Liberal Arts Intensive

Students choose one class for the duration of the 1-week program to be attended 9:30 am - 12:30 pm, Monday through Friday. Afternoons are an opportunity to complete assignments and engage in on and off campus activities, including Broadway shows, baseball games, exercise classes, and so much more! We will also be offering optional afternoon activities to include museum trips, walking tours, and visits to science centers.  

Please note that our programs admit students on a rolling basis and we are no longer accepting applications for residential students.  We cannot guarantee spaces for applicants who may have begun applications but have not completed prior to the close of a program. We are, however, still accepting applications for commuter students.

Additionally, please note that certain classes are full

Summer 2016 Courses

Choose an area of interest:

History
Journalism 
Law 
Literature

Psychology
The Arts
Urban Studies
Web Development 
Writing

Course Listing:

History

FASHION IN LITERATURE: FROM VICTORIAN TO MODERN (New!)

Jill DiDonato

From Lily Bart in Edith Wharton’s "House of Mirth" to Holly Golightly in Truman Capote’s "Breakfast at Tiffany’s", characters in literature are deepened by the details of garment descriptions. As fashion historians have noted, the value of fashion in literature conveys the mise en scène of a particular country, era, class, time of day, and personal circumstance. In deepening character development, description of fashion sheds light on personality, gender roles, class, aspirations, and sexual preference. This course will examine the role of fashion in key texts (Victorian through Modern) allowing students to think critically about the way fashion bisects politics, economics, gender, race, and pop culture in literature. By close readings of texts, as well as trips to New York museums that spotlight fashion exhibits and talks by fashion designers on how they use literature to influence their current looks, students will leave the course with an understanding of how fashion in literature is not meant to distract, but rather serve as a barometer of cultural consciousness. 

MEDIEVAL BEASTS AND WHERE TO FIND THEM IN NYC (New!)

Aled Roberts

When JK Rowling wrote "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them" in 2001, she was writing about ancient literary traditions that found their most enthralling and marvelous articulation in the European middle ages: bestiaries and beast fables. This course, beginning with bestiaries, will look at how the late middle ages looked at animals. Students will read stories about a repentant cat who becomes a monk, a greyhound that's worshipped as a saint, worms that talk back to the corpse they feed on, and a cockerel that interprets dreams, badly.  This literature, full of ordinary and extraordinary animals, always asks the reader to think hard about the divide between the strange and the familiar, about how one reads the natural world and what challenges come with thinking in terms of the 'natural' and 'unnatural'. In the afternoons, the class will take  morning readings “for a walk” in New York City to look at the strange interplays of 'natural' and 'unnatural' medieval animals in the modern metropolis by taking advantage of the city's unique medieval resources (Columbia's own Rare Book & Manuscript Library, the Cloisters Museum) and by seeking out places such as the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, a neo-medieval cathedral that offers baptism for dogs and has, at its gates, the canine-catered commandment: "Thou Shalt Not Poop." 

*Please note that this course includes mandatory afternoon activities. 

 

Journalism

SIDEWALKS AND SCREENS: INTRODUCTION TO URBAN COMMUNICATIONS (New!)

Burcu Baykurt

Focusing on current debates over media and publicity/public participation in the city, this course provides an introduction to the ways that media and communications shape, and are shaped by, urban life. What role did newspapers play in the formation of cities in the late nineteenth to the early twentieth centuries? How do we explain the co-evolution of the rise of television and suburban living in the 1950s? In what ways do media bring urban dwellers together as they are surrounded by big public screens to which they rarely pay attention, and immersed in their own smart devices? What is the relationship between the invisible wires and pipes that connect us to the Internet and local politics? How do social media change civic engagement? By taking New York as an inspiration and a resource, we will draw on academic texts and journalistic coverage to explore media as it appears to us in everyday urban places and routines.

