outside on the lawn
The Creative Discovery courses listed below provide opportunities for a broad introduction across a range of creative fields. They give you the opportunity to join thinking and making, while also providing access to performances, screenings, exhibitions, and other exciting events, on-campus and off. Such courses provide a foundation for future experiences as artists, performers, designers, videographers, and writers -- and for future experiences as responsive thinkers and engaged audience members in the domain of arts and culture.

For up-to-date information, see the Berkeley Academic Guide for schedule and course availability.

Creative Gateway Courses

L&S 25 Thinking Through Art and Design @ Berkeley: Creativity, Migration, and Transformation
Peter Glazer and Stan Lai

Department: Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies

Co-taught by Peter Glazer and Stan Lai, this series will explore the specific and metaphoric connections amongst Creative action—adapting Stan Lai’s concepts and training—and the possibility of personal, cultural, and social transformation. How do we understand movement, migration, and change both metaphorically and literally? How do artists working in literature, visual art, film, performance, and design explore and enact transformation? Aside from featuring insight into the works and creative methods of Asia’s Stan Lai, the series will also delve into current trends in Latino-American/Latino arts, as well as European and African art and performance.


HUM 20 Explorations in Arts and Design @ Berkeley
Shannon Jackson

Department: Arts + Design Initiative In collaboration with the Office of the Dean of Arts & Humanities

A+D Mondays @ BAMPFA is a weekly, public lecture series organized and sponsored by the Arts + Design Initiative and co-curated by departments and throughout the campus as well as with local and national arts organizations. Through lectures by leading scholars, artists, and public figures, students are introduced to key vocabularies, forms, and histories from the many arts, design, humanities, and media disciplines represented at UC Berkeley. Each year, the series is conceived around a central theme that responds to significant works and events on campus and beyond. For 2018-19, the theme is Fact and Fiction—for centuries, artists and critics have placed pressure on both of these terms, often asking us to question how to separate truth from lies, the real from the artificial, and fact from fiction. Addressing a range of political contexts and utilizing an array of creative forms, speakers offer new approaches to these age-old questions.

Students engage with the lecture series through weekly response papers and a final reflection paper.


Creative Discovery Courses

Rhetoric 184 Language and Movement
Marianne Constable

Department: Rhetoric

How does one become more aware of oneself as a mover, doer, learner, knower? Does one learn to do things with language - to read, to write, even to think - in the same ways as one learns to move? This studio-seminar course engages with these sorts of questions through experiences with and responses to basic movement lessons, through academic readings about embodiment, through observation of and reflection on performances, and through writing and discussion.

The seminar meets twice a week. The basic aim is to become more aware of the way you move and the way you use language and, through this awareness, to become more skilled at what you want to say and do. The aspiration is not only to become aware of how you do the things you do, but also to reflect on how this awareness can serve you well in coming to know - or to learn about - the world we inhabit. On Tuesdays, we meet in a studio and students do a movement lesson (roughly an hour, generally drawn from Feldenkrais Method ® Awareness-through-Movement (ATM) lessons). After a 5-minute break, we  discuss the lesson and related short readings or videos tailored to student interests and experiences. On Thursdays, we meet in a seminar room where we focus on more substantial academic readings relating language, bodies, and action. Themes include awareness, observation (of self, others, and environment), expressiveness, and learning. Attention in studio is on oneself in place/space; breath; ease, timing, and range of movement; use of the self and self-image; voice; repetition and rest. Academic themes include: habit, intention, and strain; perception, observation, imagination; the “mind-body problem”; discipline (and its discontents). Discussions integrate attention to bodily movement and language with analysis and interpretation of assigned readings, videos, and students' short writings.


