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Academic Catalog 2017-2018
Massachusetts College of Art and Design
   
 
  Dec 18, 2017
 
 
    
Academic Catalog 2017-2018

Courses

Contract All Courses |

 

Liberal Arts: Literature, Writing, and Film

  
  •  

    LALW100 Thinking, Making, Writing: Using Words with Clarity and Flair 3 cr.


    An introduction to writing for today’s global communication. Six to eight writing assignments
    designed to develop deep thinking skills. Course includes expository and critical essays, with
    some requiring research. Students also practice close reading skills with outstanding pieces of
    prose,  poetry, fiction, and nonfiction selected for the artist. [Formerly known as Written
    Communication]

    Lecture/Seminar
    Culturally Diverse Content
    All College Required
    Fall/Spring
  
  •  

    LALW200 Literary Traditions 3 cr.


    An exploration of the sources of culture through a survey of literary masterpieces from the ancient world to the seventeenth century.

    Prerequisites: LALW100; FRSM100 (Freshman Seminar

    Lecture/Seminar
    Culturally Diverse Content
    All College Required
    Fall/Spring
  
  •  

    LALW201 Men, Women, and the Myth of Masculinity 3 cr.


    The course examines the idea of masculinity and how it is portrayed in literature from ancient times to the twenty-first century. In addition to studying traditional views of manhood, we will also look at men’s attitudes towards women, since “masculinity” is usually defined in opposition to “femininity.” There will be many opportunities to discuss perceptions of what it means to be a man or a woman, and to explore the elusive concept of gender identity. The syllabus will include works by Shakespeare, Ovid, Ibsen, and Hemingway, among others. We will also watch and listen to selected films and operas.

    Prerequisites: LALW200

    Lecture/Seminar
    Culturally Diverse Content
    All College Elective
  
  •  

    LALW205 Children’s Literature 3 cr.


    What makes a children’s book a classic? We’ll find out as we read, analyze, and enjoy the best of the field–fantasies from Peter Pan to Harry Potter, realistic novels from Anne of Green Gables to Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry, and stories falling somewhere in between, like The Secret Garden. Though our emphasis will be on longer books for older children, we’ll also consider fairy tales and picture books. Final project: writing a “classic” children’s book, illustrating one, or both.

    Prerequisites: LALW200

    Lecture/Seminar
    Culturally Diverse Content
    All College Elective
  
  •  

    LALW206 Graphic Novels 3 cr.


    The course explores the art and composition of the graphic novel and examines its many sub-genres, from superhero tales to memoirs to manga. The textbook is Scott McCloud’s Understanding Comics. Other texts include Watchmen, Contract With God, Sandman, Maus, and Persepolis. For the final project, students create and make preliminary sketches for an original graphic novel.

    Prerequisites: LALW200

    Lecture/Seminar
    All College Elective
  
  •  

    LALW210 Famous Writers & their Celebrated Illustrators 3 cr.


    Famous Writers and their Celebrated Illustrators combines literature and art. Discussed are great works of literature and the visual images they inspired. Writers include Dante and Cervantes. Pushkin, Gogol, Corneille, Swift, Defoe and Wilde, among others, are discussed. Illustrators include Botticelli, Dore, Delacroix, Beardsley, Picasso, Pasternak (the father), Favorsky, Baskin, and numerous contemporary illustrators.

    Prerequisites: LALW200

    Lecture/Seminar
    Culturally Diverse Content
    All College Elective
  
  •  

    LALW214 History and Issues of Documentary Films 3cr


    Documentary, as defined by John Grierson, is the
    creative treatment of actuality. Grierson coined
    the term in his review of Robert Flahertys Moana
    (1926). Contemporary culture expands on classical
    rhetorical and observational forms to include
    docusoaps, agitprop, advocacy, animation, sensory
    ethnography, mockumentary, first-person, and more.
    In this course we will explore the origins of
    documentary, discuss the central issues of the
    field, examine historical and contemporary trends,
    and identify the aesthetic strategies and
    techniques used by documentary makers along with
    their rhetorical effects.

    Prerequisites: LALW200

    Lecture
    Undergraduate Elective
    Spring
  
  •  

    LALW220 Why I Write, Why I Create 3cr


    This course introduces students to the history and practices of creative nonfiction writing. Here our connections to people, places, and things are expressed through nature and environmental writing, travel and adventure too. In creative nonfiction, both memoir and narrative nonfiction include the “I,” because direct experience is an important part of this genre. Creative nonfiction writing gives us the space we need to reflect and give meaning to moments in
    our lives. Creative nonfiction writing is an experimental art because meaning is discovered in the act of creating; playing with form is part of the process. Students develop six essays of their own that concentrate on one form: flash nonfiction. No prior writing experience required. [Formerly Titled: Creative Nonfiction]

    Prerequisites: LALW200

    Lecture
    Undergraduate Elective
    Fall
  
  •  

    LALW221 Writing Climate Change: Stories of Apocalyptic Weather 3cr.


