The Perry and Marty Granoff Center for the Creative Arts advances innovative directions for research, teaching, and production across the boundaries of individual arts disciplines and among artists, scientists, and scholars.


To see a list of past courses, please visit the Course Archive

Fall 2015

Advanced Screenwriting (Hisham Bizri, Literary Arts)
The writing of short screenplays or a longer work in progress in regular installments, along with a body of exercises, workshop conversations and conferences. See general course description above for course entry procedures for all advanced workshops

Art of Film (Hisham Bizri, Literary Arts)
This is a course in the art of film writing, directing, editing picture and sound, and producing, be it narrative or avant-garde. Students will engage the theory and practice of the art of filmmaking via readings, viewings, writings, and making their own films. Each student will complete four films from initial conception to the final film in a collaborative environment.

Artists and Scientists as Partners (Julie Strandberg, Theater Arts and Performance Studies)
This course explores the use of dance and music with people with Parkinson's disease and those on the Autism Spectrum. This exploration includes research in neuroscience, ethnography, curricular development, and existing arts practices for these populations through readings, guest lecturers, and site placements.

Brazenly Brown (John Cayley, Literary Arts)
A course of multi-disciplinary arts masterclasses — with talks, seminars, and critiques — concluding the ‘Brazenly Brown’ series initiated in Spring 2015, and allowing students to meet and study with visiting alumni artists, while engaging with the visitors and their own creative practice and practice-based research across the arts-related disciplines of the university.

Building a Better World: Film and Social Change (Rick Locke, Keith Brown, Watson Institute)
This class explores some of today's key policy challenges: economic development and poverty alleviation, the provision of basic public services, corruption, management of natural resources, environmental protection, intergroup violent conflict, and related issues. For each topic, the course (1) presents the problem, (2) reviews potential solutions, (3) discusses failed approaches, and (4) identifies concrete successes. The goal of this course is to show how political science/public policy can make sense of and develop solutions to the world’s great challenges. The course will combine theory and practice, as students will apply social scientific theory, examine classic and contemporary examples of film-making for social change, and make their own short issue-focused films. 

Communicating Science, Animating Science (Steven Subotnick, RISD: John Stein, Neuroscience)
This course explores the pedagogy of using visual media to convey scientific concepts. The goal is to assess the quality of existing material and design new material that fill an educational need and makes science engaging and accessible. Lectures, labs, discussions, critiques and speakers. Teams collaborate on a series of short exercises leading to the creation of videos/animations explaining scientific concepts.  

Computers & Music (Todd Winkler, Music)
Computers and Music examines the history, literature, production and theory of music technology. The course tracks the development of musical inventions and their impact on musical thought, production and culture. Students completing Music 200 will have a theoretical as well as practical knowledge of computer music based on first-hand experience in the Multimedia Lab, where they will use computer music software and hardware to complete creative assignments. Students will also gain an appreciation for the pioneering work done in previous decades, both in research and composition. Finally, students will become familiar with the literature of electronic music, and learn about the impact of technology on popular and experimental genres.

Experiments in Dance, Movement and Performance (Noemie Solomon, Theater Arts and Performance Studies)
This course introduces students to the histories and methodologies; meanings and functions of experimental choreography in specific artistic, curatorial, social, and political contexts. By looking closely at a series of performance practices, we discuss key paradigms in dance studies, such as theatricality and the pedestrian body; the score and the archive; narration and movement; technique and technology; spaces, theaters, and museums; aesthetics, ethics, and politics. We examine the ways in which choreographers and dancers have experimented with the traditions, forms, and contents of dance, by mapping a series of interdisciplinary gestures in relation to diverse creative and critical fields. We look at seminal works by Merce Cunningham, Yvonne Rainer, Xavier Le Roy, Ralph Lemon, William Forsythe, Jonathan Burrows, and others, and read key texts by dance-makers and writers on the techniques, methods, and significations of experimental choreography. Students are invited to engage with different forms of writing, such as the performance review, the artist’s manifesto, and the critical essay. Working toward a community of practice and criticism, the course builds on a series of composition exercises and creative assignments to culminate with the making and showing of a dance performance. No experience of dance is required, but a keen interest in thinking and experimenting with the movements, roles, and matters of dance across art, society, and academia.

Interacting with Data (Casey Dunn, Ecology & Evolutionary Biology)
Interacting with data - Concepts and tools for interacting with data, including data wrangling (python/R), executable analyses (, interactive visualizations (, fundamentals of interface design and data representation. Participants will create an interactive analysis/visualization based on their own work, publicly available data, or a published scientific paper. We will discuss how new technologies are changing the way scientists collaborate, share, and explore.

Invertebrate Zoology (Casey Dunn, Ecology & Evolutionary Biology)
This course focuses on patterns and processes illuminated by the study of the awesome diversity of animals (all animals are invertebrates, vertebrates are just invertebrates that happen to have a spine). Much of the focus will be on general themes and concepts that are applicable to the study of any group of organisms, such as phylogenetics (the analysis of relationships between organisms), the study of evolutionary patterns in a comparative context, and the interaction of organisms with their environments. We explore this diversity using many different media, including original illustrations, videos, animations, and photographs. Students will have the opportunity to create original media as part of the class.

Multimedia Nonfiction (Michael Stewart, English)
The students write and explore essays that focus on the meaningful integration of images, videos, and web tools with traditional nonfiction subgenres. This will involve both physical and digital projects. Working the Granoff would be ideal: a space that is flexible and will allow us to work one week in groups on physical projects and the next to present multimedia work.

Physical Computing (Ed Osborn, Visual Art)
This studio course is an intensive introduction to electronic devices for use in artmaking and includes hands-on experience working with sensors, motors, switches, gears, lights, simple circuits, microprocessors and hardware-store devices to create kinetic and interactive works of art. Demonstrations, lectures and critical discussion of work will be given to develop concepts and technical skills.  The course will examine the work of a number of artists including Camille Utterback, Douglas Repetto, Alan Rath, Diane Landry, Beatriz da Costa, Golan Levin, and many others. The course will be based around the Arduino microprocessor platform, with work in Processing, Max/MSP/Jitter, and other software packages as needed.

Sound Design (Jim Moses, Music)
This production seminar is a study of techniques and aesthetics used to create sonic environments and effects that enhance a variety of media including video, radio and audio art, new media, theater, and installation art. Technical topics include audio production in multi-channel formats, advanced audio editing, mixing and synthesis techniques, and audio system design

Stage Lighting (Tim Hett, Theater Arts and Performance Studies)
Our objective is to design and create using light as your primary medium. Various exercises will include photography, shadow puppetry, drawing, electrics, theatre stage lighting, and programming. Hands on experience include creating designs for two scheduled dance performances. Organization of one’s design will also be covered throughout the semester.

Studio Foundation (Ellie Irons, Visual Art)
An introduction to basic visual art concepts, exploring a range of materials with emphasis on experimentation and analysis of visual relationships.