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The Ruby is a catalyst for creativity and a home for making art at Duke.

Fall 2019 Courses at the Rubenstein Arts Center

Published By Duke Arts Staff
Published on: April 20, 2019

Browse the Fall 2019 course offerings and consider joining a class in the arts center while you are at Duke!

Students collectively work on a large mural dedicated to farmworkers in North Carolina.

The Rubenstein Arts Center was designed with the arts in mind. This beautiful facility features an abundance of natural light, performance lighting systems in several studios, sound-proofing, dance-ready sprung floors, a student lounge—just to name a few of the tools in the Ruby that support the creative process. Scroll on to browse the Fall 2019 course offerings, and consider joining a class in the arts center while you are at Duke!

Explore the Courses

Art, Art History & Visual Studies

Exploring Art and Architecture

ARTHIST 104 (full listing)
Edward Triplett McWilliam and Susanna Caviglia

Provides knowledge for developing skills in visual analysis and historical interpretation of art from antiquity to present; examines major theoretical frameworks, key movements and concepts; explores how we look at and talk about works of art, investigating a variety of approaches to their study, including artists and their material practices; biography, patrons and the public; built environment and cultural institutions; how the social and political roles of art change through time. Classrooom discussions complemented by visits to Nasher galleries and direct practice of visual analysis, critical theory, and role of changing histories in comprehension of art.

Crosslisted in Art, Art History & Visual Studies

Arts of the Moving Image

History of Documentary Film

AMI 202.01 (full listing)
Karen Price

Introduction to the history, theory, and styles of nonfiction film and video. Transformation in technologies and their influence on form, from actuality films to contemporary digital documentaries. Documentary’s marginal status and surprising commercial appeal; the mixing of fiction and nonfiction strategies in cultural construction. Use of documentary as a tool for exploring individual identity, filmmaker/subject relationships, and fomenting political change.

Silent Film

AMI 208S.01 (full listing)
Thomas B. Whiteside

The first thirty-five years of cinema as an emerging art form and mode of communication. Aesthetic, technical, and cultural aspects of the medium will be considered in historical context, from nineteenth-century experiments to nascent narrative conventions and the first disruptive avant-garde movements. Focus is on close reading of relevant films.

Film Genres

AMI 210.01 (full listing)
Alex Cunningham

A historical survey of motion picture genre as a stylistic and narrative device, including comedy, horror, the musical, the western, and science fiction.

Moving Image Practice

AMI 301S.02 (full listing)
Alex Cunningham

Film and digital video production in conjunction with the history and theory of these technologies. Students may produce work in 8mm, 16mm film and digital video and learn the basics of non-linear digital editing on Final Cut Pro.

Writing the Movie

AMI 306S.01 (full listing)
Cole L. Russing

Theory and practice of the process of writing for the screen. Exploration of visual storytelling; analysis of screenplays and movies; developing original stories into screenplay format. Projects: writing and presenting treatments, outlines and scenes.

Sound for Film and Video

AMI 350S.02 (full listing)
Jason Sudak

Theory and practice of sound recording techniques and strategies for film and video. Focus on sound/image relationship, sound design and sound acquisition. Screenings and readings will reinforce practice exercises.

Editing for Film & Video

AMI 357S.01 (full listing)
James Haverkamp

Theory and practice of film and video editing techniques. Exploration of traditional film cutting as well as digital non-linear editing. Exercises in narrative, documentary and experimental approaches to structuring moving image materials.

Capstone: Arts of the Moving Image

AMI 499S.01 (full listing)
Joshua Gibson

Culminating seminar for Arts of the Moving Image Program certificate students. Designed to allow students to complete their certificate with a finished project or advanced research in the field.

Asian & Middle East Studies



Introduction to Dance

DANCE 101.01 (full listing)
Sarah Wilbur

Dance as a reflection of historical and current cultural values. Introduction to some of the major forms of world dance (for example, classical dances of Europe, Asia and Africa, and American modern dance); how dance forms illuminate and define gender, personal and group identity, political and religious status, aesthetic values, and the intentions of the dance-makers; dance as an educative force, a facilitator of cultural acquisition, and a reflection of cultural change; the function of dance in various cultural settings; how to look at dance, to analyze movement, and to read the text of dance structure.

Kundalini Yoga

DANCE 151 (full listing)
Kevel Khalsa

Practice course to experience the components of Kundalini Yoga – breath work (pranayam), movement, postures (asanas, mudras), focus techniques (meditation, drishti), use of sound current (mantra), and relaxation techniques. For a more intensive study of Kundalini Yoga that includes practice, lecture, writing and discussion, see full credit course Dance 357L.

Performing Sexual Health

DANCE 215S.01 (full listing)
Keval Khalsa

Service-Learning course exploring the history, theories, and strategies behind activist sexual health education theatre as it has been used locally and globally. Intensive training on sex, sexuality, HIV/AIDS, and history of artists interventions to open urgent dialogues. Examination of humor, personal narrative, and non-judgmental, sex-positive approaches to open dialogue about sexual health by and for diverse communities. Students create and tour a live performance and workshop for high school students and also create short videos segments to be used by high school teachers in health classrooms.