    Devastating weather events have created a new genre of environmental writing. In May of 2013 an
    Oklahoma tornado was 2.6 miles wide, the widest in history, devastating an entire section of the
    city. Another tornado had winds of 301 mph, the highest ever recorded for any weather event.
    Stories of disappearing glaciers and vanishing rivers do not f t easily into the tradition of
    nature writing. The contemporary environmental essay combines personal narrative, research
    (and/or reportage), and concepts from philosophy or science. At the same time, climate deniers
    ignore the scientif c consensus that human activities are indeed the source of these
    disparate weather-related events and disappearing species. Through readings and f lms students will
    explore the tradition of environmental writing and how storytelling has changed during the
    climate change debate of the last two decades. Among other assignments students will write two
    essays in the form of the contemporary environmental essay, which will integrate
    storytelling, personal ref ection, and concepts from philosophy or science. Students will also
    debate both sides of the polarized climate debate. {Formerly titled Environmental
    Writing:Era of Climate Change]

    Prerequisites: LALW200

    Lecture
    Sustainabilty Content
    Spring
  
  •  

    LALW222 Fantasy Worlds 3cr


    Modern fantasy literature consists of fantastic
    stories set in imagined  worlds. It features
    characterscreated by the author rather than drawn
    directly from traditional myths and legends. The
    course examines the origins of the genre, which
    emerged during the nineteenth century, and which
    has taken both epic and satiric forms. Although
    some attention is given to the legends,
    folktales, and romances that provided models and
    inspiration to fantasy authors, the main focus is
    on the classic works of the genre.

    Prerequisites: LALW200

    Lecture
    Undergraduate Elective
    Spring
  
  •  

    LALW225 Media Flux 3cr.


    This course surveys the modern history of publishing, examines the transition into digital
    media, and looks forward to a (hopefully more perfect) convergence of audio/visual/textual
    modes of communication.  It also provides a grounding in the editorial conventions of the
    major media. The course is thus designed to provide both a general education in literary
    culture and a specific set of tools currently in use by writers, editors, designers, and other
    media professionals.

    Prerequisites: LALW-200

    Spring Only
  
  •  

    LALW227 The Female Gaze in Film 3cr


    This course is an introduction to feminist film
    and theory with a particular focus on the concept
    of the Female Gaze. Students will explore issues
    of representation, visual pleasure,spectatorship,
    scopophilia and subjectivity. We explore how
    women are represented in mainstream film, and the
    function and consequence of these representations
    in a social, historical and cultural context. The
    course will examine the works of filmmakers such
    as Alfred Hitchcock, David Lynch, Sally Potter,
    Jane Campion and Andrea Arnold, with a specific
    focus on feminist filmmakers who subvert
    conventional cinematic trends.

    Prerequisites: LALW-200

    Lecture
    Spring
  
  •  

    LALW229 Social Justice Documentaries 3cr


    This course will introduce social justice issues
    as they are represented and explored through
    documentary film and video. The course provides a
    conceptual overview of the forms, strategies,
    structures and conventions of documentary film
    and video. The class will examine documentaries
    that construct arguments about the power
    relations in society, while attempting to raise
    awareness and motivate action for social justice.
    Students will consider dominant, experimental and
    emergent modes of representation; including
    important documentary texts, movements,
    filmmakers and selected documentary genres.
    Specific topics for the course include: Mental &
    Physical Disabilities, Notions of “Race”, Crime &
    Punishment, Immigration, War, Gender & Sexual
    Identity, Environmental Concerns, Social Class &
    Workers’ Rights, Personal Narratives, Politics,
    Education, and Counter Cultures.

    Through this course, students should gain
    knowledge of the current theoretical dilemmas and
    debates in documentary filmmaking, including
    questions of how to define documentaries, what
    constitutes the ethical treatment of subjects and
    subject matter, documentary’s construction and
    positioning of audiences, as well as political
    and economic constraints on documentary
    filmmaking. Ultimately, the course will emphasize
    critical thinking and viewing skills related to
    representations of the social world through
    documentaries.