Public Policy 190 Introduction to Labor Studies
Anibel Ferus-Comelo

Department: Goldman School of Public Policy & Labor Center

This course provides a broad, interdisciplinary overview of the U.S. labor movement as a catalyst for progressive change. It will introduce students to the changing nature of employment, the power dynamics at work with diversity and inclusion as the analytical lens, while considering why and how workers form unions in response. It serves as a foundation course of a Labor Studies program that is envisioned at Cal. One of the primary objectives of this course is to develop a theoretical and practical understanding of contemporary workers’ experiences in the U.S. shaped by race, class, gender, sexuality, immigration status, language, religion, and other social constructs. There will be a special comparative focus on the role of structures and the space for agency and mobilization in the Latinx, Black and Asian American communities. The course will cover current challenges facing the US workforce, such as wage theft, temporary and contingent employment, corporate restructuring, the impact of technology, and globalization. Despite tremendous political and legal obstacles, millennials are organizing to build power that is transforming their communities. In 2017, 76 percent of the increase in union membership was workers under 35. Disruptive innovations in workers’ rights campaigns such as the Fight for $15 and teachers’ walk-outs have led a resurgence of bargaining for the common good. The course will integrate guest speakers, films, current news, blogs, and community engagement to deepen students’ appreciation of the role of unions and workers’ centers in promoting intersectional equity and justice.


History of Art C62 Introduction to Italian Renaissance Art
Henrike Lange

Department: History of Art

Berkeley’s interdisciplinary Italian Renaissance survey presents moments from Italian art and literature from circa 1300 to circa 1600 and considers artworks and texts as mirrors and motors of cultural change in visual and textual media. Its active components include the search for traces of Italian culture on campus, in the Bay Area, and San Francisco, and the consideration of the presented historical challenges and conflicts in their enduring relevance, and the production of research-based creative final projects.

Learning objectives include: starting the life-long process of carefully looking at art and gaining knowledge and inspiration from it, acquiring a memory of visual knowledge through the practice of memorizing artworks, gaining insights into the history of religions, understanding better the connections between the Italian Renaissance and American cultural practices and aesthetics, becoming aware of differences in media, style, and material, approaching texts and images more sensitively, describing well, citing primary and secondary sources in a professional and academically sound format, and making informed choices about one’s own research and creative-artistic approach for any given topic.


Italian Studies 120 Triumphs: An Anthropology of Literature and Art, from Ancient Rome to the Present Day
Henrike Lange

Department: Italian Studies

This class combines elements from Professor Lange’s art history seminar “Psychologies of Art” and her Italian Studies graduate seminar “Trionfi/Triumphs.” It offers a cross-disciplinary investigation of the long history of triumphs in art, architecture, music, ritual, theory, religious studies, and general political iconography. Responding to the distribution of enrolling students’ interests, the class will focus on the late medieval / early modern, nineteenth and early twentieth century, and present-day components of triumphs. Through a variety of creative components, we will discuss the question of medium and meaning in triumphal gestures in history. Such gestures appear in the form of monuments, processions, and iconographies from ancient Roman triumphs to the present day in a global framework. Stations of this cultural history investigation include the ancient Roman arches and their relief decoration, booty and spolia, the Christian medieval “triumph of humility,” Renaissance triumphs in literature (Dante, Petrarch, Boccaccio), the imagery of triumphs in print and painting (Mantegna, Dürer, Rubens), the Latino tradition of religious processions, operatic adaptations, Fascist triumphal imagery under the direction of Mussolini and Leni Riefenstahl, and other modern examples of triumphs and reversals in contemporary Italian cinema such as in Roberto Benigni’s La vita è bella. Conducted in English, the class is open to majors from all fields. Italian and other non-English texts (such as French, Spanish, and German) will be introduced on a basic level if desired by the students.


SPH 196 Fung Fellowship for Wellness and Technology Innovations
Jennifer Mangold

Department: Fung Institute for Engineering Leadership

Fung Fellowship for Wellness and Technology Innovations is a transdisciplinary entrepreneurship and innovations program that brings together diverse undergraduates from over 20 different majors - from engineering to public health to arts and humanities -  to develop innovative solutions to health and wellness challenges facing kids and older adults. The Fellowship seeks and nurtures emerging leaders from groups often overlooked by other entrepreneurship programs: women, transfer students, first generation college students, veterans.

The Spring course incorporates creative discovery through human centered design principles and processes, with students working on teams that: conduct customer research, employ lo-fidelity prototyping methods (including acting, bodystorming), engage in technology solution product ideation and design. If this grant is awarded we will be able to expand to include students more deeply in the makerspace ecosystem on campus and develop multimedia presentations of their semester-long journeys and prototypes that address the needs of their target populations.


