Theater, Dance, and Film and Visual Culture Minors

2017 - 2018 Catalog

The Theater department has the following degrees:

Dance minor

A minor in Dance requires completion of at least 21 credits in dance as follows. In meeting the requirements of this discipline-based minor, a student may not use more than nine credits that are also used to meet the requirements of another major or minor.

1. DANC 111, 220, 240
2. One course chosen from THTR 251, 253, 336, 338
3. Two credits from DANC 110
4. One course chosen from DANC 202, 330, 340, 390, and 403, THTR 253, 290, 336, 338, 453
5. At least six credits chosen from among the following: DANC 120, 215, 225, 230, 233, 235, 250, 292

  1. Required courses:
    • DANC 111 - University Dance Production

      Credits: 1

      Participation in any production aspect of a university dance production for a minimum of 24 hours. A journal recording the production process is required. May be repeated for up to four degree credits.


    • DANC 220 - Dance Composition

      FDR: HA
      Credits: 3

      A studio course exploring the craft and art of creating dance performances in a variety of styles and contexts. Images, text, music, improvisation and the elements of time, space and energy are examined as sources for dance material leading to group choreography. This course focuses on creating a finished performance piece for presentation.


    • DANC 240 - Contemporary Modern Dance History

      FDR: HA
      Credits: 3

      This course is a study of the manifestations of American modern dance from the beginning of the 20th century to the present. Students explore the relationship between dance and developments in U.S. culture and study the innovators of the art form and their techniques, writings, and art works through readings, video and lectures.


  2. Once course chosen from:
    • THTR 251 - Introduction to Performance Design

      FDR: HA
      Credits: 3

      An introduction to the history, fundamentals and aesthetics of design for theater and dance with an emphasis on the collaborative nature of the design disciplines. Design projects are required. Lab fee required


    • THTR 253 - Digital Production

      FDR: HA
      Credits: 3

      Digital technologies and multimedia interaction are increasingly utilized to produce, enhance, and innovate theatrical production. Students examine and experiment with various digital technologies as they relate to theater and dance performance. Students create digital audio, video, design rendering, and animation projects for theatrical performances.


    • THTR 336 - Lighting Design

      FDR: HA
      Credits: 3

      A study of the practice of stage lighting, focusing on styles of production, historical methods and artistic theory. Culminates in a light design for a public theatrical production. Lab fee required.


    • THTR 338 - Costume Design

      FDR: HA
      Credits: 3

      A study of stage costuming with emphasis on design and construction. The course includes lecture and lab sessions. Lab fee required.


  3. Two credits from:
    • DANC 110 - University Dance

      Credits: 1

      Participation in a university dance production for a minimum of 24 hours of rehearsal and performance. A journal recording the rehearsal/performance process is required. May be repeated for up to eight degree credits.


  4. Once course chosen from:
    • DANC 202 - Dance Europe

      FDR: HA
      Credits: 4

      Contemporary modern dance is an art form that explores questions about the body, identity, and globalization. Choreographers experiment with their craft by examining the way in which we relate to the world around us. The globalization of dance leads to cultural interchange and critical thinking about our place in a larger society and includes an exchange of styles and ideas and a cultural reflection on how and why dance is made. Globalism creates a rich artistic atmosphere and contributes to a wide variety of styles. Students travel to the four centers of contemporary modern dance in Europe: Paris, London, Amsterdam, Brussels. We explore contemporary aesthetics of particular regions, how culture influences movement choices, and the new ways in which European audiences are adapting to new forms of expression.


    • DANC 330 - Experiential Anatomy

      FDR: HA
      Credits: 3

      A study of human motion as it relates to the locomotor and physical activities of the dancer. The course covers the planes of the body; vocabulary of the skeleton; and specific muscles, their actions, and how they relate to the dancer's body. Injury prevention through alignment and proper movement is considered, as well as the reversal of body alienation. Attention is given to the application of course information to technique class and performance.


    • DANC 340 - Contemporary Dance Observation and Analysis

      FDR: HA
      Credits: 3

      The observation and analysis of live and recorded contemporary dance focusing on the work of emerging and established choreographers. Exploration of methods for describing the moving body in space. Emphasis is placed on the written and verbal critique of contemporary dance in performance.


    • DANC 390 - Special Topics

      Credits: 3 in fall or winter, 4 in spring

      An advanced studio course for experienced dancers exploring various choreographic styles and methods and the intersections between technique, aesthetics and creative collaboration. This course permits the student to follow a program of specialized applied research in order to widen the scope of experience and to build upon concepts covered in other courses. The course culminates in a performance piece for presentation. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

      Spring 2017, DANC 390-01: Aerial Dance (4). Prerequisite: Instructor consent (especially if you have a physical ailments or a fear of heights). A technique course for dancers, athletes and anyone excited about pushing themselves to new heights (literally!). This class explores various choreographic styles and methods and the intersections between technique, aesthetics, and creative collaboration. The course  culminates in an outside performance with the dancers tethered to the roof of Wilson Hall and dancing on its walls. Davies.


    • DANC 403 - Directed Individual Study

      Credits: 3

      Students enrich their academic experience by undertaking a performance project. Students must demonstrate ability to work with little supervision and must develop a written proposal defining the issue to be addresses, an outline of the proposed methodology, and a statement of the intended outcome with a schedule for completion. The project must include written, historical, and practical components, and permission must be secured in advance of registration.


    • THTR 253 - Digital Production

      FDR: HA
      Credits: 3

      Digital technologies and multimedia interaction are increasingly utilized to produce, enhance, and innovate theatrical production. Students examine and experiment with various digital technologies as they relate to theater and dance performance. Students create digital audio, video, design rendering, and animation projects for theatrical performances.


    • THTR 290 - Topics in Performing Arts

      FDR: HA
      Credits: 3 credits in fall or winter, 4 in spring

      Selected studies in theater, film or dance with a focus on history, criticism, performance or production. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.


    • THTR 336 - Lighting Design

      FDR: HA
      Credits: 3

      A study of the practice of stage lighting, focusing on styles of production, historical methods and artistic theory. Culminates in a light design for a public theatrical production. Lab fee required.


    • THTR 338 - Costume Design

      FDR: HA
      Credits: 3

      A study of stage costuming with emphasis on design and construction. The course includes lecture and lab sessions. Lab fee required.


