Architect Of Your Education Brown Essay

This is a pretty standard “Why medicine?” prompt, which means that you should use many of the same tactics as you would for that type of essay (see our overview to 7-year med programs). To provide a brief rehash, in order to convey why a guaranteed-admissions program is a good “fit” for your goals, there are few different things you need to discuss.

 

First, you need to discuss why you are qualified for medicine; namely what sort of extracurricular activities did you do in high school that were related to medicine, whether tangentially or directly. More specifically, you want to convey your abilities in two key areas: the scientific side of medicine (i.e., the ability to understand and cure diseases), and the humanistic side of medicine (the ability to connect with patients and care for them).

 

To address both of these aspects, you will need to weave a narrative that connects your technical scientific training to your capacity for empathy and care. You might begin talking about your fascination with physiology, the thrill of cutting open a frog, seeing the obscure jumble of organs, and learning how to sort out the parts that the text book identifies with neat colored markers.

 

Maybe what interests you about the human body is how it often deviates from the norms that appear in textbooks. Transitioning from an interest in the technical aspects of physiology, you might switch to the more humanistic side of talking about how, as a medical practitioner, you look forward to working with patients who have limited mobility.

 

More than just a technical understanding of how one human physiognomy might differ from another, you might talk about how the time you have spent working in a restaurant where you were responsible for serving all kinds of different bodies, with all kinds of different mobility restrictions. What did you learn from having people in wheelchairs tell you what they needed in order to comfortably enjoy their meal? How did you open up the space in order to make them comfortable asking you for accommodations? Your patients, after all, are not just frogs on a dissecting table.

 

Patient care experience is a big plus for this part of the essay, and experiences such as volunteering at a nursing home or shadowing a physician are great enhancers. In the process of outlining your qualifications, be sure to discuss why you enjoy each of those two facets of medicine. But, as I’ve suggested above, especially when you are talking about the humanistic side of medicine, your experience doing any kind of caring or service work can offer a useful perspective.

 

After all, when you are treating patients, most of them don’t want to be treated like “people who are in a hospital” — they want to feel like they are in a place where they have some measure of agency, where they can ask questions and reflect on their experience.

 

One thing worth mentioning: There is a particular clichéd version of this essay that talks about how your grandmother suffered from some kind of disease and died. You felt awful about losing her and hope to become a medical professional because you want to cure that disease.

 

While it is true that a compelling essay about the death of one’s grandmother can be written, it is also the sad truth that everyone’s grandmother dies. If you tell a story like this, you will want to address not just your desire to provide healthcare, but the specific aspects of your training and experience that have prepared you to pursue a career in medicine.

 

Moreover, it is also worth thinking carefully about how you talk about what the practice of doing medicine entails. The desire to “heal” people and return them to a “normal” life is certainly admirable. But there are some kinds of necessary healthcare work that do not result in a healthy ending where the hidden ailment is eradicated; sometimes healthcare is the persistent and empathetic management of suffering.

 

The final thing you want to address is why specifically you want to join an accelerated program. Simply saying that you want to save time (the real reason for many applicants) can backfire. Instead, if you have an application with lots of medical and science extracurricular activities, you can speak about why those activities solidified your desire to do medicine.

 

Otherwise, if your resume is more balanced, you can resort to saying that you are committed to medicine because you already spent high school exploring other fields and have ruled out other possibilities. In the end, probably your most compelling argument for entering the accelerated program will be the level of maturity and thoughtfulness that you demonstrate in your essay as a whole.

The concentration in History of Art and Architecture introduces students to the history of art, architecture, and visual culture. Students in HIAA explore Western and non-Western areas ranging over a wide period of time (Ancient, Medieval, Islamic, East Asian, Latin American, Early Modern, Modern/ Contemporary). Concentrators often focus on a particular period (e.g. ancient, modern architecture), a particular branch of the field (e.g. urbanism), or a methodology (e.g. semiotics, critical interpretation, archaeology), but students may choose to create their own program of study. Concentrators will receive essential training in perceptual, historical, and critical analysis.