    Prerequisites: LALW-200

    Lecture
    Spring

  
  •  

    LALW233 Creative Writing Workshop: A Multigenre Workshop 3cr


    This course introduces students to creative
    writing-through poetry and fiction-and explores
    hybrid genres and connections between word and
    image. Students learn the elements of craft that
    are particular to each genre and universal for
    both. They write their own pieces that are
    critiqued by peers and instructor. Students also
    read literature as models for their own writing
    and become familiar with contemporary literary
    journals.

    Seminar
    Spring
  
  •  

    LALW234 Immersive Media: Storytelling 3cr


    This course focuses on the art of telling a story
    with immersive media.  Students will have the
    opportunity to learn and practice the skills
    necessary to create an engaging audio-visual work
    for a full dome projection system.  The students
    will be working in collaboration with the Charles
    Hayden Planetarium at the Museum of Science in
    Boston. Students will explore and research topics
    in art and scienceand communicate them through
    storytelling and scriptwriting.  Over the course
    of the semester, students may concentrate their
    engagement on different facets of the production
    (conceptual development, research, storyboarding,
    script writing, sound, video/photography,
    post-production, public relations, project
    management). The class will share readings,
    discussions and examples of the
    interrelationships of art, science, and
    contemporary culture. Three production groups
    will produce 6-10 minute shorts specific to their
    particular topic of choice. These three pieces
    will be woven together for a final show open to
    the public at the Hayden Planetarium. A
    co-requisite with SIM course MPSM355. Students
    are required to register for both courses.

    Prerequisites: LALW-200

    Seminar
    Spring
  
  •  

    LALW300 Playwriting 3 cr.


    A course that teaches the fundamentals of writing drama for the stage. Students study the craft of successful plays by Edward Albee, August Wilson, Paula Vogel and others, applying what they learn to writing their own scenes and plays. The course culminates in a public developmental reading of some of the best one-act plays written by the students.

    Prerequisites: LALW200

    Lecture/Seminar
    Culturally Diverse Content
    All College Elective
  
  •  

    LALW301 Monster Madness 3 cr.


    We round up the usual suspects: the appalling and tragic monster and his equally tragic and appalling creator; the charismatic vampire and his bevy of vamps; the traveling salesman who finds himself transformed into a giant dung-beetle. More broadly, the course studies the idea of monstrosity and the ways in which monsters represent the shadowy side of human nature: what people fear and what they desire. The syllabus includes Frankenstein, Dracula, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Kafka’s Metamorphosis, and Nabokov’s Lolita.

     

    Prerequisites: LALW200

    Lecture/Seminar
    Culturally Diverse Content
    All College Elective
    Summer (PCE)
  
  •  

    LALW305 Russian Short Story 3 cr.


    Russian literature burst on to world stage suddenly and unexpectedly in the early nineteenth century and almost immediately gained tremendous worldwide influence. Everyone knows the names of Tolstoy and Dostoevsky, Chekhov and Pasternak, Nabokov and Solzhenitsyn. Great Russian literature is also uniquely connected to Russian philosophy and politics. Reading and studying these works helps students to better understand the trials and tribulations of modern times.

    Prerequisites: LALW200

    Lecture/Seminar
    Culturally Diverse Content
    All College Elective
    Fall and Spring
  
  •  

    LALW306 Modernist Word and Image 3 cr.


    Nearly 100 years on, the visual and verbal experiments of high Modernism still have the
    power to arrest our gaze and our attention. In this course, we explore the unique conversation between word and image that occurred between approximately 1910 and 1945. How did visual artists respond to innovations in poetic form? What does literature look like when it aspires to be pictorial or visual? Do artists and writers actually practice the principles laid out in their manifestos? Questions like these-and many others- guide our investigation and analysis. Texts include seminal writings from Futurism, Dadaism, and Surrealism; avant-garde poetry by Apollinaire, Pound, Stein, Williams, and others; Wyndham Lewis’ periodical Blast; Virginia Woolf’s To the Lighthouse and other readings that complicate the boundaries between mediums, genres, and forms of
    expression.

     

    Prerequisites: LALW200

    Lecture/Seminar
    Culturally Diverse Content
    All College Elective
    Fall/Spring
  
  •  

    LALW308 Lyric Poetry 3 cr.


    Literary analysis and oral readings of lyric poems from several eras and cultures. Particular attention is given to subtle interactions between linguistic and structural elements such as rhythm, meter, stanza form, syntax, diction, and imagery.

    Prerequisites: LALW200

    Lecture/Seminar
    Culturally Diverse Content
    All College Elective
  
  •  

    LALW309 Twentieth Century American Literature 3 cr.


    A focus on major writers who emerged in the twentieth century. The course concentrates on late twentieth century figures and earlier modernist writers.

