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Home / College Catalog / 2016-18 / Academic Programs / Liberal Studies & Continuing Education

Draft in progress

The Liberal Studies Program: Performing and Visual Arts Courses

Note: It is expected that each course will be offered at least once during 2016–17 or 2017–18.

Arts Management
Film/Media Studies
Film/Video Production
Painting and Drawing

Arts Management Courses

Fundamentals of Arts Management
AMG 1100
Refer to
Arts Management Courses (School of the Arts) for description.

Funding the Arts
AMG 3100
Refer to Arts Management Courses (School of the Arts) for description.

Arts and Entertainment Law
AMG 3170
Refer to Arts Management Courses (School of the Arts) for description.

Marketing the Arts
AMG 3520
Refer to Arts Management Courses (School of the Arts) for description.

Internship in Arts Management
AMG 3995
/ 3 credits
This internship provides students with practical experience in the field, a professional résumé credit, and the opportunity to assess their future career potential in visual, media, or performing arts management. A minimum of 112.5 on-site internship hours and an academic project (defined by the faculty sponsor) are required. Limited to nonmatriculated students enrolled in the arts management certificate program.
Note: Before registering, students must: (a) schedule an in-person or phone appointment with the certificate advisor in the School of Liberal Studies & Continuing Education—call (914) 251-6500 to schedule an appointment; (b) research and secure their sponsoring organization; and (c) complete a learning contract.
Prerequisite: AMG 1100, AMG 3520, and permission of instructor

Film/Media Studies Courses

Mass Media: A Cultural History
CMS 3040
/ 4 credits
An interdisciplinary (social science and humanities) course that emphasizes critical thinking in understanding the social and historical effects of mass media in the U.S. and throughout the world. This course begins in 19th-century America, when print media shaped and defined the national culture, and concludes in the current century with the mass-media convergence of print, electronic, and digital multimedia that is shaping and defining our global culture.

History and Memory: Literature and Films of Atrocity
CMS 3050
/ 4 credits
Students study historic accounts, memoirs, diaries, and cinematic depictions of such atrocities as the Jewish Holocaust, Armenian and Rwandan genocides, Stalinist and South African purges, and Cambodian massacres. Genocide and mass murder are dissected by considering the causes, methods, aftermath, and possibly the lessons learned.

Frontline Reporting: Global Conflict
CMS 3060
/ 4 credits
The past century saw two world wars and countless smaller, armed conflagrations over land, political influence, and ancient hatreds. This course focuses on a variety of post–World War II conflicts as reported by international journalists. Students learn about the atrocities in Bosnia, the Middle East, and Africa, among others, but most of all, they learn how war and conflict are reported.

East–West: Film and Literature of Cultural Formation
CMS 3080
/ 4 credits
Students explore contemporary literary and cinematic expressions of immigrant groups seeking acceptance in Western cultures. The focus is on issues related to assimilation, identity, and the reactions of the Western mainstream cultures as outside forces compete for recognition. The immigrant groups depicted include those originating in Southeast Asia, China, Africa, and the Middle East.

Social Psychological Theory Applied Through Film
CMS 3090
/ 4 credits
A discussion of the constructs, theories, and ideas in the field of social psychology that are most relevant to contemporary society. Films that are rich in examples of social psychological theory are analyzed to facilitate mastery of these concepts.

Film and Artistic Expression
CMS 3100
/ 4 credits
The most successful films function as both art and entertainment; students explore why this balance is a rare achievement. Topics include the business origins and aspects of cinema, films that concern and depict artistic process, and a critical/historical evaluation of films as works of art. Film aesthetics are examined from several perspectives, including grammar, genres and forms, and auteur theory.

The Law and Film
CMS 3120
/ 4 credits
An examination of how law functions (or malfunctions), using contemporary films to illustrate the U.S. criminal justice system. Students review a series of films and compare them to literature and contemporary realities. Topics include arrest, interrogation, and the right to an attorney; preparation for trial and jury selection; the conduct of a trial, including opening statements, examinations and cross-examinations of witnesses, and sentencing; and imprisonment.

American Film, Reflections of a Century I: 1900 to 1949
CMS 3130
/ 4 credits
Early films depict the transition from the Victorian era to the Industrial Age, the birth of big cities, the suffragette movement, and the development of narrative cinema. Topics include World War I and the introduction of the propaganda film, the wild Jazz Age, the cynical gangster movies, the protest films of the Depression era, and the rise of escapist films.

African American Cinema
CMS 3140
/ 4 credits
This focus on African American cinema includes the work of major African American directors and performers and the films that reflect the complex issues attending the relationship between race and film in the United States.

American Subcultures in Film
CMS 3160
/ 4 credits
What does it mean to be part of a subculture? This phenomenon is explored through film, focusing on subcultures that are usually not in the mainstream spotlight and analyzing what it means to live on the margins. The subcultures may include, for example, the Amish, big rig drivers, Scrabble champions, graffiti artists, quadriplegic athletes, prison inmates, and outsider artists.

