Arts Program at Bryn Mawr College: 2007-2008
Students may complete a minor in Creative Writing, Dance or Theater and may submit an application to major in Creative Writing, Dance or Theater through the independent major program. Students may complete a major in Fine Arts or a major or minor in Music at Haverford College. English majors may complete a concentration in creative writing.
Lecturer in Dance David Brick
Senior Lecturer and Associate Director of Dance Madeline Cantor
Associate Professor and Director of Dance
Linda Caruso-Haviland, Chair of the Arts Program (on leave Spring 2008)
Lecturer in Creative Writing Tom Ferrick, Jr.
Lecturer in Creative Writing Amy Herzog
Senior Lecturer and Designer/Technical Director of Theater Hiroshi Iwasaki
Associate Professor and Director of Creative Writing Karl Kirchwey, Acting Chair of the Arts Program (Spring 2008)
Associate Professor and Director of Theater Mark Lord (on leave Spring 2008)
Lecturer in Creative Writing J.C. Todd
Lecturer in Creative Writing Daniel Torday
Lecturer in Creative Writing and Jane Flanders Fund Poet Rachel Wetzsteon
- ARTA B251 Arts Teaching in Educational and Community Settings (Cross-listed as EDUC B251)
This is a Praxis II course intended for students who have substantial experience in an art form and are interested in extending that experience into teaching and learning at educational and community sites. Following an overview of the history of the arts in education, the course will investigate the theories that underly arts education. The praxis component will allow students to create a fluid relationship between theory and practice through observing, teaching and reflecting on arts practices in education contexts. School or community placement 4-6 hours a week. Prerequisite: at least an intermediate level of experience in an art form. This course counts toward the minor in Dance or in Theater.
Courses in creative writing within the Arts Program are designed for students who wish to develop their skills and appreciation of creative writing in a variety of genres (poetry, prose fiction and nonfiction, playwriting, screenwriting, etc.) and for those intending to pursue studies in creative writing at the graduate level. Any English major may include one creative writing course in the major plan. Students may pursue a minor as described below. While there is no existing major in creative writing, exceptionally well-qualified students with a GPA of 3.7 or higher in Creative Writing courses completed in the Tri-College curriculum may consider submitting an application to major in creative writing through the independent major program after meeting with the Creative Writing Program Director (see page 21). When approved, the independent major in Creative Writing is usually pursued as a double major with another academic major subject.
Creative Writing Minor Requirements
Requirements for the minor in creative writing are six units of course work, generally including three beginning/intermediate courses in at least three different genres of creative writing (chosen from ARTW 159, 231, 251, 260, 261, 262, 263, 264, 265, 266, 268, 269) and three electives, including at least one course at the 300 level (ARTW 360, 361, 362, 364, 366, 367, 371, 373, 382), allowing for advanced work in one or more genres of creative writing which are of particular interest to the student. The objective of the minor in creative writing is to provide both depth and range, through exposure to several genres of creative writing. Students should consult with the Creative Writing Program Director by the end of their sophomore year to submit a plan for the minor in order to ensure admission to the appropriate range of courses.
Concentration in Creative Writing
English majors may elect a three-course concentration in creative writing as part of the English major program. Students interested in the concentration must meet with the Creative Writing Program Director by the end of their sophomore year to submit a plan for the concentration and must also confirm the concentration with the chair of the English Department.
Creative Writing Courses
- ARTW B159 Introduction to Creative Writing
This course is for students who wish to experiment with three genres of creative writing: short fiction, poetry and drama. Priority will be given to interested first-year students; additional spaces will be made available to upper- year students with little or no experience in creative writing. Students will write or revise work every week; roughly four weeks each will be devoted to short fiction, poetry and drama. There will be individual conferences for students with the instructor to discuss their progress and interests. Half of class time will be spent discussing student work and half will be spent discussing syllabus readings.
- ARTW B231 Poetry as Performance
Takes the poem off the printed page from poetry to performance and considers poetry form, style, theory and techniques of "Spoken Word" artistry. Performance theory will be coupled with cutting-edge work in the anthropology of performance. Students will maintain a poetry journal, write and edit original poetry, complete syllabus readings, write weekly response papers and participate in discussions and performances. The course culminates in a radio broadcast and a full-length performance piece. Not offered in 2007-08.
