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SINY 152: Film: The City as Muse

Has a film ever challenged your beliefs, transformed your understanding of an issue, left an emotional aftershock, or motivated you to act? Was that the intention of the filmmaker or an unanticipated consequence? Since the inception of the motion picture, the urban landscape and its inhabitants have served as a rich and diverse palette for filmmakers. This course will provide an overview of documentary, experimental, and hybrid films that proffer an unexpected and sometimes disturbing perspective on cities, both here and abroad. We will examine films that privilege artistic expression and expand the conventions of the film form, analyzing how filmmakers distill an issue, situation, or environment through a particular formal style and point-of-view.nnThrough a consideration of iconic historic films, the student will gain a rich understanding of how cities have inspired filmmakers who work outside the traditional fiction genre. In addition to written assignments, students will distill th more »
Has a film ever challenged your beliefs, transformed your understanding of an issue, left an emotional aftershock, or motivated you to act? Was that the intention of the filmmaker or an unanticipated consequence? Since the inception of the motion picture, the urban landscape and its inhabitants have served as a rich and diverse palette for filmmakers. This course will provide an overview of documentary, experimental, and hybrid films that proffer an unexpected and sometimes disturbing perspective on cities, both here and abroad. We will examine films that privilege artistic expression and expand the conventions of the film form, analyzing how filmmakers distill an issue, situation, or environment through a particular formal style and point-of-view.nnThrough a consideration of iconic historic films, the student will gain a rich understanding of how cities have inspired filmmakers who work outside the traditional fiction genre. In addition to written assignments, students will distill their own experience of the city through photo essays that explore the eclectic geographic, social, and cultural life of New York. Local ¿field trips¿ will include attendance at the annual Margaret Mead Film Festival in October and DocNYC in November. Course readings and discussion will provide an incisive inquiry into the artistic ¿voice¿ of the filmmaker in an analysis of both form and content.
Last offered: Autumn 2018 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II, WAY-CE

SINY 154: Improvised Music in New York City: 1959-2019

This course will introduce you to the sounds and practices of improvised music and to some of today's key improvising musicians who live and work in New York City.
Last offered: Winter 2019 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II, WAY-ED

SINY 160: Performing New York

This course is designed to give undergraduate students a foundational understanding of New York City as an object of history and as a site that has fostered the remarkable development of American theater and performance. In this class, we won¿t approach the concepts of New York City or performance monolithically, but instead develop a broad historical understanding of what these expansive terms look and feel like in and outside of the space of the theaters, performance venues, and on the streets of various neighborhoods across the five boroughs.
Terms: Aut | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II
Instructors: Murphy, C. (PI)

SINY 166: Just Art? Equity, Immigration and Art in the Global City

This course focuses on relations between art, immigration and equity. Through several case studies, we will learn to think critically about how aesthetics and politics work together. In addition to studying particular works of art, we will travel to several foundations and institutions to learn about their strategies for fostering equity and the arts. How do art, activism and racial justice connect in performances aimed at changing ideas? How do major arts institutions address questions of equity and difference? We will discuss how art can function as a form of aesthetic knowledge in the service of justice. In doing so, we will grapple with the role of the creative arts in mitigating social change and study artists who have sought to intervene in the restrictive covenants of racial, gender and other segregationist or national orders. Our case studies will shift across media, subjects, objects and temporalities. From artists in New York responding to the nuclear bombings of Hiroshima an more »
This course focuses on relations between art, immigration and equity. Through several case studies, we will learn to think critically about how aesthetics and politics work together. In addition to studying particular works of art, we will travel to several foundations and institutions to learn about their strategies for fostering equity and the arts. How do art, activism and racial justice connect in performances aimed at changing ideas? How do major arts institutions address questions of equity and difference? We will discuss how art can function as a form of aesthetic knowledge in the service of justice. In doing so, we will grapple with the role of the creative arts in mitigating social change and study artists who have sought to intervene in the restrictive covenants of racial, gender and other segregationist or national orders. Our case studies will shift across media, subjects, objects and temporalities. From artists in New York responding to the nuclear bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, to the radical work of Yayoi Kusama¿s 1960s performances, to a plays about immigration such as Lynn Nottage¿s Intimate Apparel and Lin Manuel Miranda¿s Hamilton¿the latter a show that exemplifies how art, activism and racial justice come together--the cross-cast musical gave paid opportunities and leading parts to a full cast of performers of color while also recasting the history of immigration in the United States and produced a new form of hip hop. We will read work by James Baldwin and more! We will visit the Tenement Museum as well as the Schomburg museum and archive and meet with current curators and arts professionals from across the city.
Terms: Spr | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II, WAY-ED

