Course Catalog

Summer 2017 Pre-College Course Catalog

Choose an area of interest:

 

Acting
Architecture
Art History
Astronomy
Dance
 
Entrepreneurship
Environmental Science
Filmmaking
History
Journalism
Law
Leadership Studies
Literature
Neuroscience
Political Science
Psychology
Religion
STEM
Studio Art
Technology
Theatre
Urban Studies
 
Women's & Gender Studies
 
 
Writing
 
 

 

Acting:

 

ACTING: PROCESS AND PERFORMANCE 

Ari Kreith & Todd Flaherty

Program: Summer in the City

Afternoon (2:00-4:30pm)

New York's vibrant theatre scene is in our classroom! Students will hone their acting technique while deepening their understanding of the process of developing plays. We will rehearse and perform monologues and scenes and have the option to write short plays and/or perform songs. These hands-on opportunities will alternate with trips to the theatre, a Broadway backstage tour, and visits from guest artists including actors, directors, and playwrights. Students may also perform monologues for their peers at the end of the summer at the PCP Festival of the Arts.

 

Architecture:

 

ARCHITECTURAL CULTURE AND NYC DESIGN STUDIO 

Marcelo Lopez-Dinardi

​Program: Summer in the City

Morning (9:30-12pm)

Architecture is a key component of our built environment in many ways -- we live and work in buildingsArchitecture is the design that surrounds us, but is also present in the relations between our hand-size design objects and our city-wide aspirations. This course will take the form of an architectural studio and seminar, with the fascinating city of New York as its context. We will have our own studio space at Barnard and will visit the city to confirm and test our in-house speculations. NYC will provide the background to develop a small project similar to those in an architectural studio course, and it will also be the place where we develop our sketchbooks, explore architecture with photography, and discuss our readings about architecture. No particular skills or previous knowledge is required to dive into the architectural culture and work within a studio environment.

 

Art History:

 

MASTERPIECES OF ART IN NEW YORK CITY 

Kent Minturn

​Program: Summer in the City

Morning (9:30-12pm)

This course will introduce students to some of the major works of Western Art currently located in New York. We will begin with the Greek period and conclude with the contemporary art scene in Chelsea. Slide lectures, class discussions, and readings will be supplemented with visits to New York City's world-renowned museums.

 

NEW YORK IN ART AND FILM

Ted Barrow

​Program: Summer in the City

Morning (9:30-12pm)

From its early days as a pre-Hollywood hub of film studios, New York City has played a central role in film in the 20th century, one which corresponds directly to the production of modern art.  In this course, comparisons between art-making and film-making will be made, while students will also be introduced to the core literature of modernist writing.  Breaking up into four different periods: 1890-The Great Depression, WWII-the early 60's, the 60's and 70's, and finally the post-modern era of art and film, each week will focus on a group of artists or directors (including D.H. Griffith, The Ashcan School, Diego Rivera, Sergei Eisenstein, Joseph Cornell, Andy Warhol, Martin Scorsese, and Julian Schnabel) who explore the intersection of art and film, particularly in New York City.

 

FEMINIST ART AND SPACES IN NEW YORK CITY

Erica Cardwell

Program: Liberal Arts Intensive

Morning (9:30-12:30pm)

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?

 

CONTEMPORARY ART STUDIO

Lara Saget

​Program: Summer in the City

Afternoon (2:00-4:30pm)

New York City is rich in cultural history, providing unique and varied opportunities for many generations of artists. This historical breadth enlivens the cultural climate and empowers young artists to see themselves in the larger art historical context.  Through visits to contemporary art galleries and museums, visits with practicing artists, practical workshops, readings, and open dialogue, students will absorb what it is like to make artwork within the New York City community and art world at large. Students will execute inventive assignments inspired by concepts that we discuss in depth in the classroom and experience throughout the city. Great weight will be placed on experimental art projects including sculpture, collage, mixed-media, and installation art. Students will develop the skills necessary to complete the assignments through in class demos and formal analysis of how diverse artworks were constructed. The course will be centered around contemporary art in the city today and how it relates to historic art movements of the 20th century, among them Appropriation Art and Installation Art. The course will culminate in an exhibition of student artwork in the McCagg Gallery on Barnard’s campus.