 

Law

SCIENCE AND THE LAW

Ric Stark

Science and Law often appear to be fundamentally different processes. Science is based on collaboration - on researchers around the world publishing their work in open journals for all to share and use. Law and the legal system are based on confrontation – on two opponents presenting their cases and arguments, with one or the other ultimately being declared the “winner.” At times, however, the two cross paths when a judge or jury is asked to rule on a case in which the issues at hand are questions of science and technology. What belongs in a high school science class? What possible uses of a new technology should be permitted or prohibited? At what point does emerging scientific evidence of potential harm warrant governmental restriction on the activities of private enterprise? In this course, we will examine landmark legal cases that have addressed these very issues. We will also compare the ways in which science and law differ, and how conflicts can arise when science and technical knowledge create new situations that fall outside existing legal principles and precedents.

 

Literature

COUNTERCULTURES IN WORLD LITERATURE AND FILM (New!)

Elizabeth Marcus

How does literautre and film represent or even create a "counterculture"? Can artistic expression and representation be "revolutionary" and create cause for political and cultural revolt? In this course, we will examine a number of literary and film case studies part of revolutionary student movements, national liberation groups, feminism, immigrant and urban activism, to explore how urban transformation, immigration, and globalization has framed the figure of the “marginal.” We will examine literary narratives behind protest cultures in Western and non-Western history and culture, including in the modern Middle East, looking at their importance for modern-day political and social relations. This class will use film, literature and different types of literary and political writings to trace the different types of transgressions of “the mainstream.” 

FASHION IN LITERATURE: FROM VICTORIAN TO MODERN (New!)

Jill DiDonato

From Lily Bart in Edith Wharton’s "House of Mirth" to Holly Golightly in Truman Capote’s "Breakfast at Tiffany’s", characters in literature are deepened by the details of garment descriptions. As fashion historians have noted, the value of fashion in literature conveys the mise en scène of a particular country, era, class, time of day, and personal circumstance. In deepening character development, description of fashion sheds light on personality, gender roles, class, aspirations, and sexual preference. This course will examine the role of fashion in key texts (Victorian through Modern) allowing students to think critically about the way fashion bisects politics, economics, gender, race, and pop culture in literature. By close readings of texts, as well as trips to New York museums that spotlight fashion exhibits and talks by fashion designers on how they use literature to influence their current looks, students will leave the course with an understanding of how fashion in literature is not meant to distract, but rather serve as a barometer of cultural consciousness. 

MEDIEVAL BEASTS AND WHERE TO FIND THEM IN NYC (New!)

Aled Roberts

When JK Rowling wrote "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them" in 2001, she was writing about ancient literary traditions that found their most enthralling and marvelous articulation in the European middle ages: bestiaries and beast fables. This course, beginning with bestiaries, will look at how the late middle ages looked at animals. Students will read stories about a repentant cat who becomes a monk, a greyhound that's worshipped as a saint, worms that talk back to the corpse they feed on, and a cockerel that interprets dreams, badly.  This literature, full of ordinary and extraordinary animals, always asks the reader to think hard about the divide between the strange and the familiar, about how one reads the natural world and what challenges come with thinking in terms of the 'natural' and 'unnatural'. In the afternoons, the class will take  morning readings “for a walk” in New York City to look at the strange interplays of 'natural' and 'unnatural' medieval animals in the modern metropolis by taking advantage of the city's unique medieval resources (Columbia's own Rare Book & Manuscript Library, the Cloisters Museum) and by seeking out places such as the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, a neo-medieval cathedral that offers baptism for dogs and has, at its gates, the canine-catered commandment: "Thou Shalt Not Poop." 

*Please note that this course includes mandatory afternoon activities. 

PERFORMANCE, PAGE TO STAGE: THREE LOVE STORIES 

Julie Bleha

Calling on NYC's richly diverse theatrical traditions, we will explore how the written word combines with human and environmental elements to create performance. Class conversation will range from discussions of form in dramatic literature (looking at Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet or Much Ado About Nothing and Williams' modern classic A Streetcar Named Desire), to contemporary modes of theatre-making. We will also attend an off-Broadway or Broadway production, and visit with working theatre artists. The class will study the context and genesis of the shows we discuss while we also hone our critical thinking and writing skills. Thus, by the week's end, we will have experienced theatre from the perspective of practitioner, audience member, scholar and critic.

 

Psychology

PSYCHOLOGY OF STRESS (CLOSED!)