    • THTR 453 - Internship

      Credits: 3

      After consultation with a theater faculty member and a representative of a departmentally approved theater or dance company, students submit a written description of a proposed summer internship with the company. Specific conditions of the internship and of required on-campus, follow-up projects must be approved by the department. Students register for the credit during fall registration, and the credit is awarded at the end of the fall term after completion of the required on-campus, follow-up projects.


  5. At least six credits chosen from among the following:
    • DANC 120 - Introduction to Contemporary Modern Dance

      FDR: HA
      Credits: 3

      This course combines the exploration of individual and ensemble artistic expression in contemporary modern dance with the study of the history of modern dance. The course culminates in a performance presentation.


    • DANC 215 - World Dance Technique

      FDR: HA
      Credits: 2

      This dance class reflects the world dance form that is the specialty of the dance artist-in-residence. The basic dance techniques of that specific form are taught and movement is tied to the historical narrative of the country.


    • DANC 225 - Intermediate Contemporary Modern Dance Technique

      Credits: 2

      A studio course devoted to refining effort/shape values and pursuing performance quality phrasing and style in "Horton" modern dance technique. Students investigate self-directed reverse combinations, deconstruct movement phrases into sequential elements, and learn methods for written and oral analysis of dance. Students practice listening to the body by connecting movement phrases with kinesthetic experiences. May be repeated for up to eight credits.


    • DANC 230 - Musical-Theater Dance Technique

      Credits: 2

      A studio exploration of choreography in musical theater from the 1940s to the present. Composition, theme, and form are discussed in concert with practical work in restaging historically significant musical dance numbers. Of particular interest are the choreographers' styles and the many dance techniques prevalent in musical theater. These issues are experienced through dance practica as original choreography is taught. May be repeated for up to six degree credits.


    • DANC 233 - Movement for Actors

      FDR: HA
      Credits: 3

      This course exams an array of methods that provide a vocabulary for thinking about, acting upon, and talking about movement and gesture and the physical integration of voice, breath, speech, and movement. We explore Alexander Technique and create an awareness of physical habits of 'misuse' and transform them by focusing on breathing and vocal work. Students examine viewpoints as a method for vocabulary to discuss work and as a tool for creating it. Laban Movement Analysis looks at these same concepts as a language for interpreting and documenting human movement. Class meetings include lecture, studio work, and individual projects, and the course culminates in individual performance works that explore the synthesis of muscle coordination, sensory perception, and knowledge.


    • DANC 235 - Head to Toe

      FDR: HA
      Credits: 4

      The theory and practice of creating a lecture/demonstration-style performance based on the Virginia Standards of Learning (SOLs) for elementary students. This class spends time researching recent scholarly writings on the brain, neural wiring and how pairing movement with traditional educational concepts can help young children to learn better. Students then use these principles to create a lecture/demonstration for local 4th- and 5th-grade students, including meeting and discussing ideas with local principals, setting up performances, creating a concert that ties to Virginia SOLs in English, science or mathematics, making costumes, sets or other production elements, choreographing and performing the material. Students also prepare an evaluation of the production and create literature to leave with the teachers so that the basic principles used to create the performance can be continued if desired.


    • DANC 250 - Aerial Dance Techniques

      FDR: HA
      Credits: 3

      This course examines a unique array of techniques from across the aerial arts and a diversity of experimental approaches to movement in the air. The history of the form as well as lineage of style and current techniques are expressed through lecture, studio work, required readings and videos, masterclasses, performances, and written responses.


    • DANC 292 - Ballet Technique

      Credits: 2

      This studio course is devoted to the practice of classical ballet technique and to the exploration of classical and contemporary ballet in performance. The course culminates in a performance presentation. This course may be repeated for degree credit for up to six degree credits.


Film and Visual Culture minor

A minor in film and visual culture requires completion of 18 credits from six courses. In meeting the requirements of this interdisciplinary major, a student must use at least nine (9) credits not also used to meet the requirements of any other major(s) or minor.

1. Introductory course: ENGL 233 or FILM 233
2. Capstone course: FILM 413 or other departmental directed study (e.g., 403) approved in advance
3. Four additional courses from the following, with at least one in each of the three categories.

a. Film Courses: EALL 215; FILM 236, 285; FREN 274; JOUR 212; POL 292; SOAN 225 and, when appropriate, ARTH 295; ENGL 292, 293, 295, 413; FILM 195, 196; LIT 295; ITAL 295; ROML 296; SPAN 290, 295

b. Visual Culture and Analysis Courses: ARTH 200, 244, 255, 258, 261, 262, 263, 266, 267, 273, 274, 356, 363, 364; ARTS 223; DANC 220, 240, 340; CHEM 156; FREN 331; HIST 105; JOUR 319, 241, 270; PHIL 262, 264; POL 290; REL 153

c. Production Courses: ARTS 111, 112, 120, 131, 217, 218, 219, 220, 221, 223, 224; DANC 120; FILM 255; THTR 121, 141, 220, 235, 241, 242, 251, 253, 336, 337, 338, 361; and, when appropriate, FILM 195

  1. Introductory course:
    • ENGL 233 - Film

      FDR: HL
      Credits: 3

      An introductory study of film in English. The course may focus on major representative texts or upon a subgenre or thematic approach. In all cases, the course introduces students to fundamental issues in the history and theory of film.


    • or
    • FILM 233 - Global Cinema

      FDR: HL
      Credits: 3

      An introductory study of film taught in English and with a topical focus upon texts from a variety of global film-making traditions. The course generally emphasizes one national film tradition and, within it, may focus on major representative texts or upon a subgenre or thematic approach. In all cases, the course introduces students to fundamental issues in the history and theory of film.


  2. Capstone course:
    • FILM 413 - Research and Writing

      Credits: 3

      A collaborative group research, writing, and/or production project for junior or senior minors, conducted in supervising faculty members' areas of expertise, with directed independent study culminating in a substantial final project. Possible topics include global and national film, focused treatments of auteur-directors or genres, film and psychology, film and technological change, film and painting, original film production.

