Arts Residential College

Explore, engage and energize your creativity with like-minded peers and supportive faculty.

Collaborate to move your work from the classroom to arts spaces across campus and in the community.

Arts College Student Staff

Catherine MacKay

Catherine MacKay

"The Residential College program is such a special opportunity, and my first year would not have been the same if I did not participate. Being a part of the Arts Residential College, you get to live with a diverse group of people who share similar interests as you, and watch each other grow throughout the year. Having that close community and strong support system from the moment I stepped on campus made the transition to college so much easier, and I know these bonds will surpass the rest of my years here at Bucknell."

Hometown: Farmington, Conn.
Major: theatre

Chiara Evans

Chiara Evans

"I love my res college because it gave me the opportunity to bearound people who are interested in some of the same things that I am, and it provided a really supportive environment which made my transition to college much easier. I feel like I really bonded with the other students in my res college, and we were also able to develop close relationships with the
Junior and Senior fellows. I've made some of my closest friends through the res college program, and I'm so glad I was able to be a part of it!!"

Hometown: Natick, Mass.
Major: biology

Em Sharp

Em Sharp

"The community that I am apart of because I choose to do a Residential College, specifically the Arts Residential College, is something unlike any club or group on campus can provide and is completely indispensable. I've met some of my closest friends through this program while pursuing my interests in the arts, despite my major, and growing as a person, student, and artist as a result. Over the past year, I have learned so much about who I am and who I want to be because of the Arts Residential College."

Hometown: Ohiopyle, Pa.
Major: biomedical engineering

Faith Trejo

Faith Trejo

"Being within the Arts Res College has allowed me to meet many fascinating people with a passion and love for the talent they possess. I came into the Arts Res College skeptical of what it was going to be like and I loved it so much that I'm now going to be a Junior fellow for it! It has taught me a lot about myself and has brung upon new interests. It has allowed me to makea lot of new friends and some of the nicest people on the Bucknell campus belong in the Arts Res College. You surround yourself with kind and genuine people who you get to spend your time and live with."

Hometown: Tucson, Ariz.
Major: undecided within College of Management

Arts College Alumni

Arts Residential College

Li Wan '10

Lin Wan '10

"I always tell people there are three important things I gained from my liberal arts education at Bucknell, and I carry them with me in my career path: 1. Always ask why, and why not; 2. Follow your heart/interest; 3. Make a difference."

Alumni Story: Li Wan '10

Arts Residential College

Mary Oluokun '16

"I've lived in various places in the U.S. and abroad, so I always felt different. Now I feel like I have so much inside of me that I'm sure of. Bucknell has helped me grow into the person that I am proud of today."

Student Story: Mary Oluokun '16

Foundation Seminar Course Choices

Course Details

  • Pop & Protest
    Prof. Barry Long, music
    RESC 098 05
  • Discovery of Expressive Self
    Prof. Dustyn Martincich, theatre & dance
    RESC 098 06
  • Making Something from Nothing
    Prof. Anna Kell, art & art history
    RESC 098 07
  • Writing in the Half-Known World
    Prof. Joe Scapellato, English
    RESC 098 08

Pop & Protest

Despite frequent calls to simply "shut up and sing," popular artists have always been vital catalysts for change. This course investigates the roles and responsibilities for musicians within popular culture, giving particular attention to their engagement with social and political movements. How have groundbreaking songs and performances influenced and inspired their historical contexts? A larger goal relating to the first year experience lies in a dialogue regarding how modern American society "sees" each other. What defines our identity and how in turn do we identify others? How do discussions and disputes over race, class, and prejudice present a challenge for living an examined life? Do social constructs exist that influence our impressions and decisions? Through an examination of creative works we will explore and challenge the values of modern society as well as our own.

Discovery of Expressive Self

Using tools of the actor’s preparation, students will  awaken their observational skills and creativity in order to better connect with themselves and world around them. Students will explore the body and voice as primary communicators of personal narrative and uncover their own habits, beliefs, and bias through written and experiential exercises, reading and witnessing stories and performances, and engaging in discussion and collaboration. A special focus will be spent on individual and partner scene work that aims to deeply consider the lives of others.

Making Something from Nothing

Materiality is an important aspect of contemporary art. Thinking about the quality and character of materials and substances has deep implications for our selves and the way we choose to build the world around us. Often taken for granted, the choice of material is an essential component to creating content in a work of art. When artists intentionally use materials because they are not conventional, they are often exercising a critical position, sometimes rejecting or reframing the status quo.

By studying the artist's use of material and process, we will see how ideas of place, the environment, and the construction of identity as it relates to history, politics, race, gender, and sexuality are associated with the very textures of found objects, discards, and other ephemeral matter.

Writing in the Half-Known World

We'll approach the writing process as a journey through what the writer Robert Boswell calls the "half-known world" — an approach in which the writer invites the unknown into the writing process, where, through revision, the written work teaches the writer what it "wants" to be about.

You'll have the opportunity to creatively and critically write in a variety of genres, from fiction to nonfiction. We'll read a wide variety of nonfiction and fiction (from realism to magical realism, from memoir to critical essay) from a variety of American and international writers.

Along the way we'll investigate the fertile crossroads of thinking "critically" and thinking "creatively" — we'll debate the critical elements of creative writing and the creative elements of critical writing. If a difference exists between thinking critically and thinking creatively, what is this difference? What can the creative/critical writing process teach us about the world we live in — and about ourselves?


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