Art 160 Designing and Activating Public Space
Jill Miller

Department: Art Practice

This course will focus on the research, design, and planning of the Wurster South Courtyard. Starting from a completely gutted and stripped down site, students will work collaboratively to create a plan for building a multi-use space for video screenings, performance work, and collaborative projects. In this course, students will: explore the history of public gardens and piazzas through research and field trips, experiment with a range of materials for the built and natural environment, and design the layout for the courtyard installation. We will speak to local experts in the areas of placemaking, landscaping and programming public art spaces. We will design and construct different components of the space. Students will curate a pop up exhibition on site as a final project.


ME110 Introduction to Product Development
Ala Moradian

Department: Mechanical Engineering

Introduction to Product Development is an elective course offered by the Mechanical Engineering program. It is a technically-focused course that allows students to make deeper connections between technology and cultural, artistic and philosophical themes. Hosted in the Jacobs Institute for Design Innovation, the course provides students with a toolbox meant to help them identify a problem, search for potential solutions, evaluate the problem in the context of realistic limitations (practical, economic, environmental, and regulatory), then developing the solution in a tangible form for further testing. In the end, the course empowers students to experience the entire product development cycle.

Students are made aware of the grand intent of design and the meaning of creating value for customers, with the realization that value creation is not limited to the monetary aspect. Addressing global, societal, and environmental issues can be a rewarding experience for an interdisciplinary team of artists, engineers, researchers, and scientists. Building a robot walking on the wall might be cool, but solving a problem in a developing country, addressing drinking water challenges, forest fires, homelessness etc. can be much more impactful. Considering that the course has no prerequisites, students from different technical levels and various departments are welcome to join this educational experience. Topics discussed in this class are meant to expose students to the tools and methodologies commonly used in real-world product design to engage customers, understand their explicit or implicit needs, and come up with meaningful solutions in interdisciplinary teams.

Students are strongly encouraged to connect with each other as teams and engage in extensive collaboration using resources available to them at the Jacobs Center (such as Makers Pass) and beyond. Through this course, students can discover unmet needs in the society (we will refer to them as “bugs”), reflect and come up with potential solutions.


Design Innovation 198
Vivek Rao

Department: Design Innovation (Engineering)

Design Innovation 198, Design Innovation Bootcamp, teaches students the mindsets, toolsets, and skillsets of design and innovation in an intensive, hands-on format. Student teams explore a systems-scale design opportunity - this year, it will be  the future of mobility - using a design thinking approach. Students develop four core skills: qualitative design research methods, problem framing and re-framing, concept development and prototyping, and storytelling. Design theory and practice skills are developed through lecture, case studies, focused use of the Jacobs Institute for Design Innovation Makerspace, and experiential assignments.

The course was piloted in Spring 2018 to positive student reviews, and will be expanded in Spring 2019 to deepen student mastery of problem framing and discovery, storytelling, and critical feedback and reflection. The course structure includes four six-hour class sessions for a one-week intensive format in January before classes be


ES21AC A Comparative Survey of Race and Ethnicity in the United States: An Introduction to Abolition Pedagogy and Practice
Victoria Robinson

Department: Ethnic Studies

When asked to reflect on her own experiences as a political prisoner in relationship to her work as a “prison abolitionist” with Critical Resistance, Angela Davis comments, “The most important lessons emanating from those campaigns, we thought, demonstrate the need to examine the overall role of the prison system, especially its class and racial character. There was a relationship, as George Jackson had insisted, between the rising numbers of political prisoners, and the imprisonment of increasing numbers of poor people of color. If prison was the state-sanctioned destination for activists such as myself, it was also used as a surrogate solution to social problems associated with poverty and racism.” While speaking very directly to the prison system, her critical connections on an institution we commonly accept as a logical destination for those deemed as “criminal” offers a guiding framework for our survey course on “racial and ethnic groups in the United States.” As we think comparatively about the experiences of racial and ethnic groups, through themes relevant to the historical development of America (settler colonialism, slavery, immigration, labor, politics, community formation…) we seek to ask the type of questions demonstrated by Davis in her reflections on the prison in U.S. society. Instead of simply accepting institutions and ideologies as given, or the only ways to do things, the driving question of a course like ours is how can we learn from the movements that created Ethnic Studies (liberation movements of the 1960s) and envision a different reality. This course provides students with the tools and historical background needed to engage in meaningful and informed debates about race, gender, legal status, crime and punishment. Central to this learning and analysis is the question, ‘how might we forge an abolition pedagogy’, and how has/can such pedagogy be formed in antiracist and feminist scholarship,