- ARTW B236 Contemporary Literature Seminar (Cross-listed as ENGL B236)
Surveys the work of literary writers reading in the Creative Writing Program Reading Series. Students will read and discuss at least one work by each of the authors appearing, including poets Lucille Clifton and Derek Walcott, fiction writers E.L. Doctorow and James Salter, and memoirist Patricia Hampl. Students may receive credit for either or both of the Fall 2007 or Spring 2008 semesters. Approximately 15 pages of critical prose will be required for each half-credit of this course.
- ARTW B251 Travel Writing
This course introduces students to a genre that is too rarely studied or attempted. The first purpose of the course is to introduce students to masterpieces of travel writing in order to broaden students' understanding of the genre and the world. The second is to give students a chance to experiment with travel writing. Finally, the course seeks to sensitize students to the nuances of style (diction, syntax, etc.) that affect the tone and texture of a writer's prose. While students need not have traveled extensively in order to take this course, passionate curiosity about the world is a must. Not offered in 2007-08.
- ARTW B260 Writing Short Fiction I
An introduction to fiction writing, focusing on the short story. Students will consider fundamental elements of fiction and the relationship of narrative structure, style and content, exploring these elements in their own work and in the assigned readings in order to develop an understanding of the range of possibilities open to the fiction writer. Weekly readings and writing exercises are designed to encourage students to explore the material and styles that most interest them, and to push their fiction to a new level of craft, so that over the semester their writing becomes clearer, more controlled, and more absorbing.
- ARTW B261 Writing Poetry I
This course will provide a semester-long survey of the formal resources available to students wishing to write print-based (as opposed to spoken-word) poems in English, beginning with syllabic verse, accentual verse and accentual-syllabic (metered) verse, as well as free verse. Students in this course will gain experience writing in a variety of verse forms (including cinquains, Anglo-Saxon accentual verse, and sonnets). The objective of the course will be to provide students with a sense of poetic identity and with the skills to find a form and a voice with which to express themselves on the printed page.
- ARTW B262 Playwriting I (Cross-listed as ARTT B262)
An introduction to playwriting through a combination of reading assignments, writing exercises, discussions about craft and ultimately the creation of a complete one-act play. Students will work to discover and develop their own unique voices as they learn the technical aspects of the craft of playwriting. Readings will include work by Maria Irene Fornes, John Guare, Tony Kushner, Suzan-Lori Parks, Sam Shepard, Paula Vogel and others. Short writing assignments will complement each reading assignment. The final assignment will be to write an original one-act play.
- ARTW B263 Writing Memoir I
The purpose of this course is to provide students with practical experience in writing about the events, places and people of their own lives in the form of memoir. Initial class discussions attempt to distinguish memoir from related literary genres such as confession and autobiography. The purpose of writing assignments and in-class discussion of syllabus readings is to explore the range of memoirs available for use as models (excerpts by writers including James Baldwin, Annie Dillard, Arthur Koestler, Rick Moody, Lorrie Moore, Tim O’Brien, and John Edgar Wideman) and elements such as voice and perspective, tone, plot, characterization and symbolic and figurative language.
- ARTW B264 Feature Journalism
Students in this class will learn how to develop, report, write, edit and revise a variety of news stories, beginning with the basics of reporting and writing the news and advancing to longer-form stories, including personality profiles, news features and trend stories, and concluding with point-of view journalism (columns, criticism, reported essays). The course will focus heavily on work published in The Philadelphia Inquirer and The New York Times. Several working journalists will participate as guest speakers to explain their craft. The final assignment for this class will be a 2000-word news feature.
- ARTW B265 Creative Nonfiction
This course will explore the literary expressions of nonfiction, looking at the continuum from the objective, as exemplified by the nonfiction novel and literary journalism, to the subjective, as exemplified by the personal essay and memoir. Using the information-gathering tools of journalist, the self-examination tools of the essayist and the technical tools of the fiction writer, students will produce pieces that will incorporate both factual information and first person experience. An important goal is for students to learn to read as writers, to allow their analytical work to feed and inform their creative work. Not offered in 2007-08.
- ARTW B266 Screenwriting
This combination discussion/workshop course is an introduction to dramatic writing for film. Basic issues in the art of storytelling will be analyzed: theme, dramatic structure, image and sound. The course will be an exploration of the art and impulse of storytelling, and it will provide a safe but rigorous setting in which to discuss student work. What is a story? What makes a character compelling, and conflict dramatic? How does a story engage our emotions? Through written exercises, close analysis of texts and the screening of film, we will come to better understand the tools and dictates of film writing. Not offered in 2007-08.