    Prerequisites: LALW200

    Lecture/Seminar
    Culturally Diverse Content
    All College Elective
  
  •  

    LALW312 Creative Writing: The Essay 3 cr.


    This course, conducted as a workshop with essays read aloud and critiqued in class, provides students with an opportunity to explore through their own writing the power and variety of the essay form. From memoir to observation, personal profile to political observation, this course encourages students to transmit interior reflection and external observation into essay form. Assigned reading of essays. Grade based on 25-page portfolio (usually five essays).

    Prerequisites: LALW200

    Lecture/Seminar
    Culturally Diverse Content
    All College Elective
  
  •  

    LALW313 Caribbean Diaspora Literature: Beyond the ‘Tropical Paradise’ 3 cr.


    This course explores the concept of ‘border’ as a geographic and symbolic space by focusing on the work of contemporary writers from the Caribbean region, many of whom reside  in the USA and Europe. The course provides students with an overview of the histories, cultural identities, literary and creative expressions of the Caribbean archipelago. Students consider the role that Caribbean diaspora fiction, poetry, and critical theory play in contemporary North American and European societies.  Readings are in English or translated into English.

    Prerequisites: LALW200

    Lecture/Seminar
    Culturally Diverse Content
    All College Elective
  
  •  

    LALW317 Literature from Immigrants in America 3 cr.


    This course focuses on literary texts and films that examine the experience of immigrants in the USA from the 1950s to today. Through the reading of excerpts of novels, short stories and critical essays, and the viewing of feature films and documentaries, the course treats issues that have affected successive generations of Irish, Jewish, Italian, Japanese, Indian and more recently Hispanic/Caribbean immigrants in the USA. The course devotes special attention to the experience of marginalization of the immigrants, changes in their family structure, the process of ‘becoming American,’ and the social and cultural impact these communities have had on US national identity. The course also considers ways in which immigrant writers both adopt and adapt the English language, while changing and often enriching it, and how they work against conventional cultural and visual representations of immigrants in US media. [Formerly Immigrants in America]

    Prerequisites: LALW200

    Lecture/Seminar
    Culturally Diverse Content
    All College Elective
    Fall/Spring
  
  •  

    LALW318 Word and Image in the 19th Century: The Romantic Tradition 3cr


    This course investigates the connections between poetry, painting, and the graphic arts in the nineteenth century. The course treats how writers and artists shared a series of similar concerns over revolution, nature, and the individual and how these concerns combined to shape the development of a specifically romantic tradition within the literary and visual arts. Writers and artists include Blake, Wordsworth, Byron, Rossetti, Goya, Constable, Turner, Delacroix and the Pre-Raphaelites.

    Prerequisites: LALW200

    Lecture
    Undergraduate Elective
  
  •  

    LALW320 Poetry Workshop 3 cr.


    In this course, students write, revise, and share poems as a community, experimenting with new subjects and new forms and responding attentively to poems written by other class members. Additionally, they consider published poetry to learn key elements of poetic craft. Students assemble their original poems into portfolios to demonstrate their command of imagery, diction, stanza, line, voice, form, prosody (sound and rhythm), and other aspects of richly dynamic poetry.

    Prerequisites: LALW200

    Lecture/Seminar
    Culturally Diverse Content
    All College Elective
  
  •  

    LALW322 Shakespeare: On Film and In Print, Part 1 3 cr.


    A study of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Romeo and Juliet, Henry V, Hamlet, and King Lear, using a genre approach. Emphasis is on reading and understanding Shakespeare. The films are studied as contemporary realizations and interpretations of the plays.

    Prerequisites: LALW200

    Lecture/Seminar
    Culturally Diverse Content
    All College Elective
  
  •  

    LALW323 Nationalism in Music & Literature 3cr


    This course focuses on the interplay of folk and sacred music and idioms, language and dialect, and regionalist and nationalist literature in the evolution of 19th-century musical regionalist and nationalist expression.   It treats the confluence of history and geography, the significance of minority-language rights and expression, and the development of human rights and religious freedoms as central to understanding artists’, composers’ and authors’ motivations.

    Prerequisites: LALW200
     

    Lecture
    Undergraduate Elective
    Spring
  
  •  

    LALW326 Asian Cinema: Postwar India, Japan & China 3cr


    This course looks at the development of Asian cinema through the lens of three of the most important national film industries: India, Japan, and China.  How do the films from these countries reflect diverse but interrelated cultural traditions?  How is the cinematic representation of these traditions shaped by a dialogue with Hollywood and European film?  How does the development of post-war Asian cinema reflect the shift from a national to a more global film market?  This course explores these and other related questions though a combination of weekly film screenings, lecture, and class discussion.  Directors include Satyajit Ray, Kenji Mizoguchi, Akira Kurosawa, John Woo, and Wong Kar-Wai.