      Winter 2017, FILM 413-01: Rsch&Writ: Screenplay (3). Prerequisite: Instructor consent. In this course, students will practice the essentials of screenwriting, completing the pre-production process on a full-length screenplay from storyline development through a scene map and into first a rough draft at midterm with a final draft due at the end of the term.  Through reading key texts on screenwriting and studying the process, the student will learn the basic storytelling concepts of screenwriting, how to develop those concepts into a compelling story, and finish out the term with a staged reading of the script for an audience.

      Winter 2017, FILM 413-02: Rsrch&Writ: Documentary (3). Prerequisite: Instructor consent. In this course, students will practice the essentials of documentary filmmaking from developing a basic idea into the outline of a script, creating a detailed shooting schedule for production, completing this schedule and taking the raw footage into post-production with advanced non-linear editing software.  Through the reading of key texts on the making of documentary, discussion of these texts with the professor, the students will learn the key components of documentary filmmaking and put them into practice with a finished film produced by the end of the term.


    • or other departmental directed study (e.g., 403) approved in advance
  3. Four additional course from the following, with at least one in each of the three categories.
  4. Film Courses:
    • EALL 215 - East Asian Cinema

      FDR: HA
      Credits: 4

      This course provides an introduction to and overview of contemporary East Asian cinema, including the Chinese-language cinemas of the People's Republic of China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan, and those of Japan and Korea. It focuses on the flourishing cinema of East Asia since the 1980s and provides a solid foundation in the successes and dominant tendencies of contemporary East Asian cinema and culture. Among the aims of the course are examining ways in which the contemporary East Asian cinemas and cultures are in dialogue with one another and looking at specific conditions and cultural forces at work in each unique case. The course also explores how the cinemas of East Asia reflect the changing cultural, economic, historical, political and social conditions of each country and how these cinemas and cultures are part of a larger redefinition of the idea of a national culture. Screenings and readings consist of exemplary works from each East Asian culture, organized around specific motifs, such as history, memory, identity, communication, love, and death.


    • FILM 236 - Science Fiction & Fantasy: From Page to Screen and Beyond

      FDR: HL
      Credits: 4

      Film, almost from origins, has been fascinated by the evocation of fantasy worlds and by the effort to imagine and represent future worlds filled with technological marvels.(Film is, of course, a medium obsessed by its own technological improvements from sound and color to 30 and virtual reality.) From such major directors as Lang and Kubrick to Lucas and Spielberg, science fiction has attracted some of the finest and most innovative directors. In this course, we study major examples of this phenomenon along with the technological history and philosophical speculations contributing to it.


    • FILM 285 - Music in the Films of Stanley Kubrick

      FDR: HA
      Credits: 4

      How does music add power and meaning to a film? What are the connections between the flow of music and the flow of a dramatic narrative? How does music enhance visual images? The course will focus on the pre-existent classical compositions chosen by Stanley Kubrick for his movies 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), A Clockwork Orange (1971), Barry Lyndon (1975), and The Shining (1980). The ability to read music is not a requirement for this course.


    • FREN 274 - Cinéma français et francophone

      FDR: HL
      Credits: 4

      This course uses French language films as the basis for discussions, oral presentations and directed writing exercises. It is structured as an intensive workshop for students who would like to learn to analyze films. More generally the course provides a better understanding of contemporary French culture and improves French language proficiency in reading, writing, listening, and speaking. In Spring 2012 the class focuses on French New Wave films of the 1960s and '70s and the filmmakers who revolutionized film style by experimenting with hand-held cameras, natural light and sound, and by playfully foregrounding film technique. Students acquire the vocabulary to describe camera position, camera movement, and editing as the grammar and syntax of the mise-en-scène.' They acquire a better understanding of how the composition and sequencing of images contributes to narrative development. These films are a window onto the baby boom culture of post-war France and, as such, provide a deeper understanding of contemporary French culture.


    • JOUR 212 - The Journalist in Fiction and Film

      Credits: 4

      Since the time of Sophocles, at least, citizens have been tempted to "kill the messenger." Those bearing news are often at odds with the citizens to whom they bring the news. This class explores the tension between citizens and modern-day messengers by reading and viewing fictional depictions of journalists. Students examine the role of popular culture in forming myths, stereotypes and false expectations of journalists - and other groups - to understand better the role of journalists in a free society.


    • JOUR 338 - The Documentary

      Credits: 3

      A critical study of the documentary in film and television, with analysis of prominent directors and genres.


    • POL 292 - Topics in Politics and Film

      FDR: SS2
      Credits: 4

      This course examines how film and television present political issues and themes. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.


    • SOAN 225 - Peoples of Central Europe Through Literature and Film

      FDR: SS4
      Credits: 4

      This course provides basic information about the citizens of the Central European nations of Poland, the Czech Republic, and Hungary. The beliefs, attitudes, and value systems of the people of Central Europe are studied using core textbook readings supplemented by feature films, video materials, novels, short stories, plays, and poetry. Class discussions focus on interpreting these works of art in the context of comparative, historical-sociological analysis of the Polish, Czech, and Hungarian cultures and societies.


    • and, when appropriate,
    • ARTH 295 - Special Topics in Art History

      FDR: HA
      Credits: 3 in fall or winter, 4 in spring

      Selected topics in art history with written and oral reports. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.


    • ENGL 292 - Topics in British Literature

      FDR: HL
      Credits: 3 in fall or winter, 4 in spring

      Studies in British literature, supported by attention to historical contexts. Versions of this course may survey several periods or concentrate on a group of works from a short span of time. Students develop their analytical writing skills in a series of short papers. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

      Spring 2017, ENGL 292-01: Topic in British Literature: Utopian or Dystopian? (4). Prerequisite: Completion of the FW requirement. Over a decade ago, celebrated contemporary British science fiction and fantasy writer Gwyneth Jones's Bold as Love sequence anticipated both devolution and "Brexit" in an award-winning series published between 2001-2006. With titles drawn from Jimi Hendrix tunes and allusions to Arthurian legend, Shakespeare's history plays, English folk-tales, American westerns, and Chinese opera, the Bold as Love novels defy generic categories. Theories explored and tested include intertextuality and intermediality, sources and influences, and generic hybrids. (HL) Keen. Spring 2017 only

      Spring 2017, ENGL 292-02:  Middlemarch & Devoted Readers (4). Not open to students who have taken ENGL 299. Prerequisite: Completion of FW requirement. This seminar begins with and centers upon George Eliot's Middlemarch, a novel often regarded as one of the greatest and most ambitious produced in the era of the novel's securest cultural dominance and famously described by Virginia Woolf as one of the "few English novels written for grown-up people." It then problematizes this encounter by setting it in light of Rebecca's Mead's critically-acclaimed My Life in Middlemarch, a memoir of her devoted lifelong reading and reading of it, not just for pleasure but for its profound wisdom and insight. The question of such intense admiration verging on fandom is one that has received increasing scholarly attention, particularly in relation to the so-called Janeite phenomenon, that is, the love of Jane Austen fans for her novels, but extends to numerous other novelists, poets, playwrights, fun-makers, and their fans. Students supplement this focus of the course by researching and presenting their own exemplary case studies of such readerly devotion, obsession, or fandom. (HL) Adams.