 

Astronomy:

 

THE EXPLORATION OF SPACE

Frederic Stark

Program: Summer in the City

Afternoon (2:00-4:30pm)

For millennia, humans gazed in wonder at the stars.  Every culture developed its own mythology and stories to make sense of the pictures and patterns hidden in the night sky.  Then, in the last century, something amazing happened.  Our technology caught up to our wonder, and we figured out, in the words of John Magee, how to “slip the surly bonds of Earth.”  For the past six decades, some of our most clever machines and intrepid explorers have helped us dip our toes into the vast cosmic ocean that surrounds our little blue marble of a home.  In this course, we will study the people, science, and technology that have brought humanity some of its most captivating and unifying moments; from Isaac Newton to Neil Armstrong, from Sputnik to New Horizons.  At the same time, we will also examine the social and political reasons why we expend resources and effort to send machines and people into space in the first place, and how we may, if we are careful enough, one day evolve into what SpaceX founder Elon Musk hopefully calls a "multiplanetary species."

 

Dance:

 

THE WORLD OF DANCE: FROM THEORY TO PRACTICE

Sydnie Mosley

Program: Dance in the City*

*This academic class is part of a larger program. For more information please click on the link above. 

This course constructs a bridge between topics in dance scholarship and applied practices. We will learn to critically analyze, write and discuss various forms of dance while engaging with New York City artists, institutions and live performances. Topics we will investigate include: reading dance as a cultural text, understanding the role of the teaching artist, understanding the effects of dance criticism, discovering post-modernism and its contemporary legacy in New York City, and understanding music-dance relationships from the perspective of composers & choreographers.

 

Entrepreneurship:

 

Program: Entrepreneurs-in-Training

*For more information please click on the link above.

Courses for this program range from Developing a Business Idea to Getting Funded and include  site visits to start-ups in New York. Students will work in groups as they develop their own ventures, build public speaking skills, and ultimately pitch their ideas to mentors, staff, judges, and fellow students - resulting in an awards ceremony for Most Compelling Pitch and more. Instructors for these courses and workshops are start-up experts, having founded or led ventures of their own. 

 

Environmental Science:

 

BSI: NEW YORK CITY

Joe Liddicoat

Program: Summer in the City

Afternoon (2:00-4:30pm)

BSI: New York (Brownfield Site Investigation: New York) is a course in environmental discovery that combines scientific knowledge, constructionist education philosophy, and multimedia to explore a fictitious brownfield.  A brownfield is property that had prior industrial use that resulted in pollution of the property and surrounding region.  Central to the course is an innovative web-based simulation called Brownfield Action that was developed at Barnard and Columbia University and has a 10-year history of use by Barnard students and other students around the country.  Like real-world environmental consultants, you will develop and apply expertise from a wide range of fields, including environmental science, engineering, journalism, medicine, public health, law, civics, economics, organic and nuclear chemistry, and business management.  A directed reading of Jonathan Harr’s A Civil Action is the text for the course. 

 

Filmmaking:

 

SCREENWRITING: THE SHORT FILM

Helen Kaplan

​Program: Summer in the City

Morning (9:30-12pm)

From film festivals to cell phones, short films are everywhere. This workshop will demystify the art of screenwriting and give you the tools you need to write a great short script. You will learn how to grab viewers by their collective shirt collar and, more importantly, hold their attention until the final credits roll. Emphasis will be placed on visual storytelling, the classic three-act structure, plot, character development, conflict, and dialogue. Through writing exercises, script analyses, and film screenings, students will learn the craft of screenwriting. By the end of the course, each student will have written three short screenplays as well as revised one of these scripts.

 

THE SHORT FILM: FROM SCRIPT TO SCREEN 

Helen Kaplan

​Program: Summer in the City

Afternoon (2:00-4:30pm)

In this immersive filmmaking course, you will develop your visual storytelling skills by using only imagery and sound (and no dialogue) to create a short film. You will dream up screen stories and get your ideas down on the page during pre-production. You will shoot and direct your cast, bringing your words and images to life during production. And finally, you will edit your footage into an original short film during post-production. Since film is a collaborative medium, students will crew, act, produce, and shoot each other’s projects in order to experience all aspects of filmmaking. Using New York as both a set and a source of inspiration, students will also attend film screenings and visit organizations that promote and produce cinema.

 

History:

 

FASHION IN LITERATURE: FROM VICTORIAN TO MODERN

Jill DiDonato

Program: Liberal Arts Intensive

Morning (9:30-12:30pm)

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. 

