Civil Liberties: Constitutional Debates – Online!

Interested in an online learning opportunity? Consider LGLS 116B Civil Liberties: Constitutional Debates, taught by Daniel Breen. 

About the Instructor:

I have a doctorate in American History and a law degree as well, having practiced law for several years in Atlanta before moving north.

I taught the on-line Civil Liberties class last year over the summer, and found it to be a wonderful way to get to know students through provocative forum discussions on topics ranging from Freedom of Speech to marriage equality.

What you’ll learn:

It’s my hope that students will not only learn the core Constitutional rules that govern disputes over civil liberties, but also become more adept at making persuasive, informed arguments in whatever professional field they choose.  In terms of the way I like to teach the material, what makes the class unique is my emphasis on the stories behind the cases, conveyed through video presentations and other means, which may explain more than the decisions themselves why the justices made the rulings they did.

Not in the Boston area this summer?  This course might be perfect for you. LGLS 116B is offered online, with a flexible schedule. 

SOC 117A: Sociology of Work and Gender

SOC 117A: Sociology of Work and Gender, taught by Kimberly D. Lucas, Summer Session I. 

About the Instructor:

I’m a PhD candidate in Sociology/Heller studying the intersection of economics, work, and organizations, specifically in low-wage, women-dominated occupations.

This will be my first year teaching summer school, but some of you may have had me as a TA or a guest lecturer.

What makes your course unique? This course studies one of the most relevant facets of our everyday lives–work.  It uses a specific lens (gender) to understand particular work dynamics.  In this course, I try to relate the topics to things we see everyday as well as raise issues that we will inevitably encounter in any type of work environment in the future–no matter what gender you identify as.  I take a collaborative approach to teaching and learning, meaning that I recognize how much students know about the topic and want to highlight everyone’s expertise to the benefit of the class when we can; I’ll steer the ship, but students are invited to navigate.  Summer is one of the best times for this course because we have time to deep dive into your interest areas more than we can during the school year.

What draws you to this subject area? I am trained in child development and policy; through working in the field, I realized  just how much the experience of work (good and bad) is affected by gender (among other things).

What do you hope students will learn from your course? I hope students take away a sense of how much of work is affected (good and bad) by gender–and how much of this is in our power to control and change.

Other Small summer classes don’t just mean being able to deep dive into students’ specific interest areas; it’s also a great time to integrate what’s happening in the real world into our classroom learning.  Expect a lot of that in this course.

Directed Writing: Fiction

Join Colin Channer, former Brandeis writer in residence; author five major works of fiction & a poetry book, in Summer Session I in his course, Directed Writing: Fiction.

This will be his second time teaching at Brandeis Summer School, with 20 years teaching prose writing.

What makes your course unique?

The only fiction writing course on offer; vibe is more “art studio” than “classroom”.


What draws you to this subject area?

I love to hear more people, from more backgrounds, tell more stories, from more points of view.

What do you hope students will learn from your course?

How stories work; a true sense of their authentic voice; how to edit; how to stay brave and calm.


The Making of the Modern Middle East

Learn about The Making of the Modern Middle East with Randall Geller in Summer Session I!

About the Instructor:

Randy Geller

I’m a Brandeis Ph.D. and currently a Research Fellow here, so Summer School is a homecoming for me!   This will be my third summer teaching at the BSS.  I love it and look forward to it again this summer!  What makes this course important and unique is that we have the opportunity to really try to delve into and understand something that is constantly on the news; namely, what is going on in the Middle East?  How did we get here?  What do groups like ISIS want and how do other countries and peoples in the region feel about them?

Connection to the subject area:

I’ve spent significant time in the Middle East, including in the Arab world, I speak Hebrew and Arabic, and this is a region that has long fascinated me and I’m sure always will.  I hope to help illuminate the region’s history and current predicaments for students who take this summer course!  (We’ll also have Middle Eastern food as part of the class)

Register today!



Summer Courses- MUS 21A

Learn about MUS 21A: History and Practice of Electronic Dance Music: A Global Perspective, taught by Charles H. Stratford.

A note from the instructor: Originally from Los Angeles, I am currently a fourth-year PhD candidate in musicology here at Brandeis; my wife is a Speech Language Pathologist, and we have a two-year-old son who likes to boogie!

Last summer, I taught MUS 35A “History of Rock,” which was well received by my students; we spent a whole unit on EDM, and many students gave their semester presentations on their favorite EDM tracks.  This experience prompted me to design a course solely devoted to this fascinating topic.

What makes your course unique?

This is the first time the music department at Brandeis has offered a course that focuses entirely on the history and practice of EDM.  Other undergraduate surveys on popular music mainly focus on the development of rock and hip hop in English-speaking countries.  This course will dig deeply into the roots of this genre by examining pioneering artists whose music has been revitalized in recent years, namely because of the explosion of dance culture worldwide.  Due to the diversity of the Brandeis student body, each student brings their own unique perspectives on EDM (and music in general), often influenced by contact made with musical traditions outside of the US. In this sense, I hope that our learning will be collaborative, since everyone has their own story about what kind of music might move them.  However, this course also reaches the layperson with little or no experience with this genre.

What draws you to this subject area?

I bring over a decade of experience as an electronic musician, dancer, and scholar of music history.  As a teenager, I was first exposed to the music of Stockhausen, Kraftwerk, Tangerine Dream, Josh Wink, Paul Oakenfold, The Orb, and Aphex Twin, to name a few.  These formative experiences prompted me to ask philosophical questions that one commonly encounters in studying the history of classical music, for example.  To illustrate, how does one’s national identity affect the way one writes music? Why and how does this matter? What goes into making a particular composition/track a work of art? Will this artist’s work withstand the tests of time and endure beyond being just a “one hit wonder”? I firmly believe that serious, infectious “art music” takes many shapes and forms and is not confined to the orchestral concert hall.  We live in a day in age when skilled EDM artists (Daft Punk and their recent soundtrack to “Tron: Legacy” comes to mind) are considered composers in their own right: they draw upon advanced compositional techniques, they think deeply about the music they write, and they unite people around the world through creating positivity and community.  I am passionate about this music and its history, and I devote a significant part of my activities as a classically-trained musicologist to pursuing scholarship on EDM.

What do you hope students will learn from your course?

I hope that my students can enrich their understanding of music they are already familiar with, as well as broaden their horizons with respect to music that is new to them.  Moreover, as technology is key to EDM, we will learn to analyze this music in terms of how the means of production influence artists’ distinct sounds.  Due to the large cross-section of pieces we will study (ca. 1970s through the present day), I hope that my students can understand the history of EDM as a totality by tracing a thread of stylistic development; that is to say, without “Krautrock” or funk, there would be no Detroit techno, without Detroit techno, there would be no trance, without trance, no electro, no breaks, no dubstep, etc. It is my hope that the analytical and writing skills gleaned from this course will aid students in all of their collegiate studies, since thinking and writing well are helpful tools in many disciplines outside of music.

Enroll in MUS 21A today! 

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