This course examines Palestinian and Israeli history to better understand how culture, identity, and conflict impact their relationships. Students will deepen ability to detect bias, learn consequences of opposing narratives, and cultivate knowledge of and respect for both peoples. We study religious, social, ethnic, and nationalistic aspects of Palestinian, Arab, Israeli, Jewish, Muslim, and Christian identities. What role does religion play in a conflict between two predominantly secular peoples? What power imbalances and inequalities exist not only between these peoples but also within each side? What are the obstacles to and possibilities for peace? Through reading, research, writing, video, and music, students cultivate an appreciation of the struggles, strengths, and legitimate needs of both peoples.
This course examines the development of human rights theories and practices, early efforts at an international response and the creation of a modern human rights agenda after 1945. Students explore race, ethnicity, and gender as human rights issues and examine the issue of humanitarian intervention in Bosnia, Rwanda, and Darfur. In addition, students examine globalization, terrorism, and the role of the United States in the current human rights debate.
The 20th century, often referred to as The American Century, was a time of turbulent transformation in which Americans were forced to rethink their political ideals, their commitment to social justice, and their definitions of art and culture. In this course, students focus on the big ideas in American culture that shaped the nation's history from the roaring '20s to the radical '60s. Students examine American music within the context of US history, studying folk music and the labor movement, modernism and jazz, and student activism and rock.
Students will read and discuss articles by respected scholars and commentators on critical issues facing the world today. Discussions will focus on topics of historic significance in the last quarter of the 20th century. Note: This course may be used to fulfill the social science requirement.
The meaning of one's sexual identity has changed dramatically from one period of history to another, and from one culture to another. This course examines the changing roles of men and women and their power relationships throughout history. By studying gender in religion, politics, family, and the arts, students gain perspectives on their own roles and relations. Note: This course may be used to fulfill the social science requirement.
This course focuses on defining different types of cultural or mythical models for society and individuals; how they are formed; how they help shape beliefs, worldviews, and historical events; and how they still inform our lives today. The thematic approach of mythology and folklore will draw on documents from the fields of history (especially the timeframe from Ancient Greece to the late Middle Ages), linguistics, law, music, theatre, literature, art, and film.
This course explores artistic expression through musical responses to poetry, dance, painting, film, photography, and other art forms. Through guided listening, viewing films and discussion, students learn to integrate the arts by preparing a performance. The class experiments and creates pieces to realize a synthesis of the arts. Artists to be examined include Paul Klee, Gunther Schuller, John Cage, Merce Cunningham, Mark Morris, Yo Yo Ma, and more. Collaborations among music students, dancers, writers, and visual artists are encouraged.
Humanities Topics courses enable students to choose from a variety of course themes that change each semester. Humanities topics courses are generally interdisciplinary and focus on the intersection of different approaches to studying a topic, culture or geographic region. Individual course descriptions are available to registering students at www.berklee.edu/liberal-arts.
This course provides film scoring majors and other students interested in sound for visual media with an introduction to how film makes visual and narrative meaning through the language of film, which includes camera, frame composition, lighting, production design, acting styles, editing, dialogue, plot, genre, themes, sound, and point of view. Students will learn to read and analyze film from a film studies perspective, and understand digital, 360 degree cinema, and virtual reality immersive experience within the context of film history. Written assignments and in-class activities will reinforce writing, reading, and oral communication skills, with the goal of strengthening students' abilities to communicate with directors.
In this course, students explore wellness practices that help nurture the potential for inspiration in performance. The course is both a laboratory for stepping out of the box with confidence in performance and a study of established wellness techniques. Students learn practice and wellness; how to demystify improvisation; they explore the science of sound impact on the body and they learn theories and practices of healthy performance. Students explore the following topics: embodying rhythm; authentically connecting with an audience; overcoming performance anxiety; and relaxing using Reiki, toning, and other forms of musical self-care. Students also develop skills that will enable them to explore the sources of their inspiration and creative expression.
In this course, students explore the artistic and creative processes involved in jazz and examine the connections among jazz and different modes of artistic expression, including the connections among jazz performance and visual art forms. Students analyze the ways that different art forms influence their music performances and compositions. Students evaluate the expressive qualities found in music and other art forms, including dance, visual arts, literature, film and more. Students refine their own personal aesthetic through reflection, research, inventive performance, improvisation, composition and analysis. This course is team taught by a faculty member from Liberal Arts and a faculty member from the Berklee Global Jazz Institute.
LENG-111 or written permission of course instructor
The Professional Development Seminar provides an opportunity for students in their sixth semester to reflect upon their academic and professional experience at Berklee, prepare to complete their Berklee programs, and transition from college into the professional world and/or graduate school. Students evaluate their knowledge, skills, abilities, and interests as they develop and/or refine college and career goals. Students also explore their own identities and their professional and personal relationships as they reflect on the role of the artist in society generally and their role as a musician in their community specifically. Students learn business, entrepreneurship, legal, and communication skills, and address issues of business ethics. Additionally, students refine and redirect their Berklee College of Music electronic portfolio towards a professional model and explore issues of presentation and critique. The Professional Development Seminar provides a creative and reflective atmosphere that encourages students to participate in their own learning while preparing for their future.