      Fall 2017, ENGL 292A-01: Topics in British Literature: Literature of the British Slave Trade, 1688-2016 (3). The British slave trade lasted from the mid-1600s until 1807, but its legacy is more tenacious: more than 200 years after the abolition of the slave trade, novelists like Yaa Gyasi are still writing about the horrors and indignities of this violent institution. To study British literature, however, is often to encounter the slave trade as a shadow or a gap, something that lurks in the background of our favorite 18th- and 19th-century novels but never quite breaks through the surface. By placing novels like Mansfield Park (1814) and Jane Eyre (1847) alongside works that deal more explicitly with slavery, this course aims to disrupt that image of cozy, "civilized" England and demonstrate that British literature cannot be separated out from the Atlantic slave trade and British imperialism. (HL) Walle.


    • ENGL 293 - Topics in American Literature

      FDR: HL
      Credits: 3-4

      Studies in American literature, supported by attention to historical contexts. Versions of this course may survey several periods or concentrate on a group of works from a short span of time. Students develop their analytical writing skills in a series of short papers. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

      Spring 2017, ENGL 293-01: Topics in American Literature: Business in American Literature (4). In his 1776 book The Wealth of Nations, Adam Smith tells a powerful story of the free market as a way to organize our political and economic lives, a story that has governed much of the world ever since. This course studies that story, considers alternate stories of human economic organization, such as those of American Indian tribes, and sees how these stories have been acted out in American business and society. We study novels, films, short stories, non-fiction essays, autobiographies, advertisements, websites, some big corporations, and some local businesses in the Lexington area. Our goal is not to attack American business but to understand its characteristic strengths and weaknesses so we can make the best choices about how to live and work happily in a free market society. (HL) Smout.

      Spring 2017, ENGL 293-02: Topics in American Literature: The American Short Story (4). Prerequisite: Completion of the FW requirement. Initially limited to First-Years. This course is a study of the evolution of the short story in America from its roots, both domestic and international, tracing the main branches of its development in the 20th century. We also explore more recent permutations of the genre, such as magical realism, new realism, and minimalism. Having gained an appreciation for the history and variety of this distinctly modern genre, we focus our attention on the work of two American masters of the form, contemporaries and erstwhile friends who frequently read and commented on each other's work--Hemingway and Fitzgerald. We examine how they were influenced by their predecessors and by each other and how each helped to shape the genre. (HL) Oliver.

      Fall 2017, ENGL 293A-01: Topics in American Literature: xxxxxxxxx (3). (To be determined) (HL) Staff.


    • ENGL 295 - Spring-Term Seminar in Literary Studies

      FDR: HL
      Credits: 4

      Students in this course study a group of works related by theme, by culture, by topic, by genre, or by the critical approach taken to the texts. Involves field trips, film screenings, service learning, and/or other special projects, as appropriate, in addition to 8-10 hours per week of class meetings. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.


    • ENGL 413 - Senior Research and Writing

      Credits: 3

      A collaborative group research and writing project for senior majors, conducted in supervising faculty members' areas of expertise, with directed independent study culminating in a substantial final project. Possible topics include ecocriticism, literature and psychology, material conditions of authorship, and documentary poetics.

      Fall 2017, ENGL 413-01: Senior Research and Writing: The Art of Narrative (3). This seminar focuses on the development of narrative strategies in short stories and narrative essays. You identify specific literary techniques, analyze them, and apply them in your own writing—fiction, non-fiction, or a combination. A literary technique is any use of language that can be studied in the context of a literary work, abstracted into a general method, and then recreated in an entirely new work. During the term, you develop two major pieces of writing simultaneously, each worth one third of your final grade: (1) a portfolio of original short fiction and/or personal essays that employs some of the identified techniques; and (2) an analytical essay exploring literary techniques from a range of published works. The essay establishes patterns of technique use and argues why certain techniques are employed for similar or contrasting effects in varying contexts. The remaining third of your final grade is the accumulative average of smaller and process assignments leading up to the major pieces. (HL) Gavaler.


    • FILM 195 - Topics in Film Studies

      FDR: HA
      Credits: 3 credits in Fall or Winter; 4 credits in Spring

      Selected topic in film studies, focused on one or more of film history, theory, production, or screenwriting. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.


    • FILM 196 - Topics in Film and Literature

      FDR: HL
      Credits: 3 credits in Fall or Winter; 4 credits in Spring

      Selected topics in film and literature. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.


    • ITAL 295 - Topics in Italian Culture

      Credits: 3

      A second-year topics course focusing on issues and texts related to Italian literature and culture. All discussion, writing, and exercises are in Italian. May be repeated for degree credit with permission and if the topics are different.


    • LIT 295 - Special Topics in Literature in Translation

      FDR: HL
      Credits: 3 credits in Fall or Winter; 4 credits in Spring

      A selected topic focusing on a particular author, genre, motif or period in translation. The specific topic is determined by the interests of the individual instructor. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.


    • ROML 296 - Spring-Term Topics in Romance Languages

      Credits: 4

      Nature and content of the course is determined by the interests of the instructor(s) and student(s). May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different. Staff. Offered when interest is expressed and departmental resources permit.


    • SPAN 290 - Topics in Latin American Culture and Literature

      Credits: 4

      This course offers students the opportunity to further their knowledge of the culture and literature of a specific Latin American country, and their awareness of Latin America in general, through the study of special cultural and literary topics. Readings, discussions, and assignments occur primarily in Spanish. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.