 

POVERTY: FROM THE BIBLE TO BEYONCÉ

Krista Dalton

Program: Summer in the City

Morning (9:30-12pm)

What does it mean to identify someone as “poor?” In recent years, scholars have examined the flexibility of poverty as a category, interrogating the ways people with power talk about others as “poor.” This multidisciplinary course will approach poverty in a variety of media formats throughout four periods in history, quite literally from the Bible to Beyoncé. We will study the Hebrew Bible’s agricultural and justice traditions, the emergence of "the poor" as a distinct social group in the late Roman world, the charity revolution in Medieval Europe, and finally we will examine depictions of the poor in recent American literature and media, culminating in a discussion of Beyoncé’s Lemonade. Students will gain an understanding of important moments in the history of poverty studies, while cultivating an awareness of the specific discursive histories of "the poor" as a rhetorical category in religious and political circles. With careful attention to artistic and textual examples (and trips to cultural institutions within NYC), students will consider the role rhetoric and media play in who counts as “the poor.”

 

THE RISE OF DONALD TRUMP: RIGHT-WING POPULISM AND NATIONALISM IN HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE

Oliver Murphey

Program: Summer in the City

Afternoon (2:00-4:30pm)

The election of Donald Trump was a shock to many observers in the United States and around the world. Yet this event was by no means unforeseeable: it represented the culmination of decades of conservative populist mobilization in the United States on economic policy, globalization and its accompanying economic changes, immigration, the role of mass media and the politics of information and expertise, as well as longstanding issues of race, class, and gender, and the role of the United States in the wider world. Trump’s ascension to the presidency also coincided with significant victories for right-wing nationalist movements across the globe: from the pro-Brexit movement in Britain and growing evidence of anti-immigrant and anti-E.U. sentiment across Europe, to the election of Hindu nationalists in India. Right-wing nationalist populism promises to have a profound impact on our world. An examination of the history that has contributed to the success and failure of such movements will be crucial for those seeking to understand, shape, engage with and contest these powerful political currents. This course will examine the evolution of conservative politics and right-wing nationalism in the United States and across the globe, in an effort to understand how Trump was able to mobilize a winning political coalition. Using international comparison and analysis of similar twentieth century movements, particularly in Britain and Germany, the course will ask students to consider to what extent are these movements comparable and part of similar trends within liberal democracies? Will support for Trump and his brand of politics last and reshape the U.S. political landscape, and what does this mean for the United States and the wider world?

 

Journalism:

 

AMERICAN POLITICAL COMMUNICATION

Andi Dixon

Program: Summer in the City

Afternoon (2:00-4:30pm)

This course addresses political communication in the American context (focusing on the federal level), examining the activities and constituencies of key actors, including politicians, institutions, the media and American publics. This course serves as an introduction to and a broad survey of political communication, an interdisciplinary field at the intersection of communication studies, political science, sociology, media studies and journalism. In this class, we will assess political communication as a major subfield of communication studies, examining key works that address political actors’ use of mediated and fundamentally communicative public practices to bolster narratives, create consensus, and allocate power and resources. Major topics covered will include the following: public sphere and public opinion; propaganda and public relations; presidential rhetoric; electoral politics and campaigning; journalism, the news and public life; research on media and new media effects; mediation of identity politics (age, religion, race, gender and sexual orientation); and, political advocacy, civic engagement and social movements.

 

Law:

 

SCIENCE AND THE LAW

Frederic Stark

Program: Liberal Arts Intensive

Morning (9:30-12:30pm)

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.

 

Leadership Studies:

 

LEAN IN OR DIG DEEP: VARIETIES OF FEMINIST LEADERSHIP

Michelle Smith

Program: Young Women's Leadership Institute

*This academic class is part of a larger program.  For more information, please click on the link above.

Morning: (9:30-12:30pm)

In this course, we explore the theory and practice of two “models” of feminist leadership:  liberal-individualist and radical-collective.  Advocates of both models seek women’s empowerment.  However, they disagree over the means and ends of women’s activism.  Broadly, liberal feminists seek equal power in political institutions and corporations, as well as equal access to the means for social and economic advancement.  Liberal feminists may pursue “reproductive rights” and consider gender equality the mark of feminist success.  Social justice feminists seek nothing less than the end of sexism and all forms of subjugation (racial, class, sexual orientation) which sustain existing inegalitarian, sexist, racist and heteronormative structures.  Radical-collective feminists may pursue “reproductive justice” and consider the transformation of existing gender, social and economic relations success.  Lean in or Dig Deep is not an historical survey course.  Instead, we examine various contemporary representatives of each political orientation.

