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Liberal Arts Intensive

2015 courses will be updated in December

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, dance classes, and so much more! 

Summer 2014 Courses

Choose an area of interest:

Architecture    Art History    Gender Studies     History    Journalism    Literature    Psychology    The Arts    Urban Studies    Writing

Course Listing:

Architecture

NEW YORK CITY DESIGN INTENSIVE (CLOSED!)

Irina Schneid

The collective memory of New York resides both in its projected visions and its constructed reality. These visions speak to a city unbound by the physical parameters of its scale or its context. This one week course will be an exploration of the real and the imagined. We will survey conceptual proposals, plans, and projects for Manhattan and visit their realized counterparts. We will view exhibitions archiving visions for the New York of the present and will tour cutting edge design practices that are putting forth ideas for the future of the city. Blurring the lines between the city of today and the city of tomorrow, this course will come to know New York as a canvas for temporal and spatial freedom, a city caught in the act of becoming.

Art History

MEDIEVAL ART IN MANHATTAN (CLOSED!)

Lauren Mancia

From the collections of The Metropolitan Museum of Art & The Cloisters, to the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine, to Columbia’s own Rare Book and Manuscript Library, New York has some of the greatest medieval art outside of Europe.  Spend the week learning about the European Middle Ages through the lens of its art. The majority of the classes will be conducted in the galleries of New York museums; we will learn about medieval architecture inside a gothic cathedral and about medieval manuscripts while handling actual illuminated books from the Middle Ages.  By the end of the class, students will gain familiarity with the methodology of art historical inquiry and the culture of the Middle Ages; they will also become experts on some of the great artifacts that medieval people left behind, in the classrooms of some of the great cultural institutions of Manhattan.

Gender Studies

GENDER, SEXISM, AND SCHOOLING--NEW! (CLOSED!)

Sara Zaidi

This course is designed to provide an overview of the major discussions and debates in the area of gender and education, and the role that feminism and feminist theory have played, focusing on the interconnections between gender, sexuality, class race and ethnicity.  Over the course of a week, we will investigate how gender is socially constructed within the institution of schools.  We will explore the ways in which our own gender identities were informed by our experiences in schools, as well as current issues around gender and education including single sex education, gender bias in schooling, sexuality education in schools, and how sexism operates within schools and in the wider society. Some of the goals of this course are to provide a forum for students to discuss issues, ideas and concepts of gender and sexuality in U.S. schools and to encourage students to challenge assumptions and to apply critical thinking skills to controversial issues.

THE PSYCHOLOGY OF GENDER DIFFERENCE (CLOSED!)

Judy Jarvis

Gender and sex difference research is one of the most popular fields in psychology. Psychologists seek to measure how women and men are different on every imaginable characteristic: aggression, obedience, and aptitude at math, to name a few. However, there is significant evidence to indicate that women and men are actually much more alike than different and that much gender difference research is biased toward finding differences, even if they don’t exist. In this interactive class we will act as psychological sleuths: reading psychology studies on gender and sex difference, applying gender studies concepts to psychology research, debating methods and findings, doing our own observational research, and proposing our own studies in small groups. We will also take a field trip to an art museum to explore how some of the course’s themes (such as the naturalness of gender and real or imagined differences between the sexes) also emerge in art.

History

MODERNIST NEW YORK CITY (CLOSED!)

Joanna Scutts

This course explores New York’s vibrant literature, art, film and music in the early twentieth century, an era of fast-paced and profound cultural change. We will read fiction and poetry by writers including F. Scott Fitzgerald, John Dos Passos, Dorothy Parker, and the writers and artists of the Harlem Renaissance; we will visit the sites that inspired them and study the art and architecture of the period through visits to MoMA and Harlem. Together we will explore how the culture of New York City responded to the challenges of a rapidly modernizing world.