    • SPAN 295 - Special Topics in Conversation

      Credits: 4

      Further development of listening and speaking skills necessary for advanced discussion. Acquisition of both practical and topic-specific vocabulary. Appropriate writing and reading assignments, related to the topic, accompany the primary emphasis on conversational skills. Recent topics include: Hispanic Cinema and La Prensa. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.


  5. Visual Culture and Analysis Courses:
    • ARTH 200 - Greek Art & Archaeology

      FDR: HA
      Credits: 3

      An introduction to ancient Greek art and archaeology. We encounter some of the greatest works of art in human history, as we survey the development of painting, sculpture, architecture, and town planning of the ancient Greeks. We encounter the history of the people behind the objects that they left behind, from the material remains of the Bronze Age palaces and Classical Athenian Acropolis to the world created in the wake of Alexander the Great's conquests. We also consider how we experience the ancient Greek world today through archaeological practice, cultural heritage, and the antiquities trade.


    • ARTH 255 - Northern Renaissance Art

      FDR: HA
      Credits: 3

      A survey of Northern painting from 1300 to 1600, examined as symbols of political, religious, and social concerns of painters, patrons, and viewers. Among the artists covered are Campin, van Eyck, van der Weyden, Dürer, Holbein, and Brueghel. Emphasis placed on interpretation of meaning and visual analysis.


    • ARTH 258 - Baroque and Rococo Art

      FDR: HA
      Credits: 3

      A survey of the art and architecture of Europe during the 17th and 18th centuries. The course focuses on the stylistic and ideological issues shaping western art during the age of Religious Wars. This course considers the stylistic innovations of Caravaggio, Bernini, Rubens, Rembrandt, Velasquez, Poussin, Watteau, Boucher, and Fragonard, as well as the function of- and interest in-artistic production within the context of 17th- and 18th-century society.


    • ARTH 261 - History of Photography

      FDR: HA
      Credits: 3

      An art-historical introduction to the history of photography, from its origins in the 19th century to the present day. Lectures and discussions examine photography's aesthetic, documentary, and "scientific" purposes; important contributors to photography and its history; the evolution of the camera and related technical processes; and issues of photographic theory and criticism. Photography is considered as a medium with its own rich history - bearing in mind stylistic shifts and changes in subject matter related to aesthetic, social, and cultural concerns - but also as a key component in the wider narrative of modern art.


    • ARTH 262 - 19th-Century European Art

      FDR: HA
      Credits: 3

      This course begins in the late 18th century and covers major European art movements and criticism up to c.1900. Topics include the art of the French Revolution as an instrument of propaganda; the rise of Romanticism; the advent and impact of early photography; and the aesthetic and ideological origins of Modern Art.


    • ARTH 263 - 20th-Century European Art

      FDR: HA
      Credits: 3

      This course covers major European art movements and criticism from the late 19th century through the 20th century. Lectures and discussions explore the implications of what it means for art to be/appear "modern," the social and aesthetic goals of the early avant-garde, the "rise and fall" of abstraction, and artistic responses to post-war mass culture. Movements discussed include Fauvism, Cubism, Futurism, Dada, Surrealism, Abstract Expressionism, and New Realism.


    • ARTH 266 - American Art to 1945

      FDR: HA
      Credits: 3

      A survey of painting and sculpture in the United States from its earliest settlement to about 1945. Lectures and discussions emphasize the English eastern seaboard development in the 17th and 18th centuries, though other geographical areas are included in the 19th and 20th centuries. Topics include art of the early colonies, the Hudson River School, Realism and Regionalism, and the reception of abstract art in the United States.


    • ARTH 267 - Art Since 1945

      FDR: HA
      Credits: 3

      This course introduces students to art and art theory from 1945 to the present. The objectives of the course are: (1) to enhance student knowledge of the major works, artists, and movements of art in Europe and the United States since 1945; (2) to integrate these works of art within the broader social and intellectual history of the period; and  (3) to help students develop their skills in visual analysis and historical interpretation. Among the issues we examine are the politics of abstract art; the ongoing dialogue between art and mass culture; the differences between modernism and postmodernism; and contemporary critiques of art history's prevailing narratives. This is a lecture course with a heavy emphasis on in-class discussion.


    • ARTH 273 - Arts of Modern Latin America

      FDR: HA
      Credits: 3

      This lecture course surveys the art and architecture of Latin America from circa 1900 to the present. Students explore the relationship between the arts in Europe and Latin America, trace the development of modern art in Latin America, and consider topics such as the rise of modernismo in Latin America, art in service of nationalism, indigenismo, and the growing Chicana/o movement in the United States. Among the artists covered are Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo, Tarsila do Amaral, Joaquin Torres-Garcia, Wilfredo Lam, Lygia Clark, and Francisco Botero.


    • ARTH 274 - Art and Revolution: Mexican Muralism

      FDR: HA
      Credits: 4

      This lecture course surveys public monumental art produced by Mexican artists Diego Rivera, José Clemente Orozco, and David Alfaro Siqueiros in Mexico and the United States from 1910 to the 1970s. These artists used art to promote the social ideals of the Mexican Revolution (1911-1920). Through this muralist movement, they attempted to build a new national consciousness by celebrating the cultural heritage of the Mexican people. Quickly, the muralists and their patrons came into conflict with one another concerning how to best achieve their utopian goal of equality for all Mexicans. This course examines the various ideologies of the Mexican muralists and considers reactions to muralism by other artists as well as the public. The class also examines the impact of muralism throughout Latin America and the United States.


    • ARTH 356 - Science in Art: Technical Examination of 17th-Century Dutch Paintings

      FDR: HA
      Credits: 4

      Spring Term Abroad course. A survey of 17th-century Dutch history, art history, politics, religion, economics, etc., which links the scientific analysis of art to the art and culture of the time. The course begins on campus and then history, etc., will occur for a few days in Lexington and then proceed to Center for European Studies, Universiteit Maastricht, The Netherlands. Students visit numerous museums, hear guest lectures from faculty at Universiteit Maastricht, and observe at conservation laboratories at some of the major Dutch art museums. Students are graded by their performance on two research projects involving presentations and journals. Though students are not required to learn a foreign language to participate in the program, they are expected to learn key phrases in Dutch as a matter of courtesy to citizens of the host country.