 

WOMEN'S STUDIES 101

Laura Ciolkowski

Program: Young Women's Leadership Institute*

*This academic class is part of a larger program.  For more information, please click on the link above.

Morning (9:30-12:30pm)

This course is an interdisciplinary introduction to key concepts and analytical categories in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies.  The course grapples with gender in its complex intersection with other systems of power and inequality, including: sexuality, race and ethnicity, class and nation.  Topics include: Reproductive Justice; Feminist Activism; Media Politics; Gender Justice and the Law; Feminist and Queer Theory; Violence; Science and Technology; Gender and Health; Economic Justice; Family.  The course will connect to the Young Women’s Leadership Institute’s broader themes, through dialogue with our sister class "Lean In Or Dig Deep" and the joint viewing of a film.  Together, we will address the rewards and the challenges of living and working as feminist scholars and leaders.

 

Literature:

 

EXPECTATION DEFYING WOMEN: SEEING MUSICAL THEATER AS LITERATURE

Emma de Beus

Program: Liberal Arts Intensive

Morning (9:30-12:30pm)

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: 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.

 

FASHION IN LITERATURE: FROM VICTORIAN TO MODERN

Jill DiDonato

Program: Liberal Arts Intensive

Morning (9:30-12:30pm)

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. 

 

GENDER AND RACE IN SCIENCE FICTION

Alyssa Collins

Program: Summer in the City

Afternoon (2:00-4:30pm)

Looking around science fiction seems to be everywhere. Stories and films about boys and men travelling across the galaxy and fighting aliens are practically unavoidable. These stories permeate much of our American consciousness, but it is often painfully easy to point out who is generally missing: women. While great strides in representation have been made in recent years, it is important to look back to the women, and particularly, women of color who have fought and written to help us get to the stories we have today. This  course will explore the ways in which female authors use the genre of science fiction and fantasy.  It will ask the following questions: a)What is the genre of science fiction and are its conventions? b) What topics and themes seem to be popular with these authors? What do aliens, robot and cyborg bodies, and space exploration have to do with us?  c) Most importantly, how are women  using science fiction and fantasy conventions to imagine the future and critique the present? Additionally, how might the writing of new speculative “futures” address current conversations of race and gender? And how might we consider the political use of this oft-dismissed popular genre? Potential texts covered will include writers like Octavia Butler, Ursula K. Le Guin,  and Nnedi Okorafor, in addition to graphic narratives by Marjorie Liu and G. Willow Wilson, and music by artists like Janelle Monae and Solange Knowles. .

 

MEMORY, LONGING, AND IDENTITY IN WORLD LITERATURE

James Reich

Program: Summer in the City

Morning (9:30-12pm)

Memory is a daily part of human life. But it is more complex than it seems, and more mysterious. There are many different ways to remember, and to misremember, and many ways to forget. Memory can be shared. It can be sustained or repressed. It can be fought over and fought against and passed on. It is central to our knowledge of who we are and where we are going. And, perhaps surprisingly, it has been portrayed in literature as closely connected to our experience of yearning and our experience of beauty. In this course, we will read plays, poems, and stories from around the world that deal with these themes of remembering, forgetting, loving, longing, and knowing oneself. We will explore what it means to remember and what it means to forget, and also what these have meant in different cultures and different centuries.

 

NEW YORK IN ART AND FILM

Ted Barrow

Program: Summer in the City

Morning (9:30-12pm)

From its early days as a pre-Hollywood hub of film studios, New York City has played a central role in film in the 20th century, one which corresponds directly to the production of modern art.  In this course, comparisons between art-making and film-making will be made, while students will also be introduced to the core literature of modernist writing.  Breaking up into four different periods: 1890-The Great Depression, WWII-the early 60's, the 60's and 70's, and finally the post-modern era of art and film, each week will focus on a group of artists or directors (including D.H. Griffith, The Ashcan School, Diego Rivera, Sergei Eisenstein, Joseph Cornell, Andy Warhol, Martin Scorsese, and Julian Schnabel) who explore the intersection of art and film, particularly in New York City.

