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Six ALP courses to round out your fall schedule

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Speaking to my peers across majors in Trinity, everyone is always scrambling to complete the graduation requirements not covered by their majors. For me, that meant taking science classes and learning a foreign language, but for many students, it represents some of the largest scheduling challenges they will face. 

For many, the Arts, Literature, and Performance (ALP) area of knowledge can be difficult to pick classes in, partly due to its complete foreignness from their major courses, and also due to the wealth of options present with the designation. With that in mind, we at The Chronicle have compiled some of the most interesting ALP courses we could find for your reading and scheduling pleasure. So, even if you’re a visual and media studies or music major, hopefully, you can find some unique and engaging classes to take. 

Music 140 / AAAS 140: Introduction to Jazz

It is fair to say that so much of modern music would not exist were it not for the influences of jazz music. Deeply rooted in the African-American experience, jazz has had an immense impact on both American and world culture. This course will cover the inception of jazz and trace its evolution to the modern-day, dealing with its fight against American racism and its emergence as “the preeminent American art music of the twentieth century.”

This course has one section and is taught by Dr. Andrew Waggoner, who is a composer and instructor of music, and counts towards ALP and CCI graduation requirements. 

ARTHIST 256 / ITALIAN 256 / ROMST 256 / MEDREN 246: Italian Baroque Art

One area of study that I have always wished I could have spent more time in is art history. The stunning works of Renaissance and Baroque-era Italy are well renowned for their beauty as well as the deftness with which they navigated the complex social themes of the time. 

Italian Baroque Art will trace the movement in architecture, sculpture and painting. At this time, the intense questions of religious upheaval gripped Europe, with the Reformation and Catholic Counter-Reformation, which had an immense impact on the art created in Italy. This course will examine these effects and work with some of the most stunning works ever brought into reality. 

This course has one section and is taught by Dr. Kristin Huffman, lecturing fellow of art, art history and visual studies, and counts towards ALP, CCI and CZ graduation requirements. 

VMS 355 / ENGLISH 288 / CINE 212: American Dreams American Movies

We have always been told that “art reflects life” and vice versa. This is rarely as true as the reflection of life brought about by American cinema, which is much of the focus of American Dreams American Movies. 

Through studying films like "Rear Window," "Casablanca" and "Dr. Strangelove," students in this course examine the cultural history of America and perform some fundamental film analysis. It is an opportunity to “[understand] American movies in terms of America’s past and the very different ways we think today,” as Dr. Marianna Torgovnick wrote, in an email to the Chronicle. 

This course has one section and is taught by Dr. Torgovnick, professor of English, and counts towards the ALP graduation requirement. 

CLST 303 / THEATRST 230 / VMS 282: Drama of Ancient Greece

Athenian art and plays are some of the oldest and best maintained cultural artifacts of the ancient world and they provide "a method of understanding how ancient Greeks thought about some of life’s big questions (What is justice? Do people have free will?)," according to Dr. Erika Weiberg. By studying ancient Greek drama, you can understand the ways that much of culture has not changed in two millennia, and how some aspects of ancient art are “weirder than you can imagine. All while having a lot of fun,” Weiberg wrote in an email.

This course has one section and is taught by Weiberg, assistant professor of classical studies, and counts towards the ALP and CZ graduation requirements. 

ROMST 205S / ITALIAN 225S / LIT 205S / MEDREN 304S: The Problem of Love in Western Literature

As anyone who has been in love could tell you, love is difficult and corrosive and wonderful. Its complicated nature has been no uncommon subject in Western Literature for over 2000 years, which will be examined in this course through the analysis of Virgil, Boccaccio, da Vinci and  Michelangelo, among many other seminal figures of culture. 

This course has one section and is taught by Dr. Martin Eisner, chair of romance studies and professor of Italian, and counts towards the ALP, CCI, R and CZ graduation requirements. The course is reserved for sophomores only, as it is part of the new Transformative Ideas program for sophomores.

MUSIC 237 / LSGS 337: Latinx Music Cultures

While it has come to dominate pop charts and capture the world’s ears, the history of Latinx music and its role in many disparate cultures is still often misunderstood. 

“The main goal of Latinx Music Cultures is to introduce students to the diverse music of Latinx communities in Latin America and the U.S., while also de-bunking [stereotypical] ideas about what Latinx music sounds like, who engages with it and where it traces its origins,” said assistant professor of music Dr. Sophia Enriquez. For any student looking to better understand one of the preeminent music forms of North America, this course is for you. 

This course has one section and is taught by Enriquez and counts towards ALP and CCI graduation requirements. 

Correction: An earlier version of this article described Ancient Greece as the "bedrock of western civilization," in a blurb on Dr. Erika Weiberg's Drama of Ancient Greece course. This was not a direct quote from Dr. Weiberg and did not accurately reflect the thinking of her course. The description has been updated to better reflect the course. The Chronicle regrets the error. 

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