    • ARTH 363 - Surrealism

      FDR: HA
      Credits: 3

      Surrealism was one of the most multi-faceted and influential intellectual movements of the 20th century with a legacy and practice that continues today. This seminar examines the key writings and ideas that underlie surrealism with a focus on its artistic practice. We will consider works by artists including Salvador Dalí, René Magritte, and Max Ernst; watch surrealist films; discuss the significance of dreams; and play surrealist "games of chance."


    • ARTH 364 - Seminar on Art of the 1960s

      FDR: HA
      Credits: 3

      An exploration of the art produced during the decade of the 1960s. A seminal period, it includes Pop Art, Post-Painterly Abstraction, Minimalism, and socially conscious and politically oriented art reflecting feminism and black radicalism. Emphasis is placed not only on the major artistic currents of the period but also on the broader cultural reflections of these movements. .


    • ARTS 223 - Photography and the City

      FDR: HA
      Credits: 4

      Spring Term Abroad course. The city of Paris has played a critical role throughout the history of photography, from the invention of the daguerreotype in 1839, to its role today as a capitol of the contemporary photographic art scene. With this historical and cultural context in mind, students explore the city with their cameras, and create images based on their own visual research. Collaborative, interdisciplinary, and digital projects comprise the majority of work in this course, and gallery and museum visits play an integral role.


    • DANC 220 - Dance Composition

      FDR: HA
      Credits: 3

      A studio course exploring the craft and art of creating dance performances in a variety of styles and contexts. Images, text, music, improvisation and the elements of time, space and energy are examined as sources for dance material leading to group choreography. This course focuses on creating a finished performance piece for presentation.


    • DANC 240 - Contemporary Modern Dance History

      FDR: HA
      Credits: 3

      This course is a study of the manifestations of American modern dance from the beginning of the 20th century to the present. Students explore the relationship between dance and developments in U.S. culture and study the innovators of the art form and their techniques, writings, and art works through readings, video and lectures.


    • DANC 340 - Contemporary Dance Observation and Analysis

      FDR: HA
      Credits: 3

      The observation and analysis of live and recorded contemporary dance focusing on the work of emerging and established choreographers. Exploration of methods for describing the moving body in space. Emphasis is placed on the written and verbal critique of contemporary dance in performance.


    • CHEM 156 - Science in Art

      FDR: SC
      Credits: 3

      This course develops students' fundamental understanding of certain physical, chemical, biological, and geological concepts and utilizes that vocabulary and knowledge to discuss 17th-century Dutch art. The emphasis is on key aspects of optics, light, and chemical bonding needed to understand how a painting "works" and how art conservators analyze paintings in terms of conservation and authenticity, using techniques such as X-ray radiography, X-ray powder diffraction, scanning electron microscopy, Raman microscopy, infrared spectroscopy, infrared microscopy, infrared reflectography, gas chromatography, liquid chromatography, mass spectrometry, UV-vis spectroscopy, UV photography, and laser ablation methods. When possible, the course develops modern notions of science with those of the 17th century in order to see how 17th-century science influenced 17th-century art.


    • FREN 331 - Etudes thématiques

      FDR: HL
      Credits: 3

      This course gives students a general knowledge of the evolution of French literature and ideas over the centuries through the study of one main theme. Recent offerings include: L'Exil; Regards sur la ville; Le dépaysement; Le voyage dans la literature française; L'esprit critique au XVIIIe siècle. May be repeated for degree credit if the theme is different.


    • HIST 105 - Scenes from Chinese History

      FDR: HU
      Credits: 4

      As one of the 20th century's most influential forms of mass communication, film is more than mere entertainment entirely divorced from the social, political, economic and, ultimately, historical context in which it was produced. This is particularly true of modem nation-states "invented" during the 20th century like the People's Republic of China (PRC). The PRC has employed film to shape national consciousness relating to both contemporary and historical issues to link present and past by providing a standardized interpretation of Chinese history for the inculcation of the mass audience of its citizens. The course is intended to explore how contemporary PRC cinema has interpreted major events in Chinese history, such as the establishment of the dynastic system. the Opium War, and the War of Resistance Against Japan (a.k.a. World War II).


    • JOUR 241 - Media and Poverty: The Poor in Journalism and Film

      Credits: 4

      This course offers an in-depth examination of portrayals of poverty, chiefly in the United States, from the late 19th century to the present through an intensive review of distinguished print journalism, nonfiction books, documentary film, and movies. By consulting social science literature as well, students gain a deeper understanding of the various conceptual paradigms through which poverty has been understood and explained.


    • JOUR 270 - Digital Media and Society

      Credits: 4

      Facebook, YouTube, and iPhones are popular, if not essential elements in college students' busy lives. Being born into the digital age, students have grown up with profound and rapidly-changing media and communication technologies, yet likely take them for granted. This course takes an in-depth look at digital media, exploring the relationship between technology and social change. The concept of technological determinism guides our examination of social networking, online news/information, digital entertainment, and health online.


    • JOUR 319 - Mass Media and Society

      Credits: 3

      A review of the current research into and theories of how people use the mass media, emphasizing the impact of the mass media on public knowledge, attitudes, and discourse. Emphasis is placed on the relationship of mass media to other cultural institutions.


    • PHIL 262 - Art, Imagination, and Ethics

      FDR: HU
      Credits: 4

      This course considers ethical issues pertaining to the creation, consumption, and criticism of artistic works, including the visual arts, literature, and music. Can artistic works be assessed morally, and are such assessments relevant to their aesthetic assessment? Is it possible for a work of art to be deeply immoral and at the same time aesthetically excellent (or vice versa)? Is there a distinctive kind of moral knowledge that can only come about through engagement with works of art? To what extent, if at all, are artists accountable for the messages implicit in their works of art, or for the effects of these works on their audiences? Are there distinctive ethical issues raised by current forms of "popular art," e.g., video games, rap music, and slasher films?


    • PHIL 264 - Aesthetics

      FDR: HU
      Credits: 3

      This course offers a wide-ranging, reflective overview of contemporary debates in the philosophy of art. We discuss the following kinds of questions: How are artistic experience and value interrelated? In what does beauty consist? What is the nature of aesthetic experience? Should we value works of art for what we can learn from them? How do pictures represent? What constitutes artistic expression? In what ways is the imagination involved in engaging with artworks? Can emotional responses to fiction be genuine and rational? Is artistic intention relevant to the interpretation of artworks? Are there general principles of aesthetic evaluation? What are the relations between the moral and aesthetic values of art?