    Prerequisites: LALW200

    Lecture
    Undergraduate Elective
    Fall & Spring
  
  •  

    LALW329 Literature & Culture of the Great War 3 cr


    The Great War (1914-1918) altered global politics, national cultures, language, consciousness, and aesthetics in ways that the world is still processing. This course explores the culture into which the war exploded; the lived and written experience of soldiers and civilians alike; and hallmarks of the diverse body of literary and artistic output that responded to the horrors of mechanized trench warfare, shellshock, and massive loss. The reading list includes works by Robert Graves, David Jones, Guillaume Apollinaire, Virginia Woolf, Erich Maria Remarque, Wilfred Owen, and others.

    Prerequisites: LALW200

    Lecture
    Elective
    Fall/Spring
  
  •  

    LALW332 The End is Near! Envisioning the Apocalypse 3cr.


    The course introduces apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic literary texts. Readings include eighteen and nineteen century end-of-days texts by Daniel Defoe, Anita Letita Barbauld, Edgar Allen Poe, and present-day manifestations of this idea (among others, Cormac McCarthy, The Road, Robert Kirkman & Tony Moore, The Walking Dead). The course treats the concept of “dystopia” as an expression of recurring and contemporary anxieties.

    Prerequisites: LALW200

    Lecture
    Sustainabilty Content
    Spring
  
  •  

    LALW333 Silent Film Miracles 3cr.


    This course introduces students to masterpieces
    of silent cinema, the now lost art form that
    predates the widespread adoption of sound-on-disc
    and sound-on-film recording technology in the
    late 1920s. Students undertake research on
    aspects of silent cinema. Readings include Silent
    Stars (Jeanine Basinger), Silent Players (Anthony
    Slide), Hollywood: The Pioneers (Kevin Brownlow &
    John Kobal), and others. The viewing list
    includes Battleship Potemkin, Beau Geste, Ben
    Hur, Broken Blossoms, Cabinet of Dr. Cagliari,
    City Lights, He Who Gets Slapped, Hell’s Angels,
    Hunchback of Notre Dame, It, Man With Movie
    Camera, Metropolis, My Best Girl, Passion of Joan
    of Arc, Peter Pan, Prix de Beauté, Rain, Seventh
    Heaven, Show People, Son of the Sheik, Speedy,
    Stella Dallas, The Big Parade, The Crowd, The
    Great White Silence, Thief of Bagdad, Trip to the
    Moon.

    Prerequisites: LALW200

    Lecture
    Spring
  
  •  

    LALW338 Film Script Writing 3cr.


    This course will introduce students to the many facets of writing screenplays for short films.
    Designed as a writing workshop, students will develop scripts, from idea to end product,
    through individual and collaborative exercises, rewriting, and hearing your scripts read aloud
    and discussed. Readings and screenings will supplement our course.

    Prerequisites: LALW-200

    Fall Only
  
  •  

    LALW339 Lyric Arts of the Sea 3cr.


    Lyric Arts of the Sea is a travel course about the art and literature of the sea, which includes
    class meetings during the Spring semester and one week  sailing on board SSV Oliver
    Hazard Perry. After exploring some great lyric literature and visual art inspired by the
    sublimity and power of the sea, students will have the chance to encounter the ocean (and
    the awe it can generate) first hand. Learning to navigate, standing watch, practicing knots,
    participating in sail handling, and other sea skills will be complemented by your own
    creative work during your week aboard a twenty-sailed tall ship. The ship will sail from
    Boston Harbor to Newport, RI. While there will be port stops along the way, this trip is primarily
    about the experience of being at sea. No previous experience aboard a ship is necessary, but a
    sense of adventure is mandatory!

    Prerequisites: LALW-200

    Students musy apply for travel courses thorugh the office of international education.

    TRAVEL COURSE
    Spring Only

  
  •  

    LALW340 Black Cinema:American Myth, Racial Ideology and Hollywood 3cr.