SIW 164: Debating the Nation

Last offered: Winter 2016 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II

SIW 170: DOCUMENTARY: Films of Persuasion, Advocacy and Change

In recent years, documentaries have shed their identity as the "broccoli" of the film world - they were good for you, but not necessarily palatable. Audiences are now engaged, entertained, and enlightened by the work of Errol Morris, Laura Poitras, Michael Moore, Marshall Curry, and others. Has a documentary film ever provoked you, challenged your beliefs, motivated you to act or changed your mind about something? Was that the goal of the filmmaker? This course offers a conceptual overview of the forms, strategies, and conventions of a documentary film with a particular focus on the social and political documentary, i.e. documentaries that strive to explore issues, construct arguments about the world, and galvanize attitudinal change. A consideration of both form and content will foreground the mutable characteristics of the genre with respect to filmmaker voice and point of view, the objective/subjective conundrum, ethics of representation, aesthetic choices, and the implied contract between filmmaker and audience. Students will hone their critical viewing skills and consider the potential of film to effect attitudinal and behavioral change through a series of case studies of films that represent a wide range of styles and approach.
Last offered: Spring 2016 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II

SLAVIC 77Q: Russia's Weird Classic: Nikolai Gogol

Preference to sophomores. An investigation of the works and life of Nikolai Gogol, the most eccentric of Russian authors and the founder of what is dubbed Fantastic Realism. Our investigation will be based on close reading of works written in various genres and created in various stages of Gogol's literary career. Taught in English.
Terms: Aut | Units: 3-4 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, WAY-A-II

SLAVIC 145: Survey of Russian Literature: The Age of Experiment (SLAVIC 345)

This course discusses the transition from predominantly poetic to predominantly prosaic creativity in the Russian literature of the first half of the 19th century Russian literature and the birth of the great Russian novel. It covers three major Russian writers “-- Alexander Pushkin, Mikhail Lermontov and Nikolai Gogol -- and examines the changes in the Russian literary scene affected by their work. An emphasis is placed on close reading of literary texts and analysis of literary techniques employed in them. Taught in English.
Terms: Aut | Units: 3-4 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II

SLAVIC 146: The Great Russian Novel: Tolstoy and Dostoevsky (SLAVIC 346)

The two giant novels we will read and discuss closely were above all urgent actions taken in the heat of present crisis. War and Peace (1865-1869), Leo Tolstoy's epic family saga of Russia's historic resistance to Napoleon and the modern "will-to-power," and The Brothers Karamazov (1878-1880), Dostoevsky's tragicomic investigation into the roots of familial perversion, crimes of individual thought and collective performance, fascinate us with the striking contrasts of their novels' aesthetic responses and innovations. The final focus of the course will be on several of Anton Chekhov's short stories that re-play the themes of the Russian novel with compressed indirectness, pushing the great realist novel's dominance firmly into "history."
Terms: Win | Units: 3-5 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, GER:EC-GlobalCom, WAY-A-II

SLAVIC 148: Slavic Literature and Culture since the Death of Stalin (REES 348, SLAVIC 348)

The course offers a survey of Soviet and post-Soviet literary texts and films created by Russian, Ukrainian and Belarusian artists and marginalized or repressed by the Soviet regime. The first part of the course will focus on the topics of opposition and dissent, generational conflict, modernization, Soviet everyday life, gender, citizenship and national identity, state-published and samizdat literature, "village" and "cosmopolitan" culture, etc. The second part of it will be devoted to the postmodernist aesthetics and ideology in the dismantlement of totalitarian society, as well in the process of shaping post-Soviet identities. The reading materials range from the fictional, poetic, and publicistic works written by Noble-prize (Solzhenitsyn, Brodsky, Alexievich) and other major writers of the period to the drama, film, and popular culture.
Terms: Spr | Units: 3-5 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II
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