    • POL 290 - Seminar in Politics, Literature and the Arts

      FDR: SS2
      Credits: 3

      In this course, we study how literature, film, and other media are used to examine political themes and how they are used to achieve political ends. We address how politics shapes the arts and how the arts shape politics. The topic is announced at registration. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different. Only one such seminar may be counted towards the politics major.


    • REL 153 - Jesus in Fact, Fiction, and Film

      FDR: HU
      Credits: 3

      A study of representations of Jesus in history, fiction, and film and the ways in which they both reflect and generate diverse cultural identities from antiquity to the present. The course begins with the historical Jesus and controversies about his identity in antiquity and then focuses on parallel controversies in modern and postmodern fiction and film. Readings include early Christian literature (canonical and non-canonical), several modern novels and works of short fiction, and theoretical works on the relationship of literature to religion. In addition, we study several cinematic treatments of Jesus dating from the beginnings of filmmaking to the present.


  6. Production Courses:
    • ARTS 111 - Drawing I

      FDR: HA
      Credits: 3

      Development of skills and visual awareness through the study of the basic elements of drawing. Variety of media, including pencil, charcoal, ink and crayon. Lab fee required.


    • ARTS 112 - Drawing II

      FDR: HA
      Credits: 3

      Continuation of Drawing I. Lab fee required.


    • ARTS 120 - Photography I

      FDR: HA
      Credits: 3

      An introduction to the methods and materials of black and white film photography, with an emphasis on composition, exposure, and darkroom technique. The course includes a combination of image presentations, technical demonstrations, studio instruction, and group critiques. Lab fee required; cameras are available for check-out.


    • ARTS 131 - Design I

      FDR: HA
      Credits: 3

      An introduction to the elements and concepts of two-dimensional design within the context of current digital technology, with an emphasis on contemporary computer software programs.


    • ARTS 217 - Painting I

      FDR: HA
      Credits: 3

      Emphasis on color, design and spatial relationships. Work from observation and imagination in oil and acrylic. Lab fee required.


    • ARTS 218 - Painting II

      FDR: HA
      Credits: 3

      Continuation of ARTS 217. Lab fee required.


    • ARTS 219 - Painted Light: Interpreting the Landscape

      FDR: HA
      Credits: 4

      This course begins with the introduction of en plein air, a French expression which means "in the open air" and is used to describe the act of painting outdoors. We examine artists who have worked en plein air, past and present, study their work and methods, and then apply this knowledge to painting outdoors. Emphasis is on the way light and color define form and space. Students build on their knowledge of color theory through observation and implementation. Beginning with the concept of plein air, we quickly branch out to more interpretive and subjective uses of the landscape in painting, resulting in a cohesive body of work. Lab fee required.


    • ARTS 220 - Photography II

      FDR: HA
      Credits: 3

      An introduction to digital photography, explored through a combination of technique and creative problem solving. Methods and approaches for editing, sequencing, and presentation are investigated. The course includes a combination of demonstrations, studio instruction, and group critiques, as well as image presentations, readings, and discussions related to historical and contemporary movements in the medium. Lab fee required; cameras are available for check-out.


    • ARTS 221 - Antique Photographic Processes

      FDR: HA
      Credits: 4

      An exploration of 19th-century photographic processes within the context of the history of photography. Individual processes are learned through studio demonstration and intensive hands-on lab sessions. Processes covered in this course include salt printing, cyanotype, Van Dyke, kallitype, and platinum and palladium printing and toning, as well as wet plate collodion processes such as tintypes and ambrotypes. Students learn how to make enlarged digital negatives for contact printing from photographs that originate in either film or digital formats. In addition to technique, students learn the historical background of each process, as well as contemporary trends and artists working with these methods.


    • ARTS 223 - Photography and the City

      FDR: HA
      Credits: 4

      Spring Term Abroad course. The city of Paris has played a critical role throughout the history of photography, from the invention of the daguerreotype in 1839, to its role today as a capitol of the contemporary photographic art scene. With this historical and cultural context in mind, students explore the city with their cameras, and create images based on their own visual research. Collaborative, interdisciplinary, and digital projects comprise the majority of work in this course, and gallery and museum visits play an integral role.


    • ARTS 224 - Color Photography

      FDR: HA
      Credits: 3

      An exploration of the visual and technical principles of color photography, as applied in the digital realm. Students learn the concepts of color photography through studio projects, as well as image presentations, readings, and discussions of methods and artists, historical and contemporary. Students photograph in digital format and learn the craft of fine color printing in the digital darkroom. Lab fee required; cameras are available for check-out.


    • DANC 120 - Introduction to Contemporary Modern Dance

      FDR: HA
      Credits: 3

      This course combines the exploration of individual and ensemble artistic expression in contemporary modern dance with the study of the history of modern dance. The course culminates in a performance presentation.


    • FILM 255 - Seven-Minute Shakespeare

      FDR: HA
      Credits: 4

      After intensive collective reading and discussion of four Shakespeare plays in the first week, students organize into four-person groups with the goal of producing a seven-minute video version of one of the plays by the end of the term, using only the actual text of the play. The project requires full engagement and commitment, and includes tasks such as editing and selecting from the text to produce the film script, creating storyboards, casting and recruiting actors, rehearsing, filming, editing, adding sound tracks and effects. We critique and learn from each other's efforts.


    • JOUR 266 - Cross-Cultural Documentary Filmmaking

      Credits: 4

      The United States is a melting pot of nationalities and cultures. As people move to the U.S. from other countries they go through cross-cultural adaptation, and identity becomes an issue for everyone. Students in this course work in three-person teams to produce five-minute documentaries on cross-cultural adaptation by an ethnic community in our region or by selected international students at Washington and Lee. Students are expected to immerse themselves in learning about the home countries and current communities of their subjects. The course includes instruction in the techniques of documentary film-making, allowing students to develop their writing, storytelling, shooting and editing skills.