    “What is “”Black Cinema”“? How did “”Black Cinema”” originate? What gives “”Black Cinema”” a
    distinct voice of its own? Must “”Black Cinema”” only be directed by African Americans, feature an
    all Black cast, or only address a Black audience and “”Black issues”” in order to qualify as
    “”Black Cinema”“? Should we differentiate between “”Black Cinema”” and “”Cinema”“? What are the
    ethical, social and political implications central to making these distinctions? This course
    examines those questions while chronicling the history and present state of “”Black
    Cinema”“(from the early 20th century filmmaking of Oscar Micheaux; Blaxploitation films of Gordon
    Parks and Melvin Van Peebles; fiction films by Charles Burnett, Spike Lee, Lee Daniels, Steve
    McQueen and Dee Rees; documentaries by Marlon Riggs, Stanley Nelson and June Cross; as well as
    animation films made for TV and media streamed online). Despite the contributions to cinema by
    these distinguished people of African descent, there remains a significant need for Black cinema
    studies within the broader areas of Africana Studies in the US and abroad. For these reasons,
    this course explores how Black authorship, content and reception have been defined and
    reconsidered in relation to dominant American myths, racial ideology and film industry
    practices, that have long presented limited and distorted social and political constructs of
    African Americans and the African Diaspora in cinema. This course challenges those portrayals
    and assumptions through thoughtful inquiries into the intricate modes of racial coding of moving
    images.

    Prerequisites: LALW-100 & FRSM-100

    Fall Only
  
  •  

    LALW346 Camelot: Tales of King Arthur 3 cr.


    A study of the literary epics of the legends surrounding Camelot and King Arthur, their origins in the middle ages and subsequent variations.

    Prerequisites: LALW200

    Lecture/Seminar
    Culturally Diverse Content
    All College Elective
  
  •  

    LALW349 History of Film 3 cr.


    This course surveys film history from the 1890s to the present. Students use a history of film textbook and general history readings to study films demonstrating the evolving development of motion picture art and the motion picture industry. Students undertake film making exercises and produce written research treating trends and questions in motion picture history.

    Prerequisites: LALW200

    Lecture/Seminar
    Culturally Diverse Content
    All College Elective
  
  •  

    LALW362 Twenty-first Century Novel 3 cr.


    This course examines developing trends and standards for English-language novels in the twenty first century. It treats nine geographically and stylistically varied permutations of this long-fiction art form (including literary prize-winners and bestsellers) while attempting to place them in the web of literary tradition. Touchstone text and beginning book is the acclaimed 20th century novel Howard’s End, in which author E.M Forster famously exhorts his readers to “only connect.” In this spirit, the course seeks to connect the best of what authors are writing now with traditions of literary practice, always looking ahead to probable evolutions in the twenty first century.

    Prerequisites: LALW200

    Lecture/Seminar
    All College Elective
  
  •  

    LALW365 Women’s Literature in Comparative Perspective 3cr.


    In this course we read and discuss twentieth century and contemporary women writers and
    critical thinkers who traverse more than one culture, nationality, and geography. Their
    writings focus on women’s identity, experiences and creative practice in response to colonial and
    post-colonial histories, sexism, racism, and various forms of inequity and oppression. The
    course invites students to reflect on equity, cultural competence, inclusion and empathy in the
    readings and class discussion. In line with its comparative perspective, the course places in
    dialogue writers from the Americas and the Caribbean, the Middle-East and West Africa, in a
    dynamic play of resonance and dissonance, similarities and differences. The weekly classes
    allow for the integration of in-depth discussions, close reading of the texts,
    presentations, and critiques of visual arts. You are invited to think transversally across these
    texts, and to forge connections between the themes of the class, the reality you know, and
    your creative process. [Formerly Women’s Literature in International Perspective,
    Women’s Literature in Global Perspective]

    Prerequisites: LALW200

    Lecture
    Culturally Diverse and Sustainabilty Content
    Fall & Spring
  
  •  

    LALW400 Directed Study 3 cr.


    A Liberal Arts directed study is a research project selected by a student in a Liberal Arts discipline. Typically, the study results in a research paper of thirty plus pages or the equivalent, as agreed upon by the faculty member supervising the project. Because of its advanced nature, a Liberal Arts LALW directed study is open only to seniors and is limited to one per semester. No more than two Liberal Arts directed studies may be counted toward Liberal Arts degree requirements. Students seeking to register for a LALW directed study must execute a directed study proposal form that describes the proposed project, includes a bibliography, and describes the final project. Liberal Arts directed studies proposals require the approval of the Liberal Arts Department chair.

     

    Prerequisites: LALW200 enrollment senior elective, and consent of the instructor.

    Lecture/Seminar
    Culturally Diverse Content
  
  •  

    LALW402 Advanced Poetry Workshop 3cr.


    In this workshop, students write, revise, and discuss their own poetry in peer critique
    workshops as they sharpen their poetry writing skills beyond an introductory level and examine
    how their own poetry is situated in the context of contemporary poetry. Guided by peer critique
    and the instructor’s feedback, they assemble a final collection of poetry, possibly
    demonstrating how their poems intersect with their own major. Students also delve into a wide
    array of published poetry to deepen their understanding of poetry, compose a statement of
    their aesthetics, gain experience as editors, and write a critical study of some poets in relation
    to their own aesthetics. Finally, as a collective, students read their poems in public
    and/or publish a compilation of selected poems and artwork.