History of Art and Architecture Requirements

To complete the concentration, you will be expected to take a minimum of ten courses (11 for honors). Our goal in setting out these requirements is to welcome students into a lively and diverse department that also shares a cohesive and strong commitment to the field. We as a faculty want students to cultivate their special interests and also to venture into areas that may not be so familiar but that will open new and exciting possibilities for them. Ten courses are only the minimum requirement. Beyond that students are encouraged to take courses at RISD, participate in study abroad programs, and take courses in other Brown departments. As we are a truly interdisciplinary department, you will also find that our faculty collaborates with members of other departments to teach courses that bring together the strengths of different disciplines. We encourage both experimentation and concentration.  Because foreign language skills are essential for pursuing art historical studies in a professional environment or in graduate school, HIAA requires knowledge equivalent to passing a 500-level language course at Brown.

Our general survey in history of art and architecture (HIAA 0010) is an excellent foundation for the concentration. It is not a prerequisite for taking other lecture courses but you can count it as one of the 4 non-core courses required for the concentration (see below for core and non-core courses).

Since the history of art and architecture addresses issues of practice within specific historical contexts, concentrators are encouraged to take at least 1 studio art course. Courses in history also train students in methods and approaches that are highly relevant to the history of art and architecture. Study abroad can be a valuable enrichment of the academic work available on campus, in that it offers opportunities for first-hand knowledge of works of art and monuments as well as providing exposure to foreign languages and cultures. Study abroad should be planned in consultation with the concentration advisor in order to make sure that foreign course work will relate meaningfully to the concentrators program of study.

14

HIAA 0010

A Global History of Art and Architecture

HIAA 0011

Introduction to the History of Architecture and Urbanism

HIAA 0013

Introduction to Indian Art

HIAA 0021

Arts of Asia

HIAA 0022

The Art of Enlightenment

HIAA 0031

Pre-Islamic Empires of Iran

HIAA 0040

Introduction to Medieval Art and Architecture

HIAA 0041

The Architectures of Islam

HIAA 0042

Islamic Art and Architecture

HIAA 0061

Baroque

HIAA 0062

The Age of Rubens and Rembrandt: Visual Culture of the Netherlands in the Seventeenth Century

HIAA 0070

Introduction to American Art: The 19th Century

HIAA 0074

Nineteenth-Century Architecture

HIAA 0075

Introduction to the History of Art: Modern Photography

HIAA 0077

Revolutions, Illusions, Impressions: A History of Nineteenth-Century Art

HIAA 0081

Architecture of the House Through Space and Time

HIAA 0820

Art and Technology from Futurism to Hacktivism

HIAA 0089

Contemporary Photography

HIAA 0100

Introduction to Architectural Design Studio

HIAA 0321

Toward a Global Late Antiquity:200-800 CE

HIAA 0340

Roman Art and Architecture: From Julius Caesar to Hadrian

HIAA 0400

Early Christian, Jewish, and Byzantine Art and Architecture

HIAA 0440

Gothic Art and Architecture

HIAA 0460

Muslims, Jews and Christians in Medieval Iberia

HIAA 0550

Gold, Wool and Stone: Painters and Bankers in Renaissance Tuscany

HIAA 0560

Popes and Pilgrims in Renaissance Rome

HIAA 0570

The Renaissance Embodied

HIAA 0580

Word, Image and Power in Renaissance Italy

HIAA 0600

From Van Eyck to Bruegel

HIAA 0630

Cultural History of the Netherlands in a Golden Age and a Global Age

HIAA 0660

Giotto to Watteau: Introduction to the Art of Europe from Renaissance to French Revolution

