New, Revised, and Special Topics Courses (Spring 2024)

Note about overlapping courses

While some PMA instructors will allow students to enroll in classes that overlap, not all do. If your proposed Spring 2024 schedule includes overlaps, please consult with the faculty in question before enrolling so that you can adjust your enrollment plans if necessary.

PMA 1611 Rehearsal and Performance

Instructor: Danielle Russo

Class Schedule: TBA (1-3 credits)

Rehearsal & Performance is a dance and performance repertory class for the Locally Grown Dance 2024 Concert Series in the Department of Performing & Media Arts. As an extension of the yearlong Choreographing Justice Series, students will work with nationally and internationally acclaimed choreographers whose work intersect with urgent social causes and have catalyzed community and revolution. This course is designed to give Cornell students the experience of working with choreographers, companies, and designers in a professional-level setting. Students must be available on the evenings of April 20-24 for technical and dress rehearsals, and the evenings of April 25-27 for the formal showcase.

PMA 1641 Introduction to Storytelling

Instructor: Kristen Warner

Class Schedule: Tuesdays & Thursdays, 1:25 p.m. - 4:25 p.m. (3 credits)

The objective of this course is to introduce students to a core topic that unites the tracks between performing and media studies: story. Throughout the semester students will explore the structures of film, television, and new media through the lens of storytelling. We will also examine how each of these mediums function at both the level of the individual consumer as well as the level of global society.

PMA 2100 Introduction to Performing and Media Arts

Instructor: Nick Salvato and Juan Manuel Aldape Muñoz

Class schedule: Mondays & Wednesdays, 2:55 p.m. - 4:10 p.m. (3 credits)

This course is designed to offer students a broad, foundational introduction to the mission of the Department of Performing and Media Arts. With a focus both on making artistic work in mediated forms and in live performance and on the critical methods for studying such artwork, we explore a variety of topics and concepts, from composition and gesture to sound and movement—and beyond. Joined by visiting guest experts from all across the PMA faculty, the instructors usher students through a range of approaches to creative authorship, design, embodied performance, history, and theory. Organized around a series of keywords, including adaptation, representation, transformation, and world-building, the course also foregrounds ways of thinking about and with categories of identity and social relations, such as ability, age, class, ethnicity, gender, race, and sexuality.

PMA 2221 Contemporary Movement Practices

Instructor: Danielle Russo

Class Schedule: Mondays & Wednesdays 4:50 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. (2 credits)

This course is an intermediate-level studio immersion course in contemporary concert dance genres and methodologies germane to the 21st-century field. Ripening the sensibility and capacity for current trends and approaches from counter-gravity to dynamic floorwork, such as Flying-Low®, our objective is to cultivate and champion a dynamic anatomy and body consciousness built on learned perception, sensation, and organization. 

PMA 2650 The American Musical

Instructor: J. Ellen Gainor

Tuesdays & Thursdays, 11:40 a.m. - 12:55 p.m. (3 credits) 

The musical is a distinct and significant form of American performance.  This course will consider the origins, development, and internationalization of the American musical and will emphasize the interpenetration of the history of musical theatre with the history of the United States in the 20th century and beyond.  We will investigate how political, social, and economic factors shape the production of important American musical-and how in turn musicals shape expressions of personal identity and national ideology.  Key texts include Oklahoma, Guys and Dolls, West Side Story, Hair, and Rent.

PMA 3240 Performance as Protest

Instructor: Danielle Russo

Mondays & Wednesdays, 12:20 p.m. - 2:15 p.m. (4 credits) 

Performance as Protest examines the art and act of performance as an influential model for social activism, civil disobedience, and community mobilization. Students will delve into the works of historical and contemporary artists, choreographers, musicians, athletes, and cultural figures who radicalized their creative practices and careers to promote social advocacy and revolution. Ranging from participatory mass actions to intimate personal storytelling, how can a performance disrupt a space, a consciousness, a culture? Lectures will explore the performing body as a site of healing, empowerment, and resistance to systemic injustices and erasures. Correlating exercises will introduce students to the fundamentals of manifesto making, and the strategic planning and permissions for public, site-specific performance, alongside a deep consideration for the politics and ethics of inhabiting ‘place’. Students will have the unique opportunity to work with a roster of local and internationally acclaimed artists whose bodies of work intersect with urgent social causes and have catalyzed community and critical change. What is the relationship between Beyoncé, Jesse Owens, and Thích Quang Duc?—Protest!   

PMA 3502 Love as a Character

Instructor: Juanie Fowlkes

Class schedule: Tuesdays 8:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. (3 credits)

An in depth look at rom-com/rom-drama films and screenplays while student's write their own first draft of an original feature length rom-com/rom-drama.

PMA 3503 The Writer’s Room

Instructor: Juanie Fowlkes

Class schedule: Thursdays, 8:00 a.m. -11:00 a.m. (3 credits)

Student's will study an entire season of television and discuss how to break story, how to build a series and what it means to be each position in a writer's room. Student's will also develop and prep and outline a new original series and receive feedback from their peers in a workshop environment.

PMA 4660 Adaptation: Visceral Text and Performance

Instructor: Beth F. Milles

Class schedule: Tuesday/Thursday, 2:30 p.m. -4:10 p.m. (4 credits)

The act of adaptation invokes a response to source material from a variety of inspiration(s) -- images, poems, stories, iconic moments, people, legends, events, histories. Artist/creators work to transcend and translate resonant and remnant questions, curiosities, and provocations in their work—this work evokes a reconciling or a recontextualizing of event and revelation. Writer/creators are visual and physical explorers, choreographers of language text and imagery, artistic inventors. Work we explore this year includes the inspiration of Carrie Mae Weems, Kara Walker, R A Walden, William Kentridge, Coco Fusco, Toni Morrison Jenny Holzer, Beatriz Cortez , Laurie Anderson, the exploration of generative AI interventions and immersive performance techniques. This wholly interactive course challenges the boundaries of text/image to uncover the possibilities of performance. Working collaboratively—in workshop format—students explore the process of developing performance pieces based on a variety of sources.