Liberal Arts Courses
This course blends theory and practice in an exploration of digital narrative: how stories can be told with digital and new media technologies. We will work critically and creatively with linear and nonlinear narratives in a range of media: writing, graphics, animation, games, multimedia, virtual worlds, and interactive media. The overall theme of the course will focus on moving image narratives—both linear and nonlinear—that explore ideas about storytelling, time, and memory. In particular, we will consider how interactivity changes narrative, and whether there are new kinds of digital narratives and aesthetics emerging. Students will make movies, websites, DVDs, movies and online installations that illuminate ideas about story, plot, character, time, and narration; comment on their creative work using the critical concepts they learn; and experiment with word processing, graphics, and web design software programs.
This course is a study of the Japanese language focusing on spoken Japanese and everyday conversation techniques. The areas covered include reading and pronunciation of the written language as well as study of Japanese traditions, customs, and literature. This course will focus primarily on speaking and conversation. Note: This course is not available to students for whom Japanese is one of their primary languages and/or primary languages of instruction. Student who have lived in Japan for more than one year should speak to the instructor for appropriate placement.
LJPN-272 is a study of the Japanese language focusing on spoken Japanese and everyday conversational techniques. The course covers reading and pronunciation of the written language, and a continued study of Japanese traditions, customs, and literature. The emphasis will continue to be on speaking and conversation. Note: This course is not available to students for whom Japanese is one of their primary languages and/or primary languages of instruction.
This course builds on the Japanese language skills students developed in Japanese 2. Students continue developing four language skills (speaking, listening, reading, and writing) through pattern drills and communicative activities. Students will learn additional sentence structures, functions, and grammatical patterns. 50 kanji characters will be introduced as students build their overall Japanese language communicative skills. Students are expected to fully master hiragana, katakana, and the 50 kanji. Upon the satisfactory completion of the course, students will be able to discuss their daily routines in Japanese. Note: This course is not available to students for whom Japanese is one of their primary languages and/or primary languages of instruction.
This course builds on the Japanese language skills developed in Japanese 3. In this course students continue developing the four language skills (speaking, listening, reading, and writing) through pattern drills, communicative activities, and tasks. Students learn 80-100 additional kanji characters. Students develop skills to learn to use complex sentences. Upon the satisfactory completion of the course, students will be able to speak, read, and write paragraphs on topics such as personal history, personal experiences, and familiar people and places. Note: This course is not available to students for whom Japanese is one of their primary languages and/or primary languages of instruction.
This course explores the ways music and musicians affect social change and peace. It is a laboratory for both study and action and intellectual and experiential learning that operates on four levels: (1) studying conflict and peacemaking from the interdisciplinary perspectives of international relations, political science, psychology, religion and spirituality, and the arts; (2) learning from artists, activists, and academics who will visit the course to share their projects and perspectives; (3) researching the ways music and peace intersect in history and society; and (4) creating a music and peace project individually and/or as a group. Contemporary music can be a powerful vehicle for expressing and transcending pain caused by violence, racism, poverty, war, and injustice. The course deepens understanding of political, ethnic, racial, national, and religious differences in our own lives and society, while experimenting with ways to respond.
Music and Society Topics allow students to choose from a variety of course themes that change each semester. In Music and Society Topics courses, students explore racial, ethnic, or collective identities, narratives, history, and/or cultural expression as expressed by artists and society. Students are presented with key terminology in the disciplines represented in music and society, such as gender and global studies. Individual course descriptions for each semester are available on the Liberal Arts department webpage.
This course is designed to introduce the students to a comprehensive study of the principal thoughts, concepts of beauty, and aesthetics in the art of India. The articulation of Indian art will reveal the relevance of the philosophies of Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism. The course will provide a socio-historical approach to the understanding of Indian art, dance, and music. The course will also include brief histories of Eastern Civilizations as frameworks for the understanding of their aesthetic and philosophical concepts as presented in works of art. The history and aesthetics of Indian classical and contemporary traditions of visual art, music, and dance will be introduced to the students and some comparisons to the Western tradition will be used to help students relate, contrast, and compare them to their own creative practice that will complement their art, study and in turn grasp a deeper understanding of Indian art, music, and culture.
This course provides an introduction to issues, trends, and arguments in contemporary ethnomusicology, or the cultural study of music. As we listen to a variety of musical examples from Hindipop to hip-hop, we will examine these approaches actively through discussion, listening, and small-scale research projects. We will also engage with themes including youth culture, commercial music production, and cultural hybridity. Finally, we will ask how globalization has transformed musical practices and how we understand them today.
In this course, students will explore the history of the American music industry from 1790 to the present day. Students will study the role of instrument manufacturers, sheet music publishers, and record labels in transforming a basic human activity—music making—into a commodity. Students will also examine the race, class, and gender stereotypes that shaped the creation and marketing of popular music in different eras. Additionally, the course will examine the complex relationship between technological innovation and intellectual property law, studying the industry’s efforts to combat piracy and control how consumers use its products. By focusing on such key moments in the industry’s history as the birth of sound recording and the invention of the electric guitar, students will finish the course with a deeper understanding of the legal, technological, and social structures that inform the creation and consumption of popular music.
This course focuses on musical analysis, contextual cultural explorations, and study of the sociohistorical circumstances fundamental to the emergence of Cuban music and its subsequent evolution as part of the larger cultural and social history of the Americas and the Caribbean, from about the 18th to the 21st century. In addition to an introduction to key figures in the development of Cuban music, we will analyze African-derived musical traditions rooted in ritual and religious practices (e.g. bembé, abakuá, palo) and their affects on the birth of characteristic secular urban and rural genres like contradanza, son, son montuno, comparsa, and rumba. The continuing influence of these major genres on contemporary Cuban music styles such as timba, as well as their longstanding international reach, will be investigated from the perspectives of artistic innovation and aesthetic synthesis, ongoing processes of musical hybridization, and the implicit social struggles of both musicians and cultural carriers at the core of many of these musical expressions.
This course examines the history of the music, artists, business leaders, and practices of one of the most important music genres of the 20th century: R&B/soul. Students explore the influence of the R&B/soul music personalities, and examine how they shaped business practices specific to the field and created a bluprint for the current pop music field dominated by hip-hop moguls such as Russell Simmons, Jay-Z, Sean Combs, the Williams brothers, and Lil' Wayne. The impact of the genre's artists and business people—including artists Ray Charles, Sam Cooke, Stevie Wonder, Sly Stone, and Marvin Gaye; and producers Jimmy Jam, Terry Lewis, Teddy Riley, L.A. Reid, Babyface, Kenny Gamble, Leon Huff, Ahmet Ertegun, Berry Gordy, and Dick Griffey—will be investigated through listening, lecture, discussion and research.