 

SIN CITIES: URBAN LANDSCAPES AND INFERNAL VICES IN LITERATURE, ART, AND FILM

Gianmarco Saretto

Program: Summer in the City

Morning (9:30-12pm)

In the The Great Gatsby, the region that connects Long Island to the Queensborough Bridge was memorably described as a "valley of ashes," an infernal territory populated by ghostly workers, ominous machines, and sinister buildings. That borough was Queens, a district of New York City, and Scott Fitzgerald, by comparing this urban landscape with a vision of hell, was alluding to a long artistic and literary tradition of analogous "sin cities," places where intense excitement and boundless possibility combined with the perception of danger, corruption, and misery. This course explores the manifold origins and developments of this tradition, from the doomed cities of Babel and Gomorrah, in the Old Testament, through the walls of Dite, the "city of fire" where Dante places the worst sinners in his Inferno, up to the fiendish criminals and super-villains who, like contemporary versions of the Seven Deadly Sins, haunt the streets of Metropolis and Gotham City. When is this association motivated by social and environmental realism, and when is it caused by prejudice against innovation and diversity? Over the course of these four weeks, we will analyze medieval and early modern conceptions of hell and vice, and we will investigate how these beliefs affected, and were affected by, the descriptions of cities and city life. Texts include selections from Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, Shakespeare's Measure for Measure, Baudelaire's Paris Spleen, Woolf's Mrs. Dalloway, Wharton's The Age of Innocence, Bulgakov's Master and Margarita, Smith's White Teeth, Luhrmann's Moulin Rouge (etc.), alongside numerous visual documents and readings about the histories of London, Paris, Moscow, and New York City and contemporary renditions found in cinema, video games, and television.

 

Neuroscience:

 

INTRODUCTION TO NEUROSCIENCE

Leigh Boyd

Program: Summer in the City

Afternoon (2:00-4:30pm)

Ever wonder why your crazy Aunt Mary acts so out of it? Or why people get so addicted to cocaine and other drugs? Or why you always seem to forget things when you’re stressed? These questions have one thing in common: the brain. Our brains are complex systems that oversee almost every aspect of our lives, from basic functions like breathing to higher level thinking to the way we pick our favorite bands. In this course, we will study the brain and its functions, including neurons, common neurotransmitters, and how problems with the brain can affect a person’s behaviors. No background in biology or chemistry is needed, as this is an entry-level course.

 

Political Science:

 

AMERICAN POLITICAL COMMUNICATION

Andi Dixon

Program: Summer in the City

Afternoon (2:00-4:30pm)

This course addresses political communication in the American context (focusing on the federal level), examining the activities and constituencies of key actors, including politicians, institutions, the media and American publics. This course serves as an introduction to and a broad survey of political communication, an interdisciplinary field at the intersection of communication studies, political science, sociology, media studies and journalism. In this class, we will assess political communication as a major subfield of communication studies, examining key works that address political actors’ use of mediated and fundamentally communicative public practices to bolster narratives, create consensus, and allocate power and resources. Major topics covered will include the following: public sphere and public opinion; propaganda and public relations; presidential rhetoric; electoral politics and campaigning; journalism, the news and public life; research on media and new media effects; mediation of identity politics (age, religion, race, gender and sexual orientation); and, political advocacy, civic engagement and social movements.

 

THE RISE OF DONALD TRUMP: RIGHT-WING POPULISM AND NATIONALISM IN HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE

Oliver Murphey

Program: Summer in the City

Afternoon (2:00-4:30pm)

The election of Donald Trump was a shock to many observers in the United States and around the world. Yet this event was by no means unforeseeable: it represented the culmination of decades of conservative populist mobilization in the United States on economic policy, globalization and its accompanying economic changes, immigration, the role of mass media and the politics of information and expertise, as well as longstanding issues of race, class, and gender, and the role of the United States in the wider world. Trump’s ascension to the presidency also coincided with significant victories for right-wing nationalist movements across the globe: from the pro-Brexit movement in Britain and growing evidence of anti-immigrant and anti-E.U. sentiment across Europe, to the election of Hindu nationalists in India. Right-wing nationalist populism promises to have a profound impact on our world. An examination of the history that has contributed to the success and failure of such movements will be crucial for those seeking to understand, shape, engage with and contest these powerful political currents. This course will examine the evolution of conservative politics and right-wing nationalism in the United States and across the globe, in an effort to understand how Trump was able to mobilize a winning political coalition. Using international comparison and analysis of similar twentieth century movements, particularly in Britain and Germany, the course will ask students to consider to what extent are these movements comparable and part of similar trends within liberal democracies? Will support for Trump and his brand of politics last and reshape the U.S. political landscape, and what does this mean for the United States and the wider world?