HIAA 0710

The Other History of Modern Architecture

HIAA 0770

Architecture and Urbanism of the African Diaspora

HIAA 0771

African American and Caribbean Architectures: Domestic Space

HIAA 0801

Art After ‘68

HIAA 0810

20th Century Sculpture

HIAA 0830

Revolutionary Forms: 100 Years of Art and Politics in Latin America

HIAA 0840

History of Rhode Island Architecture

HIAA 0850

Modern Architecture

HIAA 0860

Contemporary Architecture

HIAA 0861

City and Cinema

HIAA 0870

20th Century British Art: Edwardian to Contemporary

HIAA 0881

City and Cinema
12

HIAA 1020

Topics in East Asian Art

HIAA 1090

Writing About the Arts

HIAA 1101A

Illustrating Knowledge

HIAA 1101B

Seeing and Writing on Contemporary Arts

HIAA 1120B

History of Urbanism, 1300-1700

HIAA 1120C

History of Western European Urbanism 1200-1600

HIAA 1105

Otherworldly and Other Worlds: Representing the Unseen in Early Modern Europe

HIAA 1150C

El Greco and Velazquez

HIAA 1150D

El Greco and the Golden Age of Spanish Painting

HIAA 1170B

Twentieth-Century American Painting

HIAA 1181

Prefabrication and Architecture

HIAA 1182

Spaces and Institutions of Modernity

HIAA 1200A

Ancient Art in the RISD Collection

HIAA 1200D

Pompeii

HIAA 1201

Brushwork: Chinese Painting in Time

HIAA 1300

Topics in Classical Art and Architecture

HIAA 1301

The Palaces of Ancient Rome

HIAA 1302

Women and Families in the Ancient Mediterranean

HIAA 1303

Pompeii: Art, Architecture, and Archaeology in the Lost City

HIAA 1304

Spectacle! Games, Gladiators, Performance, and Ceremony in the Roman World

HIAA 1310

Topics in Hellenistic Art

HIAA 1400F

Research Seminar Gothic Art

HIAA 1410A

Topics in Islamic Art: Islamic Art and Architecture on the Indian Subcontinent

HIAA 1410B

Painting in Mughal India 1550-1650

HIAA 1430A

The Visual Culture of Medieval Women

HIAA 1440D

The Gothic Cathedral

HIAA 1440F

Architectural Reuse: The Appropriation of the Past

HIAA 1440B

Architecture of Solitude: The Medieval Monastery

HIAA 1460

Topics in Medieval Archaeology

HIAA 1550B

Topics in the Early History of Printmaking: Festival and Carnival

HIAA 1550A

Prints and Everyday Life in Early Modern Europe

HIAA 1560A

Italy and the Mediterranean

HIAA 1560B

Mannerism

HIAA 1560C

Renaissance Venice and the Veneto

HIAA 1560D

Siena from Simone Martini to Beccafumi

HIAA 1560E

The Arts of Renaissance Courts

HIAA 1560F

Topics in Italian Visual Culture: The Visible City, 1400- 1800

HIAA 1600A

Bosch and Bruegel: Art Turns the World Upside Down

HIAA 1600B

Caravaggio

HIAA 1600C

Italian Baroque Painting and Sculpture

HIAA 1600D

The Art of Peter Paul Rubens

HIAA 1600E

The World Turned Upside Down

HIAA 1600F

Antwerp: Art and Urban History

HIAA 1600G

Art + Religion in Early Modern Europe

HIAA 1600H

Comedy in Netherlandish Art From Hieronymus Bosch to Jan Steen

HIAA 1600I

Collections and Visual Knowledge in Early Modern Europe: 1400-1800

HIAA 1600J

Rembrandt

HIAA 1650A

About Face: English Portraiture: 1600-1800

HIAA 1650B

Visualizing Revolutionary Bodies 1785-1815

HIAA 1650C

Visual Culture and the Production of Identity in the Atlantic World, 1700-1815

HIAA 1650D

Souvenirs: Remembering the Pleasures and Perils of the Grand Tour

HIAA 1711

Black and White: Imagining Africans and African Americans in Visual Culture

HIAA 1770

Architecture and Visual Culture of Empire

HIAA 1811

Possible Futures: Art and the Social Network before the Internet (1950-1979)

