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RC Majors give students the unique opportunity to study academic programs unavailable elsewhere. The four RC Interdisciplinary Majors are Arts and Ideas, Creative Writing and Literature, Drama, and Social Theory and Practice. All RC majors and minors are available to all LSA students.
More details about each major are below:
Arts and Ideas in the Humanities
Note: The Arts and Ideas in the Humanities Major is open to all LSA students.
The Arts and Ideas in the Humanities Program offers a broad array of interdisciplinary courses in literature, the visual arts and music. Many courses focus on specific historical moments or contexts ranging from ancient times to the 21st century understood in global terms. Students are encouraged to encounter different cultures through their distinctive artistic production, and to develop the interpretive and analytical skills appropriate to an understanding of these works. Courses in visual studies, dance, studio art and music provide training in comparative analysis as well as in the actual practice of these art forms. By combining studio practice with the academic study of art, the Arts and Ideas curriculum enables students to understand global art production from three important perspectives: thoughtful analytic engagement; historical depth; and in the active space of studio discovery.
Arts and Ideas in the Humanities courses stress interdisciplinary and comparative methodologies. Students investigate how different forms of art speak to one another: how they argue or agree, how they overlap or diverge in form and content. In addition, by combining theory with practice, many Arts and Ideas courses encourage students to reflect on the material origins of art. To understand art at its deepest level, one must have some experience in its production. Through intensive discussion, writing, and studio practice, students become more sophisticated analysts, critical historians, and well-informed producers of culture.
To major in Arts and Ideas in the Humanities, students combine three academic courses in history and theory with two courses focusing on visual studies, studio arts, dance, and music. To complete the concentration, students then construct an individualized program of specialized study in two areas of focus, a total of seven courses. In the specialized study portion of the Arts and Ideas Concentration, different area combinations are possible, depending on the interests of the student. Possible combinations include: philosophy and art history; literature and psychology; Southeast Asian studies and musicology; or African-American studies and photography. The full program requires a minimum of 12 courses, or about 37 credit hours of work.
Click here for a more detailed description of the RC Arts and Ideas concentration requirements.
Creative Writing and Literature
Note: The Creative Writing and Literature Major is open to ALL LSA Students.
Check out the new RCWriters Website, for the Residential College writing community.
This major teaches the sustained practice of fiction or poetry writing combined with the study of literature. Creative Writing concentrators write fiction, poetry, or creative nonfiction under the close guidance of individual faculty. Seminars and one-on-one tutorials provide students with structure and mentorship as they develop voice and proficiency in their chosen genre. For many students, this concentration is a way to combine a serious interest in writing with another LSA or RC concentration.
To fulfill the writing requirement, students take a series of courses in the RC that combine class meetings with private critical feedback in weekly tutorials with instructors. The concentration emphasizes self-directed, intensive writing opportunities, both in class and in extracurricular activities that encourage students to find an audience for their work through readings, informal peer review opportunities, and publication in student-run literary journals, such as the RC Review and Xylem. Concentrators also take five upper-level literature courses, one of which must be in classical or medieval literature.
Creative Writing graduates pursue successful careers as writers, editors, educators, advertising professionals, and many other writing related-fields. Every year our graduates are admitted to competitive graduate school programs in the fine arts, education, law, business, public policy, social work, and other courses of professional study that demand proficient writing skills and creative approaches to problem solving.
RC Creative Writing students have demonstrated unparalled success in the esteemed U of M Hopwood Awards, winning 108 awards since the 1994-95 school year.
Note: The Drama Major is open to ALL LSA Students.
The LSA Drama Major, administered by the Residential College, offers a unique course of study at U-M: approaching dramatic literature through performance. Students examine all the stages of the dramatic process and attune their sense of theater aesthetic through practice and experimentation. Students immerse themselves in the dramatic process as actors and directors as well as learning about all the aspects of production: costuming, scenery, lighting and sound design.
The LSA Drama major combines the strengths and faculty resources of the Residential College (RC) drama faculty and the faculty of the Department of Theatre and Drama in the School of Music.
