MCAD emphasizes a collaborative process and working with students from all majors. For this Bachelor of Fine Arts minor, you will take courses in several different areas, including a core focus, adding up to 15 total credits required for graduation.
Required Courses - These are the core courses that every student takes.
Studio Electives - Throughout your studies, you can choose from several studio electives that give you hands-on creative time.
Humanities and Sciences Electives - These classes round out your experience at MCAD, deepen your creative practice, and fulfill non-studio requirements for a degree.
Key to the creative and critical growth of the engaged, successful artist is participation in a culture of writing and inquiry. Students in this course focus on the kinds of writing they will encounter and produce in their coursework at MCAD and as creative professionals. Regular writing workshops allow students to concentrate on experiential and practical approaches to writing. Students explore a variety of texts and objects through class assignments, and then develop clear compelling essays employing a variety of rhetorical and narrative strategies.
This class involves a close study of novels and short stories that fit within the genre of magical realism within the context of an introductory writer’s workshop. Magical realism engages a combination of traditional realism infused with the fantastic, the mythical, and the nightmarish. Students will read novels and short fiction from different cultural contexts in order to compare the workings of magical realism around the world, examine other contemporary manifestations of magical realism in media, and create their own writing in the style of the genre.
For generations, the transformative and magical powers of traditional folktales and fairytales have defined and shaped identities and characters. Indeed, these literary forms have become part of everyday culture. In this course students examine why these tales have had such staying power, the controversies that have surrounded them, and how they relate to the historical, political, and social issues of their times. From the bloody chamber of Bluebeard to the coming of age of Little Red Riding Hood, students trace the evolution of these folk narratives to the current retellings of these tales in both literature and film. Objectives of the class include gaining the ability to: read and analyze select, key examples of traditional folktales and fairytales; explain folktales and fairytales in relation to historical, political, and social issues; identify the ways in which folktales and fairytales reflect and influence everyday culture; understand and use the methods of literary analysis; and demonstrate an awareness of the transformation of folktales and fairytales up to the present day.
This course provides an introduction to literature from a global and historical perspective, from Gilgamesh to Gabriel García Márquez, and from the poetry of classical China to that of Stalinist Russia. In the four thousand years of literary history that this course covers, students read epic and lyric poems, religious tracts, philosophical dialogues, short stories, novels, and plays. Along with a survey of literature of the world, this course introduces students to the methods and concepts of literary studies and analysis. Class sessions are a mixture of lecture, discussion, and group work.
Theatre is perhaps the only art form which incorporates every other art: design, literature, music, dance, and film. In this class, students will meet award-winning playwrights, directors, designers, choreographers, and musicians to learn more about how each creative discipline is applied to the ultimate collaborative process of theatrical performance. We will be introduced to the basic theories of acting, directing, and design, and practice analyzing images, songs, and scenes from professional productions. Students will travel off-campus to see one or two professional productions, in addition to professional productions at the Children’s Theatre. Most importantly, students will be encouraged to develop their own point of view about the creative choices in a work of theatre and their own interpretations about what those choices signify to the audience.
The graphic novel is an art form that oﬀers the best of both worlds. While gaining legitimacy as a literary/art form, it retains the excitement and unique properties of reading a comic book. Students in this course read, discuss, and analyze graphic novels, as well as engage in critical scholarship on and about the graphic novel form. Looking at graphic novels in genres like mystery, superhero, manga, memoir, history and politics, or works beyond categorization, students examine how these stories are structured: the forms of novel, novella, and short story help diﬀerentiate and explain the subtleties of these forms. The class focuses on social, structural, and thematic issues of these specific texts and explores the possibilities of the form itself.
This class combines a close study of the works of classic and contemporary fantasy/science fiction writers with a writing workshop component. The primary focus of this class is the creation of altered realities—worlds that present a reality as different, yet connected and meaningful to our own. A series of assigned writing exercises give participants in the class the chance to build their own worlds and begin the process of peopling them with appropriate characters. Class exploration focuses on developing students' own unique logic, questions, interrogations, and approaches to fantasy/science fiction genre writing. Class sessions are discussion-based.
