ENGL 18
Getting to the Big Ideas Winter 2022

Cross-listed MUS 20 / ENGL 18 / THEA 20 / AFR 20 / SPEC 20

Class Details

What is the central idea behind any creative enterprise and how does one discover it? What is the artistic inspiration that fuels the creative journey? In this course, we will attend to these questions through an unearthing of the collaborative process of creative discernment. Led by the Emmy-Award Producer and Williams Alumnus Frank Doelger ’75 (Rome, John Adams and Game of Thrones), and in conversation with award-winning documentary filmmaker and Professor of Africana Studies Rhon Manigault-Bryant, students will consider multiple narrative forms as they take a deep dive into the big ideas that generate stories. The course is informed by the work of African American science fiction writer Octavia E. Butler (1947-2006). With her collection Blood Child and Other Stories as a springboard, and a dynamic scaffolding process, we will explore the manifold creative decisions that inform the transformation of stories from one medium to the other. Each week, student groups will tackle the logistics that drive the creative process, including character formation, animation, music, and storyline. They will develop stories as writers and designers (week one); directors and composers (week two) and producers (week three), and at the end of the course present a culminating project of their collaborative storytelling journey. That final project–the creation of a lookbook–visually tells the stories creatives in a format that is used throughout the television and film industries. Informed by the tutorial style 15 students will be placed into groups of 3, and together will design the lookbook. The entire class will meet twice per week from 11am to 1pm, and each trio will have their own individual meeting times with the instructor(s) for 1.5 hours between 11am and 3pm. Groups will also meet a minimum of 2 hours outside of organized class time. Experts throughout the film and television industries will be “zoomed” in at no additional cost to students.
The Class: Format: lecture
Limit: 15
Grading: pass/fail only
Requirements/Evaluation: final project or presentation
Prerequisites: none
Enrollment Preferences: students will be selected to the ensure broadest sense of diversity and inclusion (race, gender, identity, etc) as well as diversity of major and field
Materials/Lab Fee: $250
Notes: This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
MUS 20 ENGL 18 THEA 20 AFR 20 SPEC 20

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