The following Liberal Arts courses are available for Spring 2014 registration. Learn about the rest of our Spring 2014 electives here, or find a complete list of courses offered in other years here.

Origins and History of DramaOrigins and History of Drama

Theater is a part of the developing story of every human culture, an inherent paradox—the attempt to explore psychological depths, spiritual mysteries, and social conflicts in a controlled yet power-releasing scheme.  As the innovative Polish director Jerzy Grotowski points out, “Theater is not a condition but a process in which what is dark within us slowly becomes transparent.”  The lights go out, and we become something entirely different and yet, at the same time, even more familiar and true.  This course examines the origins of European drama and traces its development through key transitional periods from Oedipus to Endgame.  Plays are chosen according to what is being produced locally and according to shared thematic content.  Students attend at least one play in performance.

taught by Patrick Keppel

The Travels of Marco PoloThe Travels of Marco Polo

A close reading of The Travels of Marco Polo, an iconic text in world history and literature, is a journey of discovery. Through Marco Polo’s eyes students will encounter the cultures along the Silk Road as they were at the end of the 13th century. In addition to the study of the text itself, students will be required to undertake guided research pertaining to Polo’s travels in multiple contexts— historical, cultural and geographical. The results of these research projects will be presented in class.

taught by Peter Row

Art HistoryWassily Kandinsky's Composition VII (1913)‏

The Expressionist painter Wassily Kandinsky and the composer Arnold Schoenberg shared the idea that art and music should express the “inner necessity” of the soul and collaborated on a book, Toward the Spiritual in Art.  This course will examine the relationships between art and music from the 17th century Baroque period through contemporary performance art.  Through close exploration of the collection at the Museum of Fine Arts and readings in William Fleming’s Arts and Ideas, students will discover inspiration for their own music-making.  In this course, students will have the opportunity to give final “informances” in which a work of art that has inspired some aspect of their music will be presented along with a performance of the music.

taught by Linda Cutting

The Romantic MovementRomantic Literature

This interdisciplinary course will focus on the literary styles and statements of Romanticist writers concerned with passionate individualism, spontaneous expression, the power of the imagination, the sublimity of nature, the mysteries of the human mind, the grotesque and monstrous, and the great hopes and hostilities of heroism, nationhood, liberty, tyranny, and oppression. To contextualize and enrich our literary explorations, we will study romanticist innovations in music, the visual arts, and intellectual thought. Materials will include poetry by Wordsworth, Coleridge, Keats, Blake, and Percy Bysshe Shelley; Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein; selections from Napoleon’s Diary and Goethe’s Faust; paintings by Constable, Friedrich, Turner, Géricault, David, Gros, Goya, and Delacroix; and music by Beethoven, Schubert, and Berlioz. This class is part of the Romanticism-Modernism-Postmodernism course series.

taught by Jill Gatlin

Copyright and Creativity: Who Owns Music?Copyright and Creativity

Musicians find themselves faced with dilemmas regarding what music they can and cannot use in new arrangements, compositions, or performances. The dilemmas arise not only as artists seek to understand and comply with copyright standards, but also when seeking to use non-western musics where indigenous custodians seek rights over its use and disposition.  Propriety over appropriation is up for debate in industry settings, in courtrooms, on agendas at the U.N., and in national and regional arenas as well.  Using several landmark legal cases as a backdrop, we will study notions of ownership and fair use in the U.S., and then explore a number of the main issues of music use across cultures.

taught by Felicia Sandler