- ARTW B268 Writing Literary Journalism
This course will examine the tools that literary writers bring to factual reporting and how these tools enhance the stories they tell. Readings will include reportage, polemical writing and literary reviewing. The issues of point-of-view and subjectivity, the uses of irony, forms of persuasion, clarity of expression and logic of construction will be discussed. The importance of context — the role of the editor and the magazine, the expectations of the audience, censorship and self-censorship — will be considered. Not offered in 2007-08.
- ARTW B269 Writing for Children
This course will offer students the opportunity to learn to write imaginatively for children aged pre-K through young-adult. Students in the course will learn to read as writers, to allow their analytical study of classic and contemporary literature — from fairy tales to the fantastic, from poetry to the so-called "problem" novel — to feed and inform their creative work through the discoveries they make about character, plot, theme, setting, point of view, style, tone and structure. Regular writing exercises, annotations of readings, class discussion, peer review and private conferences will provide guidance for each student's unique exploration of content and style. Not offered in 2007-08.
- ARTW B360 Writing Short Fiction II
An intensive exploration of varied approaches to writing short fiction designed to strengthen skills of experienced student writers as both practitioners and critics. Requires writing at least five pages each week, workshopping student pieces, and reading texts that range from realist stories to metafictional experiments and from one-page stories to the short novella, to explore how writers can work within tight confines, create constellations of images and distill perception. Prerequisite: ARTW 260 or work demonstrating equivalent experience in writing short fiction. A writing sample of 5-10 pages in length (prose fiction) must be submitted to the English Department by the end of the Fall 2007 semester to be considered for this course.
- ARTW B361 Writing Poetry II
This course presumes that reading and writing are inextricably linked, and that the only way to write intelligent and interesting poetry is to read as much of it as possible. Writing assignments will be closely connected to syllabus reading, and may include working in forms such as ecphrastic poems, dramatic monologues, prose poems, translations, imitations and parodies. Prerequisite: ARTW 261 or work demonstrating equivalent familiarity with the basic forms of poetry in English. A writing sample of 5-7 poems must be submitted to the English Department by the end of the Fall 2007 semester to be considered for this course.
- ARTW B364 Approaches to the Novel
An advanced workshop for students with a strong background in fiction writing who want to write a novel. Students are expected to write intensively, taking advantage of the structure and support of the class to complete the first draft of a (25,000-30,000 word) novel/novella. Students will examine elements of fiction in their work and in novels on the reading list, exploring strategies for sustaining the writing of a long work. Prerequisite: ARTW 260 or proof of interest and ability. Not offered in 2007-08.
- ARTW B366 Writing Memoir II
This course will enable students to complete one or two longer memoirs in the semester. The syllabus readings for the course will focus on book-length memoirs by authors such as James Baldwin, Paula Fox, Patricia Hampl, Mary Karr and Tobias Wolff. Discussions of syllabus reading will alternate with discussions of weekly student writing assignments. Prerequisite: ARTW 263 or work demonstrating equivalent expertise. A memoir or personal essay of 5-10 pages in length must be submitted to the English Department by the end of the Fall 2007 semester to be considered for this course.
- ARTW B382 Poetry Master Class
Four leading contemporary poets will each teach a three-week-long unit in this course. Students will have their poems reviewed by each of the visiting poets, who will also present a public reading of their work. Prerequisite: ARTW B231 or ART W B261 (ARTW B361 is also strongly recommended) or equivalent proficiency in writing text-based verse. A writing sample of 5-7 poems must be submitted to the English Department to be considered for this course. Not offered in 2007-08.
- ARTW B403 Supervised Work
Students who have completed beginning-intermediate and advanced-level courses in a particular genre of creative writing and who wish to pursue further work on a tutorial basis may meet with the Creative Writing Program Director to propose completing a one-semester-long independent study course with a member of the Creative Writing Program faculty.