Psychology:

 

PSYCH 101

Jamie Krenn

​Program: Summer in the City

Morning (9:30-12pm)

Psychology can be defined as the scientific study of mental processes and behavior. While psychology is most often associated with clinical issues (i.e. abnormal, personality), this makes up only a small portion of the field. This is a broad survey course covering topics such as physiological, social, organizational, and developmental psychology. The course will develop one’s understanding of seeing psychology as a science of human thought and behavior. Topics covered will be a helpful tool for most university introductory psychology courses.

 

PSYCHOLOGY OF MEDIA

Jamie Krenn

​Program: Summer in the City

Afternoon (2:00-4:30pm)

Explore the psychology behind media and how it affects you, your peers and the public at large.  If this sounds right up your blog — our course will examine the internet, mobile media, video games and how learning and media go hand in hand to facilitate understanding and decision-making.  You will be introduced to psychological theories and research, and the cognitive processes of media development. Guest speakers will include a casting professional from Sesame Street, a curriculum consultant from Nick, Jr, an advertising executive and others.

 

PSYCHOLOGY OF CHILDREN'S MEDIA

Natasha Crandall

Program: Liberal Arts Intensive

Morning (9:30-12:30pm)

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 things? 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.

 

Religion:

 

RELIGIONS OF NEW YORK CITY

Liz Dolfi & Andrew Jungclaus

Program: Summer in the City

Morning (9:30-12pm)

Religion is and has been central to the diverse historical and social worlds of New York City. This course will use the city as its textbook in exploring the negotiations between historical traditions and contemporary practice. We will make twice-weekly visits to “religious” field sites both expected and surprising. We will visit historic worship spaces, the Guggenheim Museum, a local yoga studio, the American Museum of Natural History, traditional ritual sites, and religious street festivals. Major themes in this course will include religion’s role in American history, lived religion, popular religious practice, and the politics of representing and displaying the sacred. Students will gain facility with religious concepts from a variety of traditions, such as Islam, Judaism, mainline Protestantism, Roman Catholicism, Native American traditions, and contemporary spiritualities. Class readings, documentaries, lectures, and in-depth discussions will give students context for their experiences and introduce them to the ways in which religion haunts the landscape and history of New York City.

 

POVERTY: FROM THE BIBLE TO BEYONCÉ

Krista Dalton

Program: Summer in the City

Morning (9:30-12pm)

What does it mean to identify someone as “poor?” In recent years, scholars have examined the flexibility of poverty as a category, interrogating the ways people with power talk about others as “poor.” This multidisciplinary course will approach poverty in a variety of media formats throughout four periods in history, quite literally from the Bible to Beyoncé. We will study the Hebrew Bible’s agricultural and justice traditions, the emergence of "the poor" as a distinct social group in the late Roman world, the charity revolution in Medieval Europe, and finally we will examine depictions of the poor in recent American literature and media, culminating in a discussion of Beyoncé’s Lemonade. Students will gain an understanding of important moments in the history of poverty studies, while cultivating an awareness of the specific discursive histories of "the poor" as a rhetorical category in religious and political circles. With careful attention to artistic and textual examples (and trips to cultural institutions within NYC), students will consider the role rhetoric and media play in who counts as “the poor.”

 

STEM:

 

BSI: NEW YORK

Joe Liddicoat

Program: Summer in the City

Afternoon (2:00-4:30pm)

BSI: New York (Brownfield Site Investigation: New York) is a course in environmental discovery that combines scientific knowledge, constructionist education philosophy, and multimedia to explore a fictitious brownfield.  A brownfield is property that had prior industrial use that resulted in pollution of the property and surrounding region.  Central to the course is an innovative web-based simulation called Brownfield Action that was developed at Barnard and Columbia University and has a 10-year history of use by Barnard students and other students around the country.  Like real-world environmental consultants, you will develop and apply expertise from a wide range of fields, including environmental science, engineering, journalism, medicine, public health, law, civics, economics, organic and nuclear chemistry, and business management.  A directed reading of Jonathan Harr’s A Civil Action is the text for the course.

 

THE EXPLORATION OF SPACE

Frederic Stark

Program: Summer in the City

Afternoon (2:00-4:30pm)

For millennia, humans gazed in wonder at the stars.  Every culture developed its own mythology and stories to make sense of the pictures and patterns hidden in the night sky.  Then, in the last century, something amazing happened.  Our technology caught up to our wonder, and we figured out, in the words of John Magee, how to “slip the surly bonds of Earth.”  For the past six decades, some of our most clever machines and intrepid explorers have helped us dip our toes into the vast cosmic ocean that surrounds our little blue marble of a home.  In this course, we will study the people, science, and technology that have brought humanity some of its most captivating and unifying moments; from Isaac Newton to Neil Armstrong, from Sputnik to New Horizons.  At the same time, we will also examine the social and political reasons why we expend resources and effort to send machines and people into space in the first place, and how we may, if we are careful enough, one day evolve into what SpaceX founder Elon Musk hopefully calls a "multiplanetary species."