Leigh Boyd

College applications? Parental expectations? Peer pressure? Everyone has to deal with stress, and generally people think of it as a bad thing. But did you know that stress can be good sometimes? In this course, we’ll cover scientific research on stress: what it is, what it does to your central and peripheral nervous systems, biological and psychological  adaptations to stress, how to tell good stress from bad stress, and (of course) how stress can be managed to make us happier, healthier, and more productive.

 

The Arts

PERFORMANCE, PAGE TO STAGE: THREE LOVE STORIES 

Julie Bleha

Calling on NYC's richly diverse theatrical traditions, we will explore how the written word combines with human and environmental elements to create performance. Class conversation will range from discussions of form in dramatic literature (looking at Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet or Much Ado About Nothing and Williams' modern classic A Streetcar Named Desire), to contemporary modes of theatre-making. We will also attend an off-Broadway or Broadway production, and visit with working theatre artists. The class will study the context and genesis of the shows we discuss while we also hone our critical thinking and writing skills. Thus, by the week's end, we will have experienced theatre from the perspective of practitioner, audience member, scholar and critic.

 

Urban Studies

URBAN STUDIES: EXPLORING NEW YORK CITY NEIGHBORHOODS (CLOSED!)

Elizabeth Pillsbury

In this course the class will explore New York City neighborhoods to gain a better understanding of how cities operate. The class will use the urban landscape as its classroom, discussing the works of urban planners, theorists and fiction writers alongside historical newspaper articles and maps to examine how New York functions today and in the past. In explorations ranging from Barnard’s campus to the Lower East Side, the class will explore  factors that contribute to a neighborhood’s vitality and how one might build a more sustainable and equitable city. Students will soak in the city,  visiting the Highline, eating food in Chinatown, exploring Harlem and the financial district. Homework will include readings as well as urban explorations. By the end of the course, students should come a way with new understanding of New York City and of cities in general.

Web Development

INTRODUCTION TO WEB DEVELOPMENT (New!)

Farheen Malik

A prominent individual has said that “software is eating the world.” From communication to education and healthcare, nearly every part of our lives is being touched by computer programs. It’s no surprise that coding is one of the most important and valuable skills for 21st century success.  This immersive course will introduce students to how the web works and how to build a website using HTML and CSS, the markup languages that are the building blocks of the web.  Students will learn by coding each day, and, by the end of this hands-on course, you will understand the structural foundation and styling of websites and will have a strong foundation to continue to learn web development.

 

Writing

THE ART OF STORYTELLING: A WRITING WORKSHOP (CLOSED!)

Alexandra Fields

“Nowadays I know the true reason I read is to feel less alone, to make a connection with a consciousness other than my own.” –Zadie Smith.

If people read to feel connected to others, then the job of a writer is to forge that connection. This is what the best writing does. There are some stories that we read that we continue to think about in the weeks, months, maybe even years to come. There are some last sentences that when we read them, we feel like we’ve been punched in the gut. When reading great literature, how many times have you thought, how the heck did they do that? In this one week course, we will learn to read like a writer, pinpointing the techniques successful writers use to achieve their desired effect. We will then work on applying these techniques to our own stories, and begin to explore how our choices impact a reader’s experience. Readings will focus on female short story writers, including Amy Hempel, Katherine Anne Porter, Grace Paley, Flannery O'Connor, Willa Cather, Eudora Welty, Jean Stafford, Tillie Olsen, Joan Didion, and others.

PLACE AND THE PERSONAL ESSAY: BEING IN NEW YORK 

Thomas March

We learn more about who we are when we pay attention to how we react to the spaces around us (and the others who inhabit them)—whether bustling or calm, expansive or close, grand or intimate. In this course, students will explore the ways in which awareness of our relationships to spaces in New York—whether natural, architectural, or social—can form the basis of personal reflections on matters of importance to them. To supplement our work, we may read selections from the work of such writers as Joan Didion, James Baldwin, E. B. White, Alfred Kazin, Fran Lebowitz, Adam Gopnik, and Colson Whitehead, among others, to provoke further discussion of a variety of methods for capturing and celebrating spaces and their impacts. At the end of the week, each student will have written a personal, discursive essay inspired by  her experience of an inspiring space.

 

/* */