Lewis Center Courses
How do artists make art? How do we evaluate it? In this course, students of all levels get to experience firsthand the particular challenges and rewards of art making through practical engagement with five fields — creative writing, visual art, theater, dance, and music — under the guidance of professionals.
A performance course in West African drumming with a focus on music from the Mandé Empire (Mali, Guinea, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Gambia, Guinea Bissau and Senegal.) Taught by master drummer Olivier Tarpaga, exponent of the Mogo Kele Foli drumming technique, the course provides hands-on experience on the Djembe drum. Students will acquire performance experience, skills and techniques on the Djansa (Diansa), and develop an appreciation for the integrity of drumming in the daily life of West Africa.
In this transformative time, when national politics seems frayed at best, local government meetings remain sites of direct democracy and creative protest. Is Politics a Performance? looks at how we perform in these meetings, and who gets to play which roles. Drawing on the tools of sociology, philosophy, civics and theater, we will analyze meetings in Princeton and Trenton, as well as other US cities. With many government functions now taking place online, the course also reckons with our emerging, digital commons. Through a layered, practical and fun approach to decision-making, citizenship and dramaturgy, this class is ideal for students considering work in public policy, education, social sciences and performing arts.
In this seminar we will study moments of change at seven crucial stages in the life cycle (childhood, adolescence, courtship and marriage, work, maturity, and death) in order to discover the conflicts and contradictions, the emotional truth, and the possibilities that such moments hold for us. Our medium will be the short story. Great short stories show us convincingly how change comes about, each one unique and yet ultimately universal. How do moments of revelation occur? What are these changes each of us must discover in a unique way? What pushes us? What shows us the way? Or, does it result from within?
This seminar will study the history and nature of fairy tales, superstitions, conspiracy theories, and urban myths, particularly in regard to the way that they reflect the concerns and fears of society. We will examine the ways in which these differ from one another, and the means by which entire communities create, preserve, disseminate and fortify them.
This studio class is about painting and practice. Painting has such a long and complicated history that is now transforming and including adjacent events, perspectives, and artists—that there is no real place to start. It has become professional and is an academic area of study. That said—anyone can use a paintbrush somehow and make a painting.