HIAA 1850A

Frank Lloyd Wright

HIAA 1850D

Film Architecture

HIAA 1850E

Architecture, Light and Urban Screens

HIAA 1850G

Contemporary American Urbanism: City Design and Planning, 1945-2000

HIAA 1850H

Berlin: Architecture, Politics and Memory

HIAA 1870

Cannibalism, Inversion, and Hybridity: Creative Disobedience in the Americas

HIAA 1890E

SoCal: Art in Los Angeles, 1945-Present

HIAA 1890G

Contemporary Art of Africa and the Diaspora

HIAA 1910A

Providence Architecture

HIAA 1910B

Project Seminar: The Architecture of Bridges

HIAA 1910D

Water and Architecture

HIAA 1910E

Project Seminar for Architectural Studies Concentrators

HIAA 1910F

City Senses: Urbanism Beyond Visual Spectacle

HIAA 1920

Individual Study Project in the History of Art and Architecture

HIAA 1930

The History and Methods of Art Historical Interpretation

HIAA 1990

Honors Thesis
24
Total Credits10

Architectural Studies Track

The Optional Architectural Studies track within the History of Art and Architecture concentration blends a variety of disciplines toward the study of buildings and the built environment. The concentration prepares students for the continued study of architecture and the history of architecture in graduate school as well as careers in related areas such as urban studies.

Because the architectural studies program was especially designed for students wishing to gain greater experience in the practical skills necessary for a career in architecture or a related field, concentrators are required to take a course in design from the Visual Arts Department, the Rhode Island School of Design or an introduction to architectural design, theatre set design at Brown University.

4

HIAA 0040

Introduction to Medieval Art and Architecture

HIAA 0042

Islamic Art and Architecture

HIAA 0031

Pre-Islamic Empires of Iran

HIAA 0041

The Architectures of Islam

HIAA 0061

Baroque

HIAA 0062

The Age of Rubens and Rembrandt: Visual Culture of the Netherlands in the Seventeenth Century