 

INTRODUCTION TO NEUROSCIENCE

Leigh Boyd

Program: Summer in the City

Afternoon (2:00-4:30pm)

Ever wonder why your crazy Aunt Mary acts so out of it? Or why people get so addicted to cocaine and other drugs? Or why you always seem to forget things when you’re stressed? These questions have one thing in common: the brain. Our brains are complex systems that oversee almost every aspect of our lives, from basic functions like breathing to higher level thinking to the way we pick our favorite bands. In this course, we will study the brain and its functions, including neurons, common neurotransmitters, and how problems with the brain can affect a person’s behaviors. No background in biology or chemistry is needed, as this is an entry-level course.

 

SCIENCE AND THE LAW

Frederic Stark

Program: Liberal Arts Intensive

Morning (9:30-12:30pm)

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.

 

Studio Art:

 

CONTEMPORARY ART STUDIO

Lara Saget

​Program: Summer in the City

Afternoon (2:00-4:30pm)

New York City is rich in cultural history, providing unique and varied opportunities for many generations of artists. This historical breadth enlivens the cultural climate and empowers young artists to see themselves in the larger art historical context.  Through visits to contemporary art galleries and museums, visits with practicing artists, practical workshops, readings, and open dialogue, students will absorb what it is like to make artwork within the New York City community and art world at large. Students will execute inventive assignments inspired by concepts that we discuss in depth in the classroom and experience throughout the city. Great weight will be placed on experimental art projects including sculpture, collage, mixed-media, and installation art. Students will develop the skills necessary to complete the assignments through in class demos and formal analysis of how diverse artworks were constructed. The course will be centered around contemporary art in the city today and how it relates to historic art movements of the 20th century, among them Appropriation Art and Installation Art. The course will culminate in an exhibition of student artwork in the McCagg Gallery on Barnard’s campus.

 

Technology:

 

MEDIA, TECHNOLOGY, AND SOCIETY

Diani Citra

Program: Summer in the City

Afternoon (2:00-4:30pm)

We will discuss a variety of technology, from the printing press to Twitter and Facebook. However, while the title of this course is "Media, Technology, and Society", the class will focus heavily on digital (media) technology. It is helpful to think of how technology and media are each a form of the other—rather than as separate and distinct. This course is organized around the broad question of what students should know about the way digital media are reshaping society. To help answer this question, the course provides a series of readings on the effects of new media on the number of domains of social life, including culture, the economy, privacy, law, politics, social movements, and journalism. It is designed to provide students with the knowledge to analyze the development of media technology and its continuing impact. Many courses emphasize the craft of media--the tools and tactics for effective newsgathering, storytelling, engagement, presentation, and dissemination. In this course, we will step back and seek to illuminate media's social science dimensions.

 

Theatre:

 

NEW YORK IN ART AND FILM

Ted Barrow

​Program: Summer in the City

Morning (9:30-12pm)

From its earliest days as a pre-Hollywood hub of film studios, New York City has played a central role in film in the 20th century, one which corresponds directly to the production of modern art. In this course, comparisons between art-making and film-making will be made, while students will also be introduced to the core literature of modernist writing. Breaking up into four different periods: 1890-The Great Depression, WWII - the early 60's, the 60's and 70's, and finally the post-modern era of art and film, each week will focus on a group of artists or directors (including D.H Griffith, The Ashcan School, Diego Rivera, Sergei Eisenstein, Joseph Cornell, Andy Warhol, Martin Scorsese, and Julian Schnabel) who explore the intersection of art and film, particularly in New York City.

 

EXPECTATION DEFYING WOMEN: SEEING MUSICAL THEATER AS LITERATURE

Emma de Beus

Program: Liberal Arts Intensive

Morning (9:30-12:30pm)

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: 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.

 

ACTING: PROCESS AND PERFORMANCE 

Ari Kreith & Todd Flaherty

Program: Summer in the City

Afternoon (2:00-4:30pm)

New York's vibrant theatre scene is in our classroom! Students will hone their acting technique while deepening their understanding of the process of developing plays. We will rehearse and perform monologues and scenes and have the option to write short plays and/or perform songs. These hands-on opportunities will alternate with trips to the theatre, a Broadway backstage tour, and visits from guest artists including actors, directors, and playwrights. Students may also perform monologues for their peers at the end of the summer at the PCP Festival of the Arts.