• Courses taught by RC faculty emphasize a unique text to performance approach to the study of acting and directing, combining script analysis with exploratory work in rehearsal and performance.
• Courses taught by faculty in Theatre and Drama introduce students to design, production, and practicum work, thereby enriching their appreciation of the production aspects of theater.
The curriculum offers students a variety of hands-on experiences and opportunities to study, explore, and perform. The LSA Drama Major requirements consist of 35 credits that move from introductory courses to those along two distinct upper-level tracks. The LSA Minor in Text to Performance is 16-18 credits and also culminates in a play production capstone seminar that brings all elements of drama study into focus.
Student Projects in the Drama Major
Drama students and faculty acting in medieval French. San Martinu Wine Festival in Corsica, 2014.
Students rehearse a scene from "Blue Stockings" by Jessica Swale in the Keene Theater.
Scene from Shakespeare in the Arb's "The Winter's Tale", directed by Kate Mendeloff.
Rehearsal in the Keene Theater.
Konstantine and Arkadina in "The Seagull" at Matthaei Conservatory.
Arkadina and Trigorin in Anton Chekhov's "The Seagull". Performed as the capstone of the Play Production Seminar course, April 2017.
Scene from Shakespeare in the Arb's "The Winter's Tale", directed by Kate Mendeloff and featuring Martin Walsh, June, 2011.
Rehearsal for original play, "Murder by Chanel" by student playwright Skyler Tarnas in the Keene Theater.
Scene from Shakespeare in the Arb's "The Winter's Tale", directed by Kate Mendeloff, June, 2011.
RC Players rehearsal in the Keene Theater.
Arkadina and Trigorin from "The Seagull" by Anton Chekhov, April, 2017. Capstone performance for the Play Production Seminar course.
Arkadina and Konstantine from "The Seagull" by Anton Chekhov, April, 2017. Capstone performance for the Play Production Seminar course.
Social Theory and Practice (STP)
Note: The Social Theory and Practice Major is open to ALL LSA Students.
The RC Social Theory and Practice Major supports students in developing the analytical and practical skills necessary for active engagement in the world and for building careers that promote equality and responsible citizenship. Faculty whose work encompasses sociology, political science, history, anthropology, economics, education, environmental justice, sustainable agriculture, geography, and psychology provide students with multi-disciplinary approaches to current issues in U.S. society and the global environment. Students learn theories, methods, and strategies that enable them to understand and critique social structures and processes and to become effective actors in struggles for justice. They take core courses together, and create individual major plans tailored to their specific interests. Recent STP concentrators have pursued such topics as “Health Policy in the United States,” “Tracking Globalization in Detroit,” “Juvenile Justice in the U.S. and Senegal,” “Urban Youth Empowerment,” “Sustainable Agriculture in Michigan and Cuba,” “Peace, Policy, and Public Health,” and “Community Dialogues.”
The STP Major Advisor advises students about requirements and course options, tracks their progress through the major, and signs release forms.
The student’s faculty mentor is an intellectual guide and companion who shares the student’s academic interests. STP students are linked with an initial faculty mentor during the semester they submit a major proposal (See “c” below), however a student might have multiple faculty mentors over the years.
An Alternative to a Major: the Bachelor of General Studies
While not a major, the Bachelor in General Studies degree encourages students to take responsibility for structuring their own multidisciplinary academic programs. This degree requires a minimum of 120 credits. RC students doing a B.G.S. must include in their academic plan the completion of the First Year Seminar, Upper-Level Writing, a course in Race and Ethnicity, a course in Quantitative Reasoning, the RC arts practicum, the two-year live-in requirement, the RC language requirement, and requirement for four additional RC courses. At least 60 credits of courses numbered 300 or above must be completed with no more than 20 of these 60 credits from one subject.
You can download a copy of the RC Major/Minor Declaration Form below.
Please note that you must meet with a RC Advisor to complete your declaration.
For other questions, you can contact:
The RC Academic Services Office
1813 East Quad (in the Admin Hallway near Greene Lounge)
Advisors for RC Majors
You can learn more about the four RC minors here.