HIAA 0070

Introduction to American Art: The 19th Century

HIAA 0074

Nineteenth-Century Architecture

HIAA 0075

Introduction to the History of Art: Modern Photography

HIAA 0081

Architecture of the House Through Space and Time

HIAA 0089

Contemporary Photography

HIAA 0321

Toward a Global Late Antiquity:200-800 CE

HIAA 0340

Roman Art and Architecture: From Julius Caesar to Hadrian

HIAA 0400

Early Christian, Jewish, and Byzantine Art and Architecture

HIAA 0440

Gothic Art and Architecture

HIAA 0460

Muslims, Jews and Christians in Medieval Iberia

HIAA 0550

Gold, Wool and Stone: Painters and Bankers in Renaissance Tuscany

HIAA 0560

Popes and Pilgrims in Renaissance Rome

HIAA 0570

The Renaissance Embodied

HIAA 0580

Word, Image and Power in Renaissance Italy

HIAA 0600

From Van Eyck to Bruegel

HIAA 0630

Cultural History of the Netherlands in a Golden Age and a Global Age

HIAA 0710

The Other History of Modern Architecture

HIAA 0770

Architecture and Urbanism of the African Diaspora

HIAA 0771

African American and Caribbean Architectures: Domestic Space

HIAA 0801

Art After ‘68

HIAA 0810

20th Century Sculpture

HIAA 0830

Revolutionary Forms: 100 Years of Art and Politics in Latin America

HIAA 0840

History of Rhode Island Architecture

HIAA 0850

Modern Architecture

HIAA 0860

Contemporary Architecture

HIAA 0861

City and Cinema

HIAA 0870

20th Century British Art: Edwardian to Contemporary

HIAA 0881

City and Cinema
11

HIAA 1101A

Illustrating Knowledge

HIAA 1101B

Seeing and Writing on Contemporary Arts

HIAA 1120B

History of Urbanism, 1300-1700

HIAA 1120C

History of Western European Urbanism 1200-1600

HIAA 1150C

El Greco and Velazquez

HIAA 1150D

El Greco and the Golden Age of Spanish Painting

HIAA 1170B

Twentieth-Century American Painting

HIAA 1181

Prefabrication and Architecture

HIAA 1200A

Ancient Art in the RISD Collection

HIAA 1200D

Pompeii

HIAA 1201

Brushwork: Chinese Painting in Time

HIAA 1300

Topics in Classical Art and Architecture

HIAA 1301

The Palaces of Ancient Rome

HIAA 1302

Women and Families in the Ancient Mediterranean

HIAA 1303

Pompeii: Art, Architecture, and Archaeology in the Lost City

HIAA 1310

Topics in Hellenistic Art

HIAA 1360X

The Aesthetics of Color: History, Theory, Critique (GNSS 1960X)

HIAA 1400F

Research Seminar Gothic Art

HIAA 1410A

Topics in Islamic Art: Islamic Art and Architecture on the Indian Subcontinent

HIAA 1430A

The Visual Culture of Medieval Women

HIAA 1440B

Architecture of Solitude: The Medieval Monastery

HIAA 1440D

The Gothic Cathedral

HIAA 1460

Topics in Medieval Archaeology

HIAA 1550A

Prints and Everyday Life in Early Modern Europe

HIAA 1550B

Topics in the Early History of Printmaking: Festival and Carnival

HIAA 1560A

Italy and the Mediterranean

HIAA 1560B

Mannerism

HIAA 1560C

Renaissance Venice and the Veneto

HIAA 1560D

Siena from Simone Martini to Beccafumi

HIAA 1560E

The Arts of Renaissance Courts

HIAA 1560F

Topics in Italian Visual Culture: The Visible City, 1400- 1800

HIAA 1600C

Italian Baroque Painting and Sculpture

HIAA 1600D

The Art of Peter Paul Rubens

HIAA 1600A

Bosch and Bruegel: Art Turns the World Upside Down

HIAA 1600B

Caravaggio

HIAA 1600E

The World Turned Upside Down

HIAA 1600F

Antwerp: Art and Urban History

HIAA 1600G

Art + Religion in Early Modern Europe

HIAA 1600H

Comedy in Netherlandish Art From Hieronymus Bosch to Jan Steen

HIAA 1600I

Collections and Visual Knowledge in Early Modern Europe: 1400-1800

HIAA 1770

Architecture and Visual Culture of Empire

HIAA 1850A

Frank Lloyd Wright

HIAA 1850D

Film Architecture

HIAA 1850E

Architecture, Light and Urban Screens

HIAA 1850G

Contemporary American Urbanism: City Design and Planning, 1945-2000

HIAA 1850H

Berlin: Architecture, Politics and Memory
1, 21

HIAA 1910A

Providence Architecture
31
4, 53
Total Credits10

The below pertains to ALL concentrators in the department:

Language Requirement

You will be expected to demonstrate reading proficiency in a language other than English. By learning the language of another culture you will gain a deeper understanding of its art, literature and history. Aside from this, knowledge of a foreign language will equip you with a skill essential skill for pursuing art historical studies in a professional environment or graduate school. The requirement can be fulfilled by either passing an 0500 level language course at Brown or by demonstrating an 0500 level reading ability in a placement test administered by Brown University language department (Students who declared their concentration before August 2013 are expected to demonstrate proficiency at the 0400 level). 

Self Assesment

All concentrators are required to write an essay when they file for the concentration that lays out what they expect to gain from the course of study they propose.  All second semester seniors will be required to write a final essay that takes measure of what they have learned from the concentration, including their capstone and other experiences relating to their study of the history of art and architecture. For students doing a capstone, their capstone director will read this essay. A department subcommittee will read essays written by students not electing to do a capstone.  The self-assessment should be turned in with a revised list of courses actually taken and the final paperwork for concentration approval.