American Film, Reflections of a Century II: 1950 to 1999
CMS 3170
/ 4 credits
Defining trends in U.S. cultural history between 1950 and 1999, as reflected in film. Topics include the re-introduction of realism, counterculture films, films by socially oriented and “new auteur” directors, and the impact of AIDS, relations between the sexes, and modern special effects. Aspects of cinema history are also examined, including the construct and use of certain genres, the relationship between cinematic realism and censorship, and the rise of independent film.

The Horror Film
CMS 3180
/ 4 credits
Charts the transformations of one of the most stimulating and complex of film genres, the horror film, from its birth in the early 20th century to the present. Students study how the Hollywood horror film has evolved through the years in response to contemporary culture.

The Family on Film
CMS 3190
/ 4 credits
Explores the many types of families presented on the silver screen in the 20th century and today: perfect/idyllic families, families threatened by divorce, dysfunctional families, eccentric families, families facing a crisis, and current notions of extended or nontraditional families.

American Film, Reflections of a Century III: The 21st Century
CMS 3200
/ 4 credits
Analyzes trends in American cultural history as reflected in the movies from 1990 onward, with an exploration of precursors. Topics include the digital age, globalism, millennialism, postmodernism, and what is to come in the future. Students examine connections between Western civilization and landmarks of film history—cinema mirroring society and vice versa.

The Comedy Film
CMS 3210
/ 4 credits
Throughout the history of cinema, the comedy film has been one of the most financially profitable genres, producing some of the biggest movie stars. Topics include various comedy film styles and performers, and the role of the comedy film genre within the context of world history, especially during darker periods like the Depression and World War II.

The City on Film
CMS 3235
/ 4 credits
“The city” is examined from some of the perspectives in which it has been depicted in film, beginning with early screen melodramas where the evils of the city are juxtaposed against the virtues of country life. Discussions range from the plight of anonymous individuals struggling for recognition and representations of the “urban jungle” in 1940s film noir to more contemporary perspectives. Filmmakers who incorporate the city as an identifying aspect of their directorial styles are also considered.

Gender Expression in Film
CMS 3240
/ 4 credits
By focusing on masculinities, femininities, and the space in between, this course examines the cultural structure of gender and investigates the various ways that gender is expressed visually in film.

The American Crime Film
CMS 3270
/ 4 credits
An examination of the transformations, both stylistic and thematic, within the crime film. Topics include the ways in which social attitudes toward crime and criminals are mediated in the social conventions of the cinema, the relationship of the crime film to distinct periods of American history, and the relevance of the crime film to other genres.

Romance, Love, and Sex on Film
CMS 3280
/ 4 credits
The various styles of lovemaking that have dominated the silver screen are examined, considering them both as art and entertainment and as reflections of social mores and attitudes. Topics vary through the decades, ranging from the early “peep show” days of the film industry through eras of moralism and censorship to the more sexually liberated and explicit films of the 1950s and beyond.

Sports Films: Underdogs, Champions, and Gutter Balls
CMS 3290
/ 4 credits
Examines the elements and messages in sports films that make people cheer for the underdog and care about teams, players, and sports. Using both big-budget Hollywood films and documentaries with a small scope, this course explores the ideas of team, sport, and athletics and investigates the grip that sports have on American culture.

Lights, Camera, God: Religion in the Movies
CMS 3340
/ 4 credits
Since the dawn of cinema, religion has had an enduring hold on filmmakers’ creative and spiritual imaginations. The symbolic and controversial role of religion in movies made during the 20th century is examined through films and critical readings. Students analyze Judeo-Christian traditions and imagery inspired by the Bible and sacred sites. Films include cinematic masterpieces, popular movies, silent films, and indie features.

Musicals: Stage, Screen, and Beyond
THP 3255
/ 4 credits
Musicals are used as the focus for comparing works of art. Broadway musicals are often based on movies, and vice versa—and both draw from literature. They also generate multiple adaptations, recordings, and broadcasts. Topics include the relationship of theatre and film, use of song and dance, and how similar ideas and stories are handled in different media and eras.

Film/Video Production Courses

Introduction to Video Techniques and Technology
CMS 1400
/ 3 credits
This introduction to the art and science of video production focuses on developing visual literacy and postproduction skills. Starting with an examination of basic video technology and traditional media aesthetics, all stages of the video production process are covered. Students receive introductory technical training and hands-on experience with digital camcorders, microphones, and nonlinear editing equipment.

Documentary Production
CMS 3320
/ 3 credits
An examination of the history, cultural impact, and aesthetics of documentary film and video production. Through viewings, lectures, discussions, and hands-on exercises, students learn how to research, write, interview, direct, shoot, and edit a documentary. Using camcorders and editing equipment, students produce their own short documentaries.