    Prerequisites: LALW-320 or LALW-308 or by permission of instructor.
    For permission, please email Cheryl Clark
    (cclark@massart.edu) a sample of 5 poems in one document
    with a brief explanation of why you would like to take this
    workshop. Include a list of relevant courses you have
    taken. If I find that this sample is not sufficiently
    strong, indicating that your command of poetry writing is
    insufficient for success in the class, I will let you know
    by e-mail as soon as I can. Send the sample as soon as
    possible.

    Spring Only
  
  •  

    LALW403 Writing an Artist’s Statement 3 cr.


    A workshop in which initial drafts and subsequent revisions of students’ writings are photocopied, distributed to all members of the class, and critiqued. The objective is to help students develop artist’s statements that: (a) are appropriate to the purposes for which they are written; (b) articulate what the student wants to say about their art; and (c) communicate clearly to the intended audiences.

     

    Prerequisites: Seniors Only

    Lecture/Seminar
    Culturally Diverse Content
    Senior Elective
  
  •  

    LALW406 Friday Night Lights:An American Mirror 3cr.


    This interdisciplinary course addresses the American television drama    series, Friday
    Night Lights (2006-2011), a show that treats beliefs,behaviors,    and values    common to many 21st
    century Americans. In    consultation with the professor, each student proposes, develops,and
    completes a semester-long research or creative project that    considers an aspect    of this
    award-winning    television series (for instance, theshow’s worldview, or its writing, acting,
    editing, directing). Approved    student projects    manifest the perspective of    two or more
    Liberal Arts disciplines.

    In class meetings, students view     or review Season One of Friday    Nights Lights (all
    episodes)    and related material. They exchange    responses    to the screened    material. They
    present original scholarlyor creative    projects in    preliminary, intermediate, and final stages.    Presenters furnish ancillary    readings that contextualize    their presentations. Class
    members peer review all projects.    Class    members publish their completed scholarly project,
    creative    project,    or scholarly/creative project on a dedicated class website    
    class.”

    Prerequisites: LALW-200

    Spring Only

  
  •  

    LALW407 Literature & Culture of the Great War 3cr.


    The Great War (1914-1918) altered global politics, national cultures, language,
    consciousness, and aesthetics in ways that the world is still processing. Planned for the
    centenary of the beginning of Great War hostilities, this course will explore the culture
    into which the war exploded; the lived and written experience of soldiers and civilians
    alike; and hallmarks of the diverse body of literary and artistic output that responded to
    the horrors of mechanized trench warfare, shellshock, and massive loss. The reading list
    includes works by Robert Graves, David Jones, Guillaume Apollinaire, Virginia Woolf, Erich
    Maria Remarque, Wilfred Owen, and others.

    Prerequisites: LALW-200

    Spring Only
  
  •  

    LALW408 Imagining Others: From Strangers to Cyborgs 3cr.


    “Imagining Others” is an intentionally ambiguous
    title. This class is as much about how
    “otherness” is being imagined in our culture as
    it is about the imaginative power of the voices
    that have been historically silenced,
    marginalized, made into “others.” In this class,
    we will read about and critique a wide array of
    narratives of “otherness”: from strangers to
    androids, from artificial intelligences to
    aliens, from avatars to cyborgs. We will delve
    into colonialization and de-colonization, cyborg
    feminism, Afrofuturism, and move across science
    fiction stories, art, and popular culture. We
    will also interrogate the value and limits of our
    communication technologies, and the use that
    artists and activists are making of the
    cyber-world. The common thread of the works we
    study is that they all hack into systems of
    meaning based on the dualism “us vs. them”.

    Due to its integration of reading, art-critiquing
    and art-making, Imagining Others is an ideal
    class for artists approaching their final
    projects in their major departments.

    Due to the intensive nature of this class, Prof.
    Preziuso does not accept any student who wishes
    to enroll in her class after week 1 of the
    semester, hence having missed the first week of
    class.