Capstone Project

At the beginning of your senior year you will be actively encouraged to propose and undertake a Capstone Project. The Capstone Project is intended to challenge you with an opportunity to synthesize at a high level of achievement the knowledge and understanding you have gained by concentrating in the History of Art and Architecture or Architectural Studies. To propose and work on a Capstone Project you will need the support of a faculty sponsor. Capstone Projects embrace many possibilities. You can perfect a seminar paper in which you have developed a strong interest. You can participate in a graduate seminar to which the instructor has admitted you. You can serve as an undergraduate TA. You can work as an intern in museums and auction houses such as Christie's. You might work on an archaeological excavation. You can participate in the Honors Program. Beyond these opportunities, the Department is open to other approaches. You should work with a faculty sponsor and with the Undergraduate Concentration Advisor to decide what will work best for you.

Honors

The Honors program in History of Art & Architecture and Architectural Studies will be administered as follows: accepted students will sign up for HIAA 1990  in the Fall and in the Spring. In the Fall, students will meet regularly with the whole Honors group and HIAA faculty to discuss methodology and general research and writing questions. In the Spring, students will continue to meet to present their research in progress to each other for comment and feedback. They will also be meeting regularly with their advisors and second readers throughout the year. Finished drafts of the thesis (which will generally be no more than 30-35 pages in length (exceptions to be determined in consultation with the instructor), not counting bibliography and visual materials) will be due to the advisor and second reader on April 1 of the Spring semester. Comments will be returned to the students for final corrections at that point. There will be a public presentation of the Honors work at the end of the Spring semester.

Students wishing to write an honors thesis should have an 'A' average in the concentration. It is advisable for them to have taken at least one seminar in the department and written a research paper before choosing to undertake a thesis. While acceptance into the Honors program depends on the persuasiveness of the thesis topic as well as the number of students applying, students may refine their proposals by speaking in advance with potential advisors. No honors student may take more than four classes either semester of their senior year-- being considered one of your four classes. Students who are expecting to graduate in the middle of the year are encouraged to discuss a different capstone project with individual advisors or the concentration advisor.

Honors Application Process

During the second semester of the junior year all concentrators will be invited to apply for admission to the Honor Program in History of Art and Architecture and Architectural Studies.

Admission to the Honors Program

  1. To be admitted to the Honors Program you should have produced consistently excellent work and maintained a high level of achievement in all your concentration course. You should have earned an A grade in most of your concentration courses.
  2. The key project for honors is to write an honors thesis. When you apply for admission you will be asked to submit a proposal of no more than two double-spaced pages that states the topic (subject and argument) of the research to be undertaken as clearly as possible, and add a one-page bibliography of the most relevant books and major articles to be consulted for the project. This three page application should be submitted, along with a resumé and a printout of the student's most recent available transcript and submitted to the Department with a short cover letter stating who you feel the most appropriate advisor and second readers are for the thesis and why, and what your preparation is for this project. Clarity and brevity are considered persuasive virtues in this process. Applicants will be notified about the success of their applications at the end of the semester.
  3. For admission to the Honor Program you must include with your proposal a letter of support from a faculty member of the History of Art and Architecture Department who has agreed to serve as your thesis advisor. You should discuss the thesis topic with your advisor before you submit your proposal. During the process of researching and writing you will meet regularly with your advisor to discuss your work.

Writing the Honors Thesis

  1. If you are accepted into the Honors Program you will register for HIAA 1990 during the two semesters when you are working on a thesis. This is a seminar led by the Department Undergraduate Concentration Advisor in which all honors students meet once a month to present the current progress of their work. It is a valuable opportunity to share ideas and receive feedback from your fellow honors students and faculty alike. The honors seminar also offers a practical framework around which you can organize the progress of your work.
  2. You will meet regularly with your thesis advisor and with a second reader to develop your ideas and writing.
  3. Finished drafts of the thesis, which will generally be no more than 30-35 pages in length (exceptions to be determined in consultation with the instructor), not counting bibliography and visual materials, will be due to the advisor and second reader by April 1 of the Spring semester or by November 1 of the Fall semester if you plan on graduating in December. Comments will be returned to the students for final corrections at that point. There will be a public presentation of the Honors work at the end of the Spring semester.

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