Fall 2024

Thinking Through Improvisation

Listed in: First Year Seminar, as FYSE-121


Thinking in improvisational modes requires several special techniques, and yet is done by virtually all of us at times. Improvisation can be used to solve emergency problems, brainstorm, or create art at the highest levels. While successful improvisation requires considerable preparation and skill development beforehand, most improvisers vary and select from the choices available in their repertoire almost simultaneously with their execution, sometimes even surprising themselves. We will explore improvisational thinking with the aid of several skilled practitioners of improvisation as guest lecturers and performers. We will ask how improvisational thinking differs from other ways of thinking and how it is similar. We will inquire into the variety of techniques used in improvisation. We will draw from diverse fields and activities. Students will also have several opportunities to improvise.  Improvisation is linked to the creative process. Neither improvisation nor creativity is limited to the arts or any other field. We will come to think of improvisation as a useful tool to apply to various activities as students and in whatever areas we choose to specialize.

Fall 2024. Professor Poccia.

How to handle overenrollment: Registrar

Students who enroll in this course will likely encounter and be expected to engage in the following intellectual skills, modes of learning, and assessment: This course will focus on readings, written work, and discussion.

Course Materials


2023-24: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2024