    Prerequisites: LALW-200

    Fall Only

  
  •  

    LALW409 20th & 21st Cent. Irish Literature 3cr


    Engaging the literatures of Ireland means
    confronting questions of Irish identity and
    political autonomy.   At the same time, the
    novels and poems and plays by her citizen-writers
    take up questions of love, war, religious belief,
    and family that transcend historical and
    geographical boundaries.   Surveying the
    landscape of Irish literature from the Celtic
    Twilight of Yeats’ time to the current day, this
    course will examine works by James Joyce, Seamus
    Heaney, Colum McCann, Emma Donoghue and others as
    responses to Ireland’s oft-changing political
    climate.  But even as these works pose the
    question “What is it to be Irish?” they also
    experiment with form and language, inviting the
    reader into the beauties of Ireland’s literary
    legacy.   Students will complete frequent short
    writings, a formal presentation, and a
    significant final writing project.

    Prerequisites: LALW-200

    Seminar
    Spring
  
  •  

    LALW410 Opera and the fusion of the Arts 3 cr.


    What is opera? German composer Richard Wagner described it as a “total art work,” combining music, drama, singing, and scenic design. This course encourages new ways of thinking about the relationships between different artistic disciplines and forms. Students view and discuss a selection of operas from the seventeenth through twentieth centuries. No classical music background is required, and no one is expected to sing. In a final project combining artwork and critical writing, students imagine and design a production for an opera of their choice.

    Prerequisites: LALW200

    Lecture/Seminar
    All College Elective
  
  •  

    LALW411 Man Vs. Wild and Other Stories We Tell 3cr


    Droughts scorch the Middle East and the American
    southwest. Wildfires rip across Indonesia. Rising
    sea levels are already beginning to swallow up
    island nations, and warming waters are decimating
    ocean life. As the effects of climate change
    wreak havoc on human societies and ecosystems
    across the globe, they also shine an increasingly
    bright spotlight on how human beings think about
    and interact with the natural world. This class
    will explore changing attitudes toward nature
    over several centuries, including, and
    especially, the present day. We will discuss the
    role that writing and art have played in shaping
    our understanding of the natural world over time
    (with possible selections from Genesis, Edmund
    Burke, William Wordsworth, Charles Darwin, and
    Henry David Thoreau). We will also explore how
    writers, artists, and filmmakers are confronting
    the representational challenges posed by climate
    change today (possible readings include Margaret
    Atwood, Oryx and Crake; Paolo Bacigalupi, The
    Water Thief; Indra Sinha, Animal’s People; Kim
    Stanley Robinson, Green Earth; selections from
    Bill McKibben, Stacy Alaimo, William Cronon, bell
    hooks, E.O. Wilson, and Eduardo Kohn; films such
    as Racing Extinction, This Changes Everything).
     
    Over the course of the semester, you will
    undertake research on an interdisciplinary
    project that investigates a site of human-nature
    interaction of your choosing, traces its impact
    on the world, and explores creative ways to
    express this impact. You will receive feedback on
    this project in beginning, intermediary, and
    final stages, and it will include both written
    and creative components. We will have several
    exciting opportunities to broaden our
    perspectives on this topic. First, this course
    will be participating in the interdisciplinary
    Sustainability Studio in the DMC, through which
    we will be opening several of our classes to the
    public. Second, we will meet multiple times over
    the semester with Professor Nava’s summative
    elective course, which approaches many of the
    issues we will be addressing from a scientific
    perspective that will deepen our humanistic one.

    Prerequisites: LALW-200

    Seminar
    Spring
  
  •  

    LALW412 Your Ted Talk 3cr


    Students conceive, propose, revise, and deliver
    an original ten-minute TED-style talk that
    presents a participant’s senior
    (studio-department) thesis, or a participant’s
    artist’s statement, or a participant’s statement
    of core beliefs. Participants review
    widely-shared TED Talks and the research,
    literature, and other sources informing them.
    Students critique each other’s TED Talks. Talks
    are digitally recorded and edited by Mass Art
    technicians. Talks may be internet-posted.

    Prerequisites: LALW-200

    Seminar
    Fall
  
  •  

    LALW423 Shakespeare and the Other: Race, Religion, Gender, and Sexuality On the Elizabethan Stage 3cr


    The Other refers to people that are marginalized
    and persecuted owing to race, religion,
    sexuality, or gender identity. This course
    studies theatrical portrayals and philosophical
    discussions of the Other during Age of
    Shakespeare. In the assigned plays (mostly though
    not exclusively by Shakespeare), students
    encounter complicated dramatic treatments of race
    (Titus Andronicus, Othello, The Tempest),
    religion (The Jew of Malta, The Merchant of
    Venice) and gender/sexuality (Edward II, Twelfth
    Night, The Roaring Girl). Supplementary readings
    are drawn from poems, essays, and treatises from
    classical antiquity and the late 16th/early 17th
    century. Written assignments include one critical
    paper and a final project combining writing and
    artwork.

    Prerequisites: LALW-200

    Seminar
    Fall and Spring
 


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