativity, the Arts, and Social Transformation.

For more information, please contact ethics@brandeis.edu.

Announcing: Opening of the CAST Resource Room

March 12, 2018

5:30 pm
The International Center for Ethics, Justice and Public Life
Abraham Shapiro Academic Complex (ASAC), Room 327

We are excited to announce the opening of our new CAST Resource Room, Monday, March 12, at 5:30 p.m., in conjunction with the 20th anniversary celebration of the International Center for Ethics, Justice and Public Life, where it’s located. The first space of its kind for CAST and Creative Writing students on campus, the Resource Room will be a place to meet and collaborate on projects or work individually. Designed and implemented by CAST senior Marcelo Brociner, the Resource Room is filled with comfortable chairs, a computer and desk, and a bookshelf of CAST-related books, movies, and other materials for use and inspiration. It is a welcoming, calming space that offers students a place other than the library to get work done and tap into their creativity. Helping design the space, and serving as mentors, have been Elizabeth Bradfield, Associate Professor of the Practice of English and Co-Director of the Creative Writing Program, and Kristin Parker, Deputy Director of the Rose Art Museum.  Both are also members of the CAST Advisory Committee.

The Resource Room is located in Room 327 in the Ethics Center, which is on the third floor of the Abraham Shapiro Academic Complex (ASAC, the building right across from the Heller School and next to the Mandel Humanities Center).

Do you have suggestions for books or films you’d like to see in the room, or do you have any items you’d like to donate? Please email Marcelo Brociner at marcelotuto@gmail.com.

Call for Student Artists and Creative Change Agents: The CAST Mini-Festival of Arts and Social Justice

Are you interested in displaying artwork or performing music or spoken word at The CAST Mini-Festival of Arts and Social Justice on April 20, 2018? We welcome you to collaborate with us in whatever medium you use, and invite you to join us in presenting and discussing creative work that can help shape social transformation. Please contact Marcelo Brociner at marcelotuto@gmail.com. Don’t want to display your own artwork, but still want to help curate exciting exhibits and work with awesome people? Email Marcelo about joining in on the Festival planning process! Anyone interested is welcome.

April 28, 2017

Read Vice President for Planning and Institutional Research Dan Feldman's address to our Class of 2017 minors.
LaShawn Simmons

October 9, 2015

This Brandeis Now article features CAST minor and Posse Scholar LaShawn Simmons '18, who created "Ebony Axis," a zine for black women on campus.

LaShawn Simmons, Sarah McCarty, Bronte Velez

October 1, 2017

Of 20 eligible students, 4 submitted applications, and 3 were selected to receive the award and subsequent funding. Recipients were chosen by a subset of the CAST student committee. Read about the student grant recipients and their projects.

March 6, 2015

"Exiled from her home country in the midst of civil war, Fatu Gayflor, renowned vocalist, founder and artistic director of the Liberian Women’s Chorus for Change, spoke to the Brandeis community on Thursday, March 5 to share legacies of loss, violence, resilience and hope. Now settled in Philadelphia, Gayflor stated, 'Telling my story has helped me to be the strong person I am today.' Read more.

By Lonnie Firestone

"Change By Degrees: Can theatre for social change be taught? Here’s a roundup of theatre-studies programs where arts activism is on the syllabus." Read the full article.

October 16, 2014

by Theresa Gaffney in the Brandeis Hoot.
2015 CAST Award Winners

December 15, 2014

The faculty committee of the minor in Creativity, the Arts and Social Transformation (CAST) awarded grants of $2,000 each to four members of the Brandeis faculty for research and creative projects. Read more.