Music Courses

Music and Cultural Identity
CMS 3073
/ 4 credits
A study of music in its cultural contexts, including how it defines and perpetuates national, cultural, ethnic, and personal identity around the world. The class examines the recording, performing, and broadcasting of music and the role of race, class, and gender in Spain, Central Asia, Australia, Europe, Africa, and the Americas. Looking through the lens of culture, students see who drives the music industry, who listens, and for what purposes.

American History and Society Through Music
HIS 3130
Refer to History under Humanities Courses for description.

American Music: A Cultural History
MUS 3470
/ 4 credits
Using an interdisciplinary approach, students analyze the social and historical effects of American music, from the music of Native Americans and the early Europeans in America to gospel, blues, jazz, rhythm and blues, rock ’n’ roll, rap, hip-hop, and beyond. The evolution and convergence of musical genres and forms are also examined, along with the artists, their aesthetics and audiences, and the evolving history of American culture.

Music of Protest
MTH 3115
/ 4 credits
A survey of the past 50 years of popular protest music, with a preparatory examination of early 20th-century blues and socialist “magnet” songs. Students study the power of popular music and the artist’s role in shaping contemporary society, with a focus on three eras of social upheaval in the U.S.: the civil rights movement, the war in Vietnam, and the emergence of punk and hip-hop. Includes readings, musical analysis, and listening. The ability to read musical notation is not required, but a working knowledge of contemporary popular music is critical.

The Great Broadway Songwriters
THP 3340
/ 4 credits
Come taste the finest sampling of the great Broadway songwriters. Each class examines a particular songwriter (Cole Porter, Stephen Sondheim), idea (the subversives: Weill and Bernstein), or era (contemporary voices on Broadway). Students savor recordings, investigate the dramatic qualities of the songs, and analyze lyrics, melody, and song form.

Painting and Drawing Courses

Fundamentals of Painting
PAD 1100
/ 3 credits
This course develops each student’s unique personal vision and style. Students are encouraged to be creative and to develop “image books” and sequential paintings to foster awareness of their own emergent tendencies. Students learn the fundamental aspects of painting and visual form, including color theory, thematic development, composition, palette and canvas preparation, and painting media and techniques.

Painting From Art History
PAD 1110
/ 3 credits
A lecture/studio course that explores transformations of previous art by important artists from prehistoric times through the postmodern era. Students learn to research and analyze composition, style, and content of significant paintings and apply new methods to their own work. Designed for all levels of accomplishment, from beginning through advanced.

Life Drawing
PAD 2070
/ 3 credits
This studio/art history course offers each student the opportunity to draw from a live model as well as from the wealth of art history’s famous masters like Rembrandt and da Vinci. The form and structure of the model are explored in a variety of media. Traditional and modern drawing concepts are introduced, including gesture, contour, relational technique, value, and composition.

Drawing From Nature
PAD 2075
/ 3 credits
Designed for all levels, beginning through advanced, this course uses the Purchase campus and environs as its subject. Students work with a variety of drawing materials, developing their abilities to observe and interpret landscape. The class meets in the studio for the first session and during inclement weather. Students are responsible for providing their own transportation to off-campus sites.

Photography Courses

Introduction to Digital Photography
PHO 1101
/ 3 credits
An introduction to the techniques, current practices, and history surrounding digital photography. Editing techniques are covered, with attention to image manipulation using Adobe Photoshop and RAW files. Composition, lighting, point of view, and use of narrative are explored. A digital camera is required; cameras may be borrowed, as available, from Campus Technology Services. Students may not earn credit for both PHO 1100 (offered by the School of Art+Design) and PHO 1101.

Sculpture Courses

Introduction to Bronze Casting
SCP 1070
/ 3 credits
An exploration of foundry techniques based on traditional methods of lost-wax bronze casting. Students prepare wax objects, make molds, and cast sculptural pieces in bronze during an all-day Saturday casting (a festive event with music, potluck refreshments, and invited guests). All levels of experience are welcome, and individuals can advance at their own pace.

Introduction to Woodworking and Furniture Design
SCP 2670
/ 3 credits
Designed to provide a firm foundation in woodworking processes and techniques, this course covers the structure of wood, its identification, aesthetics, and uses as a design material. A wide range of tools and construction techniques are explored with emphasis on hand work, although machinery and machine joinery are covered. Basic cabinet-making and design techniques are covered with related projects.

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School of Liberal Studies & Continuing Education


Liberal Studies Degree Completion Program


Communications, BS

Liberal Studies, BA

Liberal Studies: Arts, BA

Liberal Studies: Legal Studies, BA

Professional Certificate Programs:

Arts Management
Early Childhood Development

Undergraduate Courses:

Natural Sciences
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