    • THTR 121 - Introduction to Text and Performance

      FDR: HA
      Credits: 3

      This course explores the intersection between dramatic script and performance.  Students are guided through a method of critical strategies for assessing and interpreting dramatic literature, as well as a series of formal writing exercises designed to develop their critical and creative abilities. The course  culminates in the creation and presentation of student-written and performed scenes.


    • THTR 141 - Stage Acting I

      FDR: HA
      Credits: 3

      An introduction to acting for the stage. In this hands-on class, students learn and develop physical and vocal techniques for text-based and improvisational performance, focusing on relationships, objectives, and actions. Work includes in-class scene presentations from modern scripts.


    • THTR 220 - Playwriting

      FDR: HA
      Credits: 3

      An introductory workshop in creative writing for the theater that will focus on traditional forms of scene and script writing. Opportunities for collaborative writing and devised theater may be included. Weekly writing and reading assignments are required. Limited enrollment.


    • THTR 241 - Stage Acting II

      FDR: HA
      Credits: 3

      A studio course continuation of THTR 141 with greater emphasis placed on research techniques and performance.


    • THTR 242 - Musical Theater

      FDR: HA
      Credits: 3

      Students learn, through study of seminal texts and video clips of performances and interviews with performers, a basic history of the American musical theater as an art form, combining the talents of composers, lyricists, directors, choreographers, set and costume designers, and others. Students research musical dramatic literature and apply musical and acting skills in the development and performance of excerpts from distinctive musicals of various eras. Students develop constructive, critical methods in the process of practicing and viewing musical theater performance.


    • THTR 251 - Introduction to Performance Design

      FDR: HA
      Credits: 3

      An introduction to the history, fundamentals and aesthetics of design for theater and dance with an emphasis on the collaborative nature of the design disciplines. Design projects are required. Lab fee required


    • THTR 253 - Digital Production

      FDR: HA
      Credits: 3

      Digital technologies and multimedia interaction are increasingly utilized to produce, enhance, and innovate theatrical production. Students examine and experiment with various digital technologies as they relate to theater and dance performance. Students create digital audio, video, design rendering, and animation projects for theatrical performances.


    • THTR 336 - Lighting Design

      FDR: HA
      Credits: 3

      A study of the practice of stage lighting, focusing on styles of production, historical methods and artistic theory. Culminates in a light design for a public theatrical production. Lab fee required.


    • THTR 337 - Scene Painting and Scenic Art

      FDR: HA
      Credits: 3

      This course is an exploration and application of the methods and materials used in painting and finishing scenery for the theater. The course covers both historical and current scene painting techniques, as well as the tools and paints that have been developed to support those techniques. Outside projects are required. Lab fee required.


    • THTR 338 - Costume Design

      FDR: HA
      Credits: 3

      A study of stage costuming with emphasis on design and construction. The course includes lecture and lab sessions. Lab fee required.


    • THTR 361 - Stage Directing 1

      FDR: HA
      Credits: 3

      An introduction to directing for the stage.  In this hands-on class, students learn and develop basic techniques for integrating work with scripts, performers, and designers into a cohesive stage performance.  Students direct scenes from realistic modern or contemporary plays, focusing on collaboration, clarity, imagination, and analysis to create stage pictures and character relationships that tell a specific story on stage.  The class culminates in invited classroom performances.


    • and, when appropriate,
    • FILM 195 - Topics in Film Studies

      FDR: HA
      Credits: 3 credits in Fall or Winter; 4 credits in Spring

      Selected topic in film studies, focused on one or more of film history, theory, production, or screenwriting. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.


Theater minor

A minor in theater requires at least 18 credits. A student may not complete both a major and a minor in theater. In meeting the requirements of this discipline-based minor, a student may not use more than nine credits that are also used to meet the requirements of another major or minor.

  1. THTR 109, 131, 132, 141, 209
  2. THTR 210 or 211
  3. Two other courses of at least three credits, one at the 300 level, chosen from theater courses, excluding THTR 471 and THTR 493
  1. Required courses:
    • THTR 109 - University Theater

      Credits: 1

      Participation in a university theater production for a minimum of 50 hours. A journal recording the production process is required. May be repeated for degree credit with permission. Maximum seven credits for students with a major or minor in theater, eight credits for others.


    • THTR 131 - Fundamentals of Theater Art

      FDR: HA
      Credits: 3

      An introduction to modern theater practice involving two hours of lecture per week and participation of approximately 45-60 hours of work in a large-scale production spread throughout the term. A practical course, emphasizing scene-craft, stage lighting, and prop making. The student applies the methods and theories discussed in class to work on actual productions. Laboratory course with THTR 132.


    • THTR 132 - Laboratory for Fundamentals of Theater Art I

      Credits: 1

      An introduction to modern theater practice involving four hours of laboratory work per week. A practical course, emphasizing scenecraft, stage lighting, and prop making. The student applies the methods and theories discussed in class to work on actual productions.


    • THTR 141 - Stage Acting I

      FDR: HA
      Credits: 3

      An introduction to acting for the stage. In this hands-on class, students learn and develop physical and vocal techniques for text-based and improvisational performance, focusing on relationships, objectives, and actions. Work includes in-class scene presentations from modern scripts.


    • THTR 209 - University Theater II: Stage Management

      Credits: 1

      Stage management is an essential position for all theatrical productions. Students develop management techniques through the study of the production problems of a major dramatic work or theatrical project being produced by the department. Students are required to participate in the production in a stage management capacity.


  2. Take one of the following courses:
    • THTR 210 - History of Theater and Drama I

      FDR: HA
      Credits: 3

      A brief overview of some of the major performance conventions, artists, and dramatic scripts from the classical Greek to the Renaissance theaters.  New and traditional approaches to analyzing scripts, as well as a section devoted to the current department season, are included. Students attend live performances, participate in group creative exercises, write critical analyses of plays, and conduct individual research projects.


    • or
    • THTR 211 - History of Theater and Drama II

      FDR: HA
      Credits: 3

      A brief overview of some of the major performance conventions, artists, and dramatic scripts from the neoclassical to contemporary theaters.  New and traditional approaches to analyzing scripts, as well as a section devoted to the current department season, are included. Students attend live performances, participate in group creative exercises, write critical analyses of plays, and conduct individual research projects.


  3. Two other courses of at least three credits one at the 300 level, chosen from theater courses, excluding THTR 471 and THTR 493