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! 

Writing for Television

Interested in learning to Write for Television? Learn from instructor Marc Weinberg who will be teaching ENG 149A Writing for Television in Summer 2016. 

Meet Marc:

I am a feature and television writer who worked in the entertainment industry for over 20 years.

I have taught screenwriting, film production, and television writing at the Brandeis Summer School for close to a decade.

What makes your course unique?

You learn how to write for television in 5 weeks!

What draws you to this subject area? 

Since earning my MFA from UCLA Film School, I’ve worked as a professional writer and enjoyed sharing those experience with my students.

What do you hope students will learn from your course? 

In addition to developing an understanding of how to write for television, participants will also write a TV pilot which they can submit to agents, producers, and contests.


Summer Activities

Spending a summer at Brandeis is an amazing opportunity to learn from instructors and peers, explore the greater Boston area, and make new friendships. 

Summer Activities Director Alex Jacobs works hard to plan fun activities that will help students connect with one another as well as the community. Take a look into what he’s planning!

Summer Activities Director passing out cookies
Summer Activities Director passing out cookies!

A bit about Alex:

I am a Brandeis Theatre Arts MFA ’14 alum, I have worked professionally as an actor and teacher for about 15 years in both the UK and USA. I have had the pleasure of teaching Public Speaking in the summer school over the past two Summers.

In addition to teaching, I also have the honor of being the Summer Activities Co-ordinator! Which means I get to plan and take part in lots of fun on and off campus activities!

Previous Summer Highlights:

Last year we had BBQ’s, sunset cruises, movies on the lawn, Trivia nights and free ice cream to name but a few!

Sunset cruise in Boston Harbor!
Sunset cruise in Boston Harbor!

Summer 2016:

This year we are pleased add a range of pick up sports once a week, as well as trips to Boston area Museums, the Red Sox and of course lots of free food!

Activities Updates:

We will use electronic signups details will be sent out via email to every student involved with Brandeis this Summer, info sessions with free cookies and or ice-cream will also be held in the Fellows Garden every Friday of the summer sessions 3pm – 5pm and notifications and signup pages will be posted through the Brandeis University Summer School page so make sure to like us to stay informed!

Join in to make the most out of your Summer at Brandeis!

Students learning to Kayak!
Students learning to Kayak!

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