grounded in domestic and transnational grassroots social movements? In addressing these, the course intimately links the community and the academy as sites of organizing and analysis in critical prison studies and abolition movements.


CWR4B Images of History
Patricia Steenland

Department: College Writing Programs

This class performs a in-depth exploration of the Japanese American internment, and asks, How do we come to understand the past? Once an event recedes, we are left with an unfiltered mix of sources and perspectives, each reflecting a partial truth.  We begin with the following texts as our starting points: Mine Okubo's pictorial memoir of the Japanese American internment, Citizen 13660 and a novel, Julie Otsuka’s When The Emperor Was Divine (part of which is set in Berkeley). Students also look at other representations of this event in different genres, such as films, essays, oral histories, diaries, and standard history textbooks, to explore differences in genre and perspective. For the final research project, students choose their own topic to explore from the internment and work with primary materials found both online and at the Bancroft Library, including the Densho Digital Archive, an immensely rich collection of materials on this subject.

The Internment is the largest violation of constitutional rights in our nation's history. It has been increasingly invoked as a historical parallel to issues our country faces now.  This current relevance makes it all the more important to understand the event itself and its historical context.

This class is one of seven participating in the UC Berkeley-Library of Congress pilot project. The project's goal is to introduce primary source assignments into beginning courses as a means to introduce students to critical inquiry and discovery.


Theater 146B Choreography: Compositional Study
Lisa Wymore

Department: Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies

This course will focus on the creation of small group dances in the style of modern/contemporary concert dance performance. The beginning of the semester includes in-class exercises on topics such as form, structure, space, phrasing, partnering techniques and rhythm. The second part of the class involves auditioning dancers/performers for choreographic studies, project management, and completing given assignments. The class concludes with two public showings of the dance pieces created within the course. One showing at Rossmoor Senior Living Community on April 13 and performance in the Bancroft Dance Studio at the end of the term. Students are also required to give a presentation about their creative process used to make the dance piece. Prerequisites: Sources of Movement (Theater 144) or Movement Improvisation (Theater 148). It is highly recommended that students be enrolled in a dance technique class while taking this course. This class satisfies a TDPS Dance and Performance Studies Major requirement. All Berkeley students are welcome to take the course.


Art8A Intersections of Art Design and Technology
Shari Paladino

Department: Art Practice


ART 8A: Intro to Visual Culture at the Intersection of Art, Design and Technology is an innovative class that critically considers the visual world, which is increasingly mediated by screens, devices, images, and displays. Visuality is not a natural or random fact, but provides entry points to interpret visual codes and meanings that shape social conditions and the workings of power in everyday life. The class investigates how meaning is generated, produced and reproduced through historically shaped visual fields, and how these form and inform the production of racialized categories, as well as the intersections of gender, sexuality, class, religion, neuro-diversity and physical ability. To do this Art 8A: ADT develops critical skills around cultural practices of looking, image making and display. Students are tasked to consider Art, Design and Technology as media fields that not only reflect opinions and conventions of taste; rather, encounters with media in these fields are considered among the forms through which human subjects are ‘made’, as citizens, consumers, and as enculturated social beings . Particular attention is paid throughout the course to how a diverse range of contemporary artists, designers and media producers de-stabilize and re-form the habits, organization and operations of visual cultural systems. Art8A extensively considers issues of visibility and visual marking, erasure, and appropriation, the visual technologies of representation, reproduction, spectatorship, the gaze, the manufacturing of global flows of desire and consumption.