Liberal Arts Intensive

Sunday, July 9 - Friday, July 14, 2017

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.  

 Applications for 2017 are open now! Click here to get started.

 

Summer 2017 Courses

Choose an area of interest:

The Arts
Education
History
Journalism
Law
Literature
Psychology
Urban Studies
Web Development
Writing

 

 

 

Course Listings:

The Arts

 

EXPECTATION DEFYING WOMEN: SEEING MUSICAL THEATER AS LITERATURE

Emma de Beus

This course will explore the relationship between the worlds of musical theater and literature. Many musicals are based on books, plays, or other primary sources, but aspects of these works emerge with the addition of the lights, sounds, and greasepaint of musical theater.   The specific lenses through which we will focus  are the extraordinary and inspiring women in the this juncture between literature and musical theater. The musicals covered will be selections from the following: Matilda, Waitress, Into The Woods, Little Women, The Secret Garden, Next to Normal, West Side Story, Wicked, and War Paint. In addition to attending a performance, we will examine excerpts of source material, listen to songs, view images of both costumes and sets.

 

FEMINIST ART AND SPACES IN NEW YORK CITY

Erica Cardwell

In this course, we will examine New York and its five boroughs as an epicenter for feminist art and history. We will visit feminist cultural institutions, such as the WOW Café Theater, Schomburg Center for Research on Black Culture, and the Elizabeth Sackler Center for Feminist Art at the Brooklyn Museum, alongside critical yet less prominent spaces, such as the Lesbian Herstory Archive. Our goal is to sharpen our understanding of feminist art and space as an intersectional framework for art, race, class, sex, and gender—essentially, our everyday lives. Students will participate in daily creative writing and art-making assignments. Individually, they will create a feminist zine which answers the following question: how do I define feminism in my everyday life?

 

INTERSECTIONS IN CONTEMPORARY POETRY AND RAP MUSIC

Sarah Arkebauer

Much of the avant-garde poetry of the late twentieth century and early twenty-first century saw difficult poetry (poetry that made its reader focus on how that language worked, rather than simply what it meant) as a means for political engagement and other forms of genre expansion. This class looks at examples of contemporary avant-garde poetry alongside the contemporaneously developed genre of rap music, which also represents a shift from standard popular music toward a politically-charged art that foregrounds language, its rules, and its games. As a poetry course, this class finds in rap an affinity with the larger historical panorama of poetically-minded art forms. The pairing of rap music with contemporary poetry of the American avant-garde is not an accident of chronology, but rather a rich and rigorous investigation of the ways these two art forms respond to similar political and economic issues through innovative language experiments.

 

Education:

 

AMERICAN PUBLIC EDUCATION: THE QUEST FOR EQUITY

Courtney Yadoo

According to nineteenth century reformer Horace Mann, "Education, then, beyond all other devices of human origin, is the great equalizer of the conditions of men, - the balance-wheel of the social machinery." This belief remains firmly rooted in our national ideology; it underpins the notion that every American child deserves a shot at success. However, across the nation, great inequities continue to persist in our public schools. In this course, we'll explore the historical forces that have shaped American education policy. We'll examine issues including desegregation, accountability and national standards, and school choice. We'll also visit people and places at the center of current education debates, from charter schools to the Mayor's office. This course will provide students with a foundation for working towards a more equitable school system.

 

History

 

FASHION IN LITERATURE: FROM VICTORIAN TO MODERN

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. 

 

 

THE VIETNAM WARS: 1940-1975

Oliver Murphey

The conflicts that raged in Vietnam between 1940 and 1975 drew in all of the world’s most powerful nations, and played a central role in reshaping U.S. foreign policy, politics and culture. During the course, students will debate and discuss the reasons for that conflict and why so many people and nations became so invested in a struggle pitting global superpowers against different factions in a poor, peasant society emerging from its colonial past at a time of great flux in international relations. Students will come to understand the reasons for U.S. involvement in depth, as well as understand the conflicts’ impacts on Vietnam, on the path of the Cold War and on U.S. foreign policy. As the war progressed, it became increasingly clear that the Vietnam War was sowing chaos and destruction not only in Southeast Asia, but in the United States as well. The conflict provoked widespread protest, and the course will examine how these protests influenced the course of the war and to what extent they helped end or perhaps prolong the conflict. The war and the protests that surrounded it inspired both the left and the right to redefine their agendas - galvanizing student politics and the birth of the New Left, whilst also helping to birth the modern conservative movement. This polarization sent shock waves through established political parties and bases of support, and defined the “culture wars” that dominated U.S. politics into the twenty-first century.