 

Urban Studies:

 

URBAN STUDIES: EXPLORING NEW YORK CITY NEIGHBORHOODS 

Elizabeth Pillsbury

Program: Liberal Arts Intensive

Morning (9:30-12:30pm)

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.

 

SIN CITIES: URBAN LANDSCAPES AND INFERNAL VICES IN LITERATURE, ART, AND FILM

Gianmarco Saretto

Program: Summer in the City

Morning (9:30-12pm)

In the The Great Gatsby, the region that connects Long Island to the Queensborough Bridge was memorably described as a "valley of ashes," an infernal territory populated by ghostly workers, ominous machines, and sinister buildings. That borough was Queens, a district of New York City, and Scott Fitzgerald, by comparing this urban landscape with a vision of hell, was alluding to a long artistic and literary tradition of analogous "sin cities," places where intense excitement and boundless possibility combined with the perception of danger, corruption, and misery. This course explores the manifold origins and developments of this tradition, from the doomed cities of Babel and Gomorrah, in the Old Testament, through the walls of Dite, the "city of fire" where Dante places the worst sinners in his Inferno, up to the fiendish criminals and super-villains who, like contemporary versions of the Seven Deadly Sins, haunt the streets of Metropolis and Gotham City. When is this association motivated by social and environmental realism, and when is it caused by prejudice against innovation and diversity? Over the course of these four weeks, we will analyze medieval and early modern conceptions of hell and vice, and we will investigate how these beliefs affected, and were affected by, the descriptions of cities and city life. Texts include selections from Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, Shakespeare's Measure for Measure, Baudelaire's Paris Spleen, Woolf's Mrs. Dalloway, Wharton's The Age of Innocence, Bulgakov's Master and Margarita, Smith's White Teeth, Luhrmann's Moulin Rouge (etc.), alongside numerous visual documents and readings about the histories of London, Paris, Moscow, and New York City and through contemporary renditions found in cinema, video games, and television.

 

Women & Gender Studies:

 

FEMINIST ART AND SPACE IN NEW YORK CITY

Erica Cardwell

Program: Liberal Arts Intensive

Morning (9:30-12:30pm)

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?

 

LEAN IN OR DIG DEEP: VARIETIES OF FEMINIST LEADERSHIP

Michelle Smith

Program: Young Women's Leadership Institute* 

*This academic class is part of a larger program.  For more information, please click on the link above.

Morning: (9:30-12:30pm)

In this course, we explore the theory and practice of two “models” of feminist leadership:  liberal-individualist and radical-collective.  Advocates of both models seek women’s empowerment.  However, they disagree over the means and ends of women’s activism.  Broadly, liberal feminists seek equal power in political institutions and corporations, as well as equal access to the means for social and economic advancement.  Liberal feminists may pursue “reproductive rights” and consider gender equality the mark of feminist success.  Social justice feminists seek nothing less than the end of sexism and all forms of subjugation (racial, class, sexual orientation) which sustain existing inegalitarian, sexist, racist and heteronormative structures.  Radical-collective feminists may pursue “reproductive justice” and consider the transformation of existing gender, social and economic relations success.  Lean in or Dig Deep is not an historical survey course.  Instead, we examine various contemporary representatives of each political orientation.

 

WOMEN'S STUDIES 101 

Laura Ciolkowski

Program: Young Women's Leadership Institute*

*This academic class is part of a larger program.  For more information, please click on the link above.

Morning (9:30-12:30pm)

This course is an interdisciplinary introduction to key concepts and analytical categories in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies.  The course grapples with gender in its complex intersection with other systems of power and inequality, including: sexuality, race and ethnicity, class and nation.  Topics include: Reproductive Justice; Feminist Activism; Media Politics; Gender Justice and the Law; Feminist and Queer Theory; Violence; Science and Technology; Gender and Health; Economic Justice; Family.  The course will connect to the Young Women’s Leadership Institute’s broader themes, through dialogue with our sister class "Lean In Or Dig Deep" and the joint viewing of a film.  Together, we will address the rewards and the challenges of living and working as feminist scholars and leaders.

 

Writing:

 

PLACE AND THE PERSONAL ESSAY: BEING IN NEW YORK

Thomas March

Program: Liberal Arