Brown Arts Initiative

ARTS Courses

Interdisciplinary courses taught by faculty and visiting artists.

Each semester Brown Arts Initiative supports academic courses that otherwise may not happen. By working with faculty in the Arts Departments and beyond, as well as Professors of the Practice, BAI offers a wide range of academic opportunities. Courses can be identified by the ARTS designation in the course catalog. 

Fall 2020

ARTS1000 The Arts Workshop: I'm So Alone- Art of Surveilled Bodies Amidst a Global Epidemiological Cluster#@%$
Sydney Skybetter, Department of Theatre Arts and Performance Studies

Since COVID-19, enforcement of “social distancing” has become a state mandate. The resultant choreographies of “social distancing” have catalyzed a confluence of gestures, disciplining technologies, discriminatory health practices, and state power; a braid of urgent concern for scholars and artists, and the subject of this interdisciplinary arts workshop. Offered by Brown Arts Initiative, the workshop is open to graduate students, undergraduate students, and faculty by application. Full course credit is available for those interested. Participants will consider their respective creative practices in light of COVID-19 and emerging systems of computational recognition, broader trends with technologies of the body, and surveillance.

ARTS1620 Tell the Story: The Afro-Diasporic Experience Through Documentary Film
Yoruba Richen, Professor of the Practice with BAI and the Department of Africana Studies

Documentary films have grown into an influential art form that has influenced politics, culture, social movements and how we see the world. They are relied on to sort out fact from fiction in an increasingly complex world where the lines continue to blur. Through film screenings, lectures, readings, critical analysis and group discussions, the course examines the changing nature of the documentary as it relates to how films documenting the Black Experience are conceived, told and distributed in different mediums. We will also look at how these films have been influenced as much by technology and ethical, social, cultural and political movements, as it has by the individual choices of the filmmakers.

ARTS 1700 Introduction to iPhone/iPad Moviemaking Using 3-D and 360 VR Comparisons
Ted Bogosian, Cogut Center for the Humanities

Mobile Devices are democratizing movie-making by lowering barriers to entry, enabling students to become full-fledged members of the film industry virtually overnight. This pioneering course provides the basic tools for students to create and distribute no- and low-budget live-action motion pictures with professional production values utilizing only their personal smartphones. Students will acquire the skills to plan, capture and edit short motion pictures through hands-on instruction and experimentation with low-cost accessories, including selfie-sticks, lens adapters, directional microphones and iPhone apps like Filmic Pro, Vizzywig and iMovie. Limited to junior, senior and graduate students.

Spring 2021

ARTS 1310 Making the 21st Century Musical
Erin McKeown, BAI Professor of the Practice, Department of Theatre Arts and Performance Studies

Songs are a powerful dramatic storytelling tool - we see them used all the time in media, alongside scripted dialogue and visual elements. In this class we will explore contemporary musicals, in all forms, and we will create songs that tell stories. Together we will investigate how dramatic songs are made, what they can be about, and who are our audiences. We will pay special attention to perspectives that have been left out of past musical storytelling, and we will discover ways that our songs can advocate for justice in the 21st century and beyond. Application required (email [email protected] after Dec 1 for a link to the google application form).

ARTS 1010 Script to Screen
Laura Colella, Literary Arts

Script to Screen is an intensive production course designed for students with some proficiency in screenwriting and little to no directing or filmmaking experience. The course aims to serve as a two-way bridge, opening writing students up to possibilities for production, while also investigating how production experiences can inform future writing. Activities include shooting and editing video exercises, working with actors, and filming practice scenes. A local casting director will conduct a workshop and bring in actors for scene work. A highly acclaimed guest director will work with students over three classes, conducting an acting workshop and critiquing scene work.

Summer 2021

ARTS1020 Ecopoetics in Practice 
Thalia Field, Adele Kellenberg Seaver Professor of Creative Writing, Department of Literary Arts

What we have perpetrated on our environment has certainly affected a poet's means and material. But can poetry be ecological or display values that acknowledge the economy of interrelationship between human and non-human realms? Aside from issues of theme and reference, how might syntax, line break, or the shape of the poem on the page express an ecological ethics? How might poetry register the complex interdependency that draws us into a dialogue with the world? Readings, discussion, essays and creative writing.