Offers students sound introduction to the psychological and behavioral theories of entertainment media with the goal of implementing these theories to the future design and evaluation of games for change. Focuses more on the psychological, behavioral, and social aspects of video games than on pure technical aspects. Organized around a collection of selected readings and real-world games and discussions. The final project is based on reflective thinking, critical evaluation, and creative application.
Special Topics: Politics of Work – COMM4912 (4SH)
Description: This course is designed to foster a critical understanding of how “big ideas” about certain kinds of work shape who pursues certain kinds of jobs, how their work is structured and managed, and why some work seems to be valued more than other kinds of work. The first few weeks of the class will provide a theoretical framework around occupational identity, and the remainder of the class will focus on experiential and research-based explorations of various forms of work and organizing (reflecting student interest). The class will be collaborative and discussion-based, and students will work together to generate research-based, thoughtful writing about jobs and occupations for a public audience. Ideally, students will develop a reflexive understanding about how economy, culture, and identity shape the meaning and value of certain kinds of work, and meaningfully reflect on the kinds of work they hope to pursue.
Special Topics: Environmental/Risk Communication – COMM4918 (4SH)
Description: In this writing intensive seminar, students analyze major debates over the environment, climate change, and related technologies such as nuclear energy, wind power, natural gas “fracking” and food biotechnology. Students will learn about the relevant scientific, political, and ethical dimensions of each case; the generalizable theories, frameworks, and methods that scholars use to analyze them; and the implications for effective public communication, policymaker engagement, and personal decision-making. Students will gain an integrated understanding of the different roles they can play as professionals, advocates, and consumers. In doing so, they will have improved their ability to find, discuss, evaluate, and use expert sources of information; assess competing media claims and narratives; write persuasive essays, analyses, and commentaries; and author evidence-based research papers.
Sound Design – MUST2320 (4SH)
Instructs students in the art of producing and designing musical accompaniments for a variety of media including film, TV commercials, industrial video, animation, games, theatre, and radio drama. Focuses on abstract thinking regarding sound theory and practice and includes hands-on skills.
Prereq. Music majors and combined majors or permission of instructor.
Twentieth Century Music – MUSC1125 (4SH)
Focuses on developments in music from 1900 to 2000. Examines a broad range of musical styles including expressionism, neoclassicism, and other major trends in music of the twentieth century.
NU Core: Arts Level 1
Music, Sexuality, and the New Global Order – MUSC1139 (4SH)
Introduces critical debates on the role of sexuality, focusing on a number of popular music or artists from around the globe—the transgendered pop of Saida Sultan/Danna International; dance and the body politics in post-Suharto Indonesia; and the intersection of sex, nation, and religion in Turkey—to explore the continuously changing categories of gender and sexuality in the processes of globalization. Sexuality is central to popular music because of the way in which it is enacted and embodied by performers and also interpreted by the audience. Although conventions and customs of local cultures and/or societies continue to inform popular music, globalization has opened up spaces in which it is possible to rearticulate gender and sexual identities.
NU Core: Arts Level 1
Introduction to Opera – MUSC2107 (4SH)
Offers an historical, social, political, economic, and artistic overview of the evolution of opera from its beginnings to the present day. Examines basic musical concepts (harmony, melody, and orchestration), structures of opera (aria, ensemble, and recitative), vocal categories and schools, and the relationship between literature, history, and librettos. Offers close study of selected operas in various styles (bel canto, verismo, and so on) by Mozart, Rossini, Verdi, Puccini, Tchaikovsky, Wagner, and others.
Special Topics: Jazz Composition and Arranging – MUSC2540 (4SH)
This course is designed to fully engage the student in writing jazz compositions. Through score study, listening and writing, various styles of the jazz idiom will be explored. Some styles, which will be the focus of the course, are Afro-Cuban, Big Band, fusion and funk. The student will have opportunity to write for small and large ensembles, as well as vocalists. The course will culminate with a reading of the student compositions, as well as the examination of the students’ finished scores.
Special Topics: Music Mind and Brain – MUSC2540 (4SH)
From the time of the Ancient Greeks, music has been construed as both an art and a science. This course investigates the ways humans perceive, respond to, perform, and create music. We first investigate the role of the auditory system in transforming physical sonic phenomena into psychoacoustic phenomena. We analyze how the mind processes musical characteristics such as pitch, harmony, and timbre cognitively. We also examine how musical skills are acquired, and the role of music in evolution. At the end of the term we examine the role that culture plays in music cognition, and examine the cross-sensory cognition, for example, music and moving image.
Seminar in Ethnomusicology – MUSC4641 (4SH)
Offers a practice-oriented course, the goal of which is to apply theories and paradigms covered in MUSC 3350. Requires a final paper/research proposal and presentation. The research project necessitates fieldwork, reading relevant literature (including research methodology, research techniques, and proposal writing), and reflecting about questions in which students are interested and methods of addressing them through ethnography. Focuses on critical aspects of proposal and project development, including data analysis, audiovisual techniques, methodology, and ethics of ethnomusicology. Prereq. MUSC 3350 and junior or senior standing.
Musical Theatre Technique: You Can’t Stop the Beat – THTR3570 (4 SH)
Try defying gravity. Through solo songs, musical scenes and group dance numbers, discover how acting choices unlock a musical theatre performance. Explore songs and scenes from the classics (Rodgers and Hammerstein, Cole Porter), the innovators (Sondheim, HAIR) and the new wave (Duncan Sheik, Green Day). Includes research on the musicals and culminates in a semester-end showcase. Taught by Maurice Emmanuel Parent.
Activism and Performance – THTR1215 (4 SH)
Change the world with art. Explore the intersection of theatre, politics, and social transformation by studying and attending performances of fearless activist theatre artists who work in theatre, docudrama, ritual, dance, street theatre, and community generated performance. Attend productions and combines theory with practice. Culminates in the creation of an original activist performance on campus. Taught by Mike Lueger.
NU Core: Arts level 1
The Boston Theatre Experience – THTR2335 (4 SH)
Attend professional Boston productions of a dynamic and diverse range of styles and genres. Through preparatory readings and lectures, combined with post-play assessments and interactions with professional theatre artists, discover what’s happening on-and off-stage in contemporary theatre. Tickets and attendance of plays outside of class time are required. Taught by Bridget O’Leary, Associate Artistic Director of the New Repertory Theatre.
Playwriting – THTR2330 (4SH)
Creative Writing + Theatre = A Dramatic Awakening. Discover the creative dynamic of writing dialogue for the stage. With an emphasis on process, risk-taking, and finding one’s own voice, explore how a playwright develops characters, scene structure, themes, and action. Culminates in the writing of an original one-act play performed by professional actors. Taught by award-winning playwright Joyce Van Dyke.
Introduction to Acting – THTR1130 (4SH)
Discover techniques that awaken the creative mind, body, and spirit of the actor. Through theatre games and voice/movement exercises, offers students an opportunity to explore and develop skills used by actors in preparation for a role. Students rehearse and perform scenes from contemporary plays. Designed for non-theatre majors; previous stage experience welcome but not required. Taught by Samantha Richert.
NU Core: Arts level 1