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 for credit to students for whom this is a first language.
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 for credit to students for whom this is a first language.
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.
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 50 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.
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.
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.
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.
This course explores the concepts of transformational power in music using musical examples from several different cultures. The desire to connect spiritually through music has been found to be virtually universal, but music can communicate that which is beyond language in both sacred and secular settings. Western culture's 21st-century influence has shown that the pervasiveness of music and emphasis on entertainment can cause us not to always recognize its power. How do we define power and music in current cultural trends? Through guided listening to recordings of music from around the world, viewing films, interviews with guest speakers and musicians, and class discussions, we will explore the forms and context of music from different places around the world and make connections between music, transformation, and spirituality. Some of the topics will include compositions by: Hovhaness, Messiaen, Takemitsu, and Ellington; mysticism, zen, and the shakuhachi; Fairuz, Rumi, and Gilbran; the Navajo concept of beauty and harmony; and others.
This course is a comprehensive study of influential female songwriters of the 20th century and their relationships with their cowriters and producers. Students explore the work of Dorothy Fields, Jerome Kern, Laura Nyro, David Geffen, Carole King, Gerry Goffin, Joni Mitchell, David Crosby, Diane Warren, Jack White, and others, and examine these songwriters' inspirations, as well as their impact on subsequent writers. Students also study the interaction of these songwriters with other contemporary artists and thinkers, including other musicians, writers, and visual artists. Students analyze the influence of George and Ira Gershwin, Leonard Bernstein, and doo wop on the songwriters' work, as well as the songwriters' own personal and political lives. In addition, students analyze the elements that brought these exemplary songwriters to the top of the music industry at a very competitive time and investigate the combination of factors that led to success.
This course encompasses the study of musicians who lived in Laurel Canyon, in Los Angeles, California, between the years 1964—1970, including Joni Mitchell; Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young; Mama Cass; Frank Zappa; Jim Morrison, and many others. Students explore the evolution of popular music in this particular place and time. Students also examine the ways that the events and culture of the time contributed to this musical evolution, and the ways that the musical response affected culture. By exploring these connections, students come to see how songwriters engage with their environment as they attempt to write music that reaches and influences a large audience. The class emphasizes the importance of artists considering the world around them, and their place in it, as they create work that feels fulfilling to them, and also inspirational to others.