DISCOVERING OLD NEW YORK

Sharon Fulton

This course digs into New York City’s rich history by exploring novels, autobiographical narratives, and short sketches by some of the most renowned writers of the past: Henry David Thoreau, Charles Dickens, James Fenimore Cooper, Walt Whitman, Herman Melville, Henry James, Edith Wharton, and others. In addition to reading selections in which these authors paint New York City from the 1840s through the Gilded Age, we will watch films, go on walking tours, and visit The New York Tenement Museum. The course offers a panorama of New York City’s history, and it considers the variety of human experience that the city’s literature captures.

Journalism

INTRODUCTION TO GLOBAL NEWS MEDIA (CLOSED!)

Soomin Seo

How do journalists bring us news from around the world? How do news outlets differ worldwide? This course explores these issues from the world's news capital of New York City. The course is intended as an introductory course for students interested in journalism and media studies, as well as related fields such as international policy, development and new media.

Literature

DISCOVERING OLD NEW YORK (CLOSED!)

Sharon Fulton

This course digs into New York City’s rich history by exploring novels, autobiographical narratives, and short sketches by some of the most renowned writers of the past: Henry David Thoreau, Charles Dickens, James Fenimore Cooper, Walt Whitman, Herman Melville, Henry James, Edith Wharton, and others. In addition to reading selections in which these authors paint New York City from the 1840s through the Gilded Age, we will watch films, go on walking tours, and visit The New York Tenement Museum. The course offers a panorama of New York City’s history, and it considers the variety of human experience that the city’s literature captures.

Psychology

THE PSYCHOLOGY OF GENDER DIFFERENCE (CLOSED!)

Judy Jarvis

Gender and sex difference research is one of the most popular fields in psychology. Psychologists seek to measure how women and men are different on every imaginable characteristic: aggression, obedience, and aptitude at math, to name a few. However, there is significant evidence to indicate that women and men are actually much more alike than different and that much gender difference research is biased toward finding differences, even if they don’t exist. In this interactive class we will act as psychological sleuths: reading psychology studies on gender and sex difference, applying gender studies concepts to psychology research, debating methods and findings, doing our own observational research, and proposing our own studies in small groups. We will also take a field trip to an art museum to explore how some of the course’s themes (such as the naturalness of gender and real or imagined differences between the sexes) also emerge in art.

The Arts

PERFORMANCE, PAGE TO STAGE: THREE LOVE STORIES (CLOSED!)

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 and Williams' modern classic A Streetcar Named Desire), to contemporary modes of theater-making. We will also attend a production of the Broadway hit Once* 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.
*Show may change subject to availability

Urban Studies

NEW YORK EXPLORATIONS: UNDERSTANDING URBAN LANDSCAPES

Elizabeth Pillsbury

In this course we will explore New York City neighborhoods to gain a better understanding of how cities operate.  We will use the urban landscape as our 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.  We will explore the city, from Barnard’s campus to the Lower East Side to Washington Square Park.  We will examine urban planning controversies in New York City, and in doing so we will gain a new understanding, not only of this dynamic city, but of all cities and towns.

Writing

PLACE AND THE PERSONAL ESSAY: BEING IN NEW YORK--NEW! (CLOSED!)

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 his or her experience of an inspiring space.

HOW STORIES CHANGE US AND THE WORLD: A WRITING WORKSHOP--NEW! (CLOSED!)

Charlotte Friedman

Stories are about things, but stories also do things—they inspire, guide, heal and teach us.  Our stories make us laugh and cry.  Some stories change how we think.  Stories reflect who we are and what we value; they connect us to others and create community.  Our stories may be told or written; they may be made of words, images or both. In our week together, we will create, explore and examine a variety of stories—our own and those of various well-known writers and artists. In daily exercises and prompts, we will write on our own as well as co-construct stories with each other.  Our goal is to hone our abilities to closely “read” a story, to listen deeply and look carefully, and to write with imagination, perception and curiosity. Our guest visitors will include people whose understanding and use of stories is integral to their work.