This course offers students a hemispheric perspective on the study of literature, focusing on a range of works from underrepresented, marginalized, and outsider authors in the Americas from the nineteenth century to the present. Students have an opportunity to challenge conventional categorizations of writers from across the Americas—not just in the United States—by fostering transnational and transhistorical perspectives while considering concepts including identity, race, citizenship, hybridity, and nationhood.
In this course students have the opportunity to read and discuss a variety of examples of children’s literature and discuss the issues and theories that drive the scholarly field. Are literary genres defined by readers or authors? By tradition, critics, or markets? Students explore these questions and others while gaining a working knowledge of the critical skills necessary to articulate in writing and presentations an informed aesthetic and critical response to literature for children.
In this hands-on class, students read the work and advice of contemporary poets, along with selected examples from the past, to hone the crafts of sound, the line, metaphor, voice, imagery, and revision in their own poems. Through guided exercises students deepen their understanding of the creative process. By viewing live and videotaped interviews and readings and exploring the publishing process, students gain a sense of the many forms in which contemporary poets appear. Class sessions are discussion-based.
Storytelling is humankind's oldest art form, and in many ways we define and know ourselves best by the creation of a series of events that almost magically transform themselves into plot, characters, and themes. How we invent and tell a story is how we see the world. Narrative and Storytelling develops students’ appreciation for plot, story arc, and character development, and familiarizes students with the various techniques of sequential narrative, non-sequential narrative, and experimental narrative. This course fulfills the Creative and Professional Writing requirement for Humanities and Sciences.
This class provides powerful tools that help students understand why a movie works or doesn't work. It teaches the basics of film structure, of writing good dialogue, and of creating effective characters and dramatic situations. Class sessions are discussion-based. Students turn in weekly assignments, starting with short scenes and problems and moving on to several short scripts. This course fulfills the Creative and Professional Writing requirement for Humanities and Sciences.
This course investigates the aesthetic issues at the heart of writing as an art in itself. Course topics illuminate the kind of thinking that guides and inspires and require students to develop presentations and to explore creatively. Students engage in deep investigations into the nature of communication and inquiries about the role of language. The class may include trips to and possibly participation in local events to enhance the classroom experience and students’ understanding of the creative writing process. This course fulfills the Creative and Professional Writing requirement for Humanities and Sciences.
This course explores the power of the spoken word. Students integrate the voice with visual communication utilized on social media platforms, the internet, TV, radio, and so forth, and attend recording studio sessions with professional voiceover talent. Students write various pieces for the voice and attain the skills necessary to develop any audio broadcast assignment from concept stage through final air-quality production without supervision.
In Advanced Screenwriting, each student develops and structures a conventional or alternative screenplay. Students who choose a mid-length format write the complete screenplay, while students who choose a feature-length format write a significant portion of the work. Students orally present their ideas for feedback from the class, then write iterative drafts of their scripts to be read for class critiques. Feedback is rigorous but supportive, and each student is expected to write at a high level. It is recommended that students complete Beginning Screenwriting before enrolling in this course. This course fulfills the Creative and Professional Writing requirement for Humanities and Sciences.
The main undertaking in this class is to discuss, create, edit, critique, and revise poetry. Members of the advanced poetry workshop hone their craft and gain a deeper sense of themselves as poets through the analysis of their own work, their peers’ work, and the work of practicing poets. Students are required to explore a variety of poetic voices and modes by writing and submitting one new poem each week and to perform in-depth, weekly critiques of their colleagues’ work. This course fulfills the Creative and Professional Writing requirement for Humanities and Sciences.
This course allows students working on short stories, novels, and memoirs, among other types of narrative types and forms, to benefit from an intensive workshop experience. (Note: Students who wish to pursue poetry or screenwriting at the advanced level should take Advanced Poetry Workshop or Advanced Screenwriting.) The course challenges students to create publishable literary works through analysis of works on a common reading list and an intensive process of drafting and critique. This course fulfills the Creative and Professional Writing requirement in Humanities and Sciences for BFA students.
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