Dance and Dance Theater of Asia

DANCE 356.01 (full listing)
Purnima Shah

Asian dance and dance theater performance genres and the cultural aesthetics that inform them. Cultural traditions of China, Korean, Japan, India, Indonesia, Thailand and Cambodia. Religious, ritual, folk and royal court forms of artistic performance. The mythology, legends and symbolic interpretations that underlie the thematic core of these performance traditions; spiritual importance of disciplined training; the intercultural translation and adaptation of Asian performance disciplines to the West.

Capstone Seminar: Distinction Project

DANCE 499S.01 (full listing)
Sarah Wilbur

A substantial historical, analytical, empirical or theoretical paper of 30-50 pages in length, or a major choreographic or performance project with a written component of 15-25 pages in length that analyzes and elucidates the project’s conceptual, thematic and technical aspects.

Theories Of Corporeality

DANCE 771S.01 (full listing)
Sarah Wilbur

This graduate reading seminar explores theoretical frames for articulating the social, political, cultural, phenomenological and economic significance of the body. Course literature draws significantly although not exclusively from dance and performance research to consider a wide range of approaches to corporeality studies. Required reading, viewing of performance texts, and guest presentations, and workshops draw surgical attention to the body as a discursive site and to performance as a site of embodied power and potential resistance. Students contribute knowledge across a range of graduate writing genres. Course culminates in the creation of an original research project.

Dance Technique and Repertory

Elementary Modern Dance

DANCE 110 (full listing)
Keval Khalsa

Technical and artistic training in the modern dance idiom through technique, improvisation and composition. First steps in developing skill, clarity and motivational intent as well as strength and flexibility. No previous dance experience necessary.

Beginning Ballet

DANCE 120 (full listing)

Basic classical ballet technique, body alignment, vocabulary, and musicality for the absolute beginner. Barre and center exercises included.

Intermediate Ballet

DANCE 122 (full listing)

Barre work concentrating on body alignment and correct placement within the ballet vocabulary followed by center adagio and allegro sequences.

African Dance Tech I

DANCE 130 (full listing)
Ava Vinesett

Introduction to African dance styles and related rhythmic structures from selected countries such as Guinea, Senegal, Nigeria and Cote d’Ivoire. Taught in the context of their social, occupational, and religious functions.

Capoeira: Dance and Martial Art

DANCE 131 (full listing)
Katya Wesolowski

Introduction to Capoeira, the dynamic art form that emerged in Brazil during the era of the Atlantic Slave Trade and blends music, ritual, acrobatic movement, and combat.

Jazz Dance I

DANCE 140 (full listing)
Nina Wheeler

No previous dance experience required.

Hip Hop I

DANCE 142 (full listing)
Natalie Marrone

Hip-Hop, an inner-city culture that has created its own art, language, fashion, music and dance styles. This is a beginning level of Hip Hop dance. Using dance as a time-line the course explores the history, development and core elements of hip-hop dance culture.

Intermediate Modern Dance

DANCE 210 (full listing)
Andrea Woods Valdéz

Increased complexity of movement sequences and greater emphasis on clarity of expression and quality of performance.

Advanced Intermediate ballet

DANCE 220 (full listing)
Tyler Walters

Greater complexity of barre and center sequences with increased emphasis on correctness of style and quality of performance.

African Dance Tech II

DANCE 230 (full listing)
Ava Vinesett

Continuation of Dance 130. Dances from selected African ethnic groups providing increasingly complex movement sequences and rhythmic structures. Emphasis on greater technical proficiency, clarity of expression and quality of performance. Taught in the context of their social, occupational and religious functions.

Advanced Modern Dance

DANCE 310 (full listing)
Andrea Woods Valdéz

Technical and artistic training in the modern dance idiom at an advanced level. Increased complexity of movement sequences and emphasis on clarity of expression, musicality, and quality of performance.

Advanced Ballet

DANCE 320 (full listing)
Tyler Walters

Progression of Dance 220 with increased emphasis on line, style, and performance-level quality and technique. Diverse batterie, pirouettes, and tours included in allegro combinations.

Intensive Modern Dance

DANCE 410 (full listing)
Andrea Woods Valdéz

Intensive modern dance training at the intermediate and advanced levels.

Repertory: Modern

DANCE 412 (full listing)
Andrea Woods Valdéz

The study of choreography and performance through participation in the mounting of a dance work from inception through rehearsal to performance.

Intensive Ballet

DANCE 420 (full listing)

Continuation of Dance 320. Daily training for the performing student at the advanced/professional level.

Repertory: Ballet

DANCE 422 (full listing)
Tyler Walters

The study of choreography and performance through participation in the mounting of a dance work from inception through rehearsal to performance. Separate enrollment in dance technique is required. Consent of instructor required.

Jazz Repertory

DANCE 442 (full listing)
Nina Wheeler

Study of choreography and performance through participation in the mounting of a dance work in the jazz idiom from inception through rehearsal to performance. Separate enrollment in dance technique is required.

Documentary Studies




Global Health


Information Science + Studies


International Comparative Studies




MFA in Experimental and Documentary Arts


MFAEDA 722 (full listing)

A class that meets weekly for 3 hours to review, discuss and reflect on student work in-depth. Works critiqued will be both works-in-progress as well as finished projects. Guest scholars and visiting artists will join the class at times, bringing an ‘outside’ perspective to discussions. Students will also be assigned formal roles to lead weekly critiques.





Theater Studies


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