 

Journalism

 

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 legally qualifies as "science?"  How should a judge determine what types of "expert scientific testimony" should be permitted in court? 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

 

EXPECTATION DEFYING WOMEN: SEEING MUSICAL THEATER AS LITERATURE

Emma de Beus

This course will explore the relationship between the worlds of musical theater and literature. Many musicals are based on books, plays, or other primary sources, but aspects of these works emerge with the addition of the lights, sounds, and greasepaint of musical theater.   The specific lenses through which we will focus  are the extraordinary and inspiring women in the this juncture between literature and musical theater. The musicals covered will be selections from the following: Matilda, Waitress, Into The Woods, Little Women, The Secret Garden, Next to Normal, West Side Story, Wicked, and War Paint. In addition to attending a performance, we will examine excerpts of source material, listen to songs, view images of both costumes and sets.

 

INTERSECTIONS IN CONTEMPORARY POETRY AND RAP MUSIC

Sarah Akebauer

Much of the avant-garde poetry of the late twentieth century and early twenty-first century saw difficult poetry (poetry that made its reader focus on how that language worked, rather than simply what it meant) as a means for political engagement and other forms of genre expansion. This class looks at examples of contemporary avant-garde poetry alongside the contemporaneously developed genre of rap music, which also represents a shift from standard popular music toward a politically-charged art that foregrounds language, its rules, and its games. As a poetry course, this class finds in rap an affinity with the larger historical panorama of poetically-minded art forms. The pairing of rap music with contemporary poetry of the American avant-garde is not an accident of chronology, but rather a rich and rigorous investigation of the ways these two art forms respond to similar political and economic issues through innovative language experiments.

 

 

FASHION IN LITERATURE: FROM VICTORIAN TO MODERN

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. 

 

 

Psychology

 

PSYCHOLOGY OF CHILDREN'S MEDIA

Natasha Crandall

Everyone knows how much fun it is to watch television. This is true for people of all ages, including young children. What was your favorite show as a child? Did you know that most preschool television shows use psychologists to ensure that it is teaching and modeling age appropriate concepts? Now that there are apps and digital games for young children, psychologists are involved in the creation of these as well. Get an inside look at how psychologists influence today’s media. You will hear from speakers who work in television as well as in digital media and will get to participate in a focus group to learn first-hand how psychologists determine if shows are as educational as they claim to be.

 

Urban Studies

 

URBAN STUDIES: EXPLORING NEW YORK CITY NEIGHBORHOODS 

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 away with new understanding of New York City and of cities in general.

 

Web Development

 

INTRODUCTION TO WEB DEVELOPMENT

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 NEW YORKER: THE CRAFT OF MAGAZINE WRITING

Ah-Young Song

The New Yorker is a pivotal American magazine that has helped shape the course of essay writing and fiction since 1925.  In this class, students will examine different literary elements and reproduce sections of the New Yorker, such as Talk of the Town, Goings on About Town, Shouts & Murmurs, Cartoons, and Fiction.  Homework readings will be drawn from New Yorker writers like Malcolm Gladwell, Gay Talese, George Saunders, Karen Chee, and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.  Students will learn professional writing techniques to apply to their own writings in the creation of a collaborative zine.  Magazine content will be inspired by their exploration of New York City and its distinct neighborhoods, from restaurant reviews of a Harlem eatery to cultural comments on a Highline tour.  In this course, students will experience the city through a critic's lens and produce a polished magazine containing their reflections.

 

 

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.

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