Haverford College currently offers the following courses in creative writing:
- ENGL H291 Poetry Writing: A Practical Workshop
- ENGL H292 Poetry Writing II: Contemporary Voices
- ENGL H293 Fiction Writing: From the Conventional to the Experimental
- ENGL H294 Fiction Writing: States of Mind
Dance is not only an art and an area of creative impulse and action; it is also a significant and enduring human behavior that can serve as a core of inquiry within the humanities. The Dance Program has, accordingly, designed a curriculum that provides varied courses in technique, composition, theory and performance for students at all levels of skill, interest and commitment. A full range of technique courses in modern, ballet, jazz and African dance is offered regularly. More specialized movement forms, such as Classical Indian and Flamenco, are offered on a rotating basis. The core academic curriculum includes advanced technique courses, performance ensembles, dance composition, independent work, courses in dance research and in Western dance history as well as courses that present a perspective extending beyond this theatrical or social tradition. Students can minor in dance or submit an application to major through the independent major program.
Dance Program Minor Requirements
Requirements for the dance minor are six units of coursework, three required (ARTD 140, 142, and one credit which may be distributed among the following: 230, 231, 330, 331, or 345) and three electives. Students may choose to emphasize one aspect of the field, but must first consult with the dance faculty regarding their course of study.
Dance Program Courses
- ARTD B140 Approaches to Dance: Themes and Perspectives
This course introduces students to dance as a multi-layered, significant and enduring behavior that ranges from art to play to ritual to politics and beyond. It engages students in the creative, critical and conceptual processes that emerge in response to the study of dance. It also explores the research potential that arises when other areas of academic inquiry, including criticism, ethnology, history and philosophy, interact with dance and dance scholarship. Lectures, discussion, film, video and guest speakers are included. Not offered in 2007-08.
- ARTD B142 Dance Composition I
An introduction to the process of making dances that explores basic elements including space, time, rhythm, energy, dynamics, qualities of movement and gesture, and both traditional and postmodern structures. Compositional theory will be approached through the practice of making dance studies, starting with simple solo phrases and moving towards complex and interactive group forms and processes. Students will be expected to develop and broaden their understanding of dance as an art form and their abilities to see and critique dances. Readings and viewings pertaining to the choreographic process will be assigned. Concurrent attendance in any level technique course is required.
- ARTD B240 Dance History I: Roots of Western Theater Dance
This course investigates the historic and cultural forces affecting the development and functions of pre-20th-century dance as well as its relationship to and impact on the development of Western culture. It will consider nontheatrical forms and applications, but will give special emphasis to the development of theatre dance forms. It will also introduce students to the varied forms of the historic documentation of dance and to a view of history not only as a linear progression of events but also as process, change and cultural shift. Lecture, discussion and audiovisual materials.
- ARTD B241 Dance History II: A History of Contemporary Western Theater Dance
The study of the development of contemporary forms of dance with emphasis on theater forms within the broader context of Western art and culture. Lecture, discussion and audiovisual materials.
- ARTD B242 Dance Composition II
The goal of this course is to build on work accomplished in Composition I and to develop an understanding of and skill in the theory and craft of choreography. This includes deepening movement invention skills; exploring form and structure; investigating sources for sound, music, text and language; developing group design; and broadening critical understanding. Students will work on a selected number of projects and will have some opportunity to revise and expand work. Readings and viewings will be assigned and related production problems will be considered. Concurrent attendance in any level technique course is required.
- ARTD B266 Dancing Desire in Bollywood Films (Cross-listed as ANTH B266)
Explores the shifts in sexuality and gender construction of Indian women from national to transnational symbols through the dance sequences in Bollywood. Examines the place of erotic in reconstructing gender and sexuality from past notions of romantic love to desires for commodity. Primary focus will be on approaches to the body from anthropology and sociology to performance, dance and media studies. Not offered in 2007-08.
Three levels of ballet and modern dance are offered each semester. Improvisation, African dance and jazz are offered each year. Courses in techniques developed from other cultural forms, such as hip-hop, classical Indian dance or Flamenco, are offered on a rotating basis as are conditioning techniques such as Pilates. All technique courses are offered for physical education credit but students may choose to register in some intermediate and advanced level courses for academic credit.
ARTD B230 Intermediate Technique: Modern
ARTD B231 Intermediate Technique: Ballet
ARTD B330 Advanced Technique: Modern
ARTD B331 Advanced Technique: Ballet
ARTD B342 Advanced Choreography
Independent study in choreography under the guidance of the instructor. Students are expected to produce one major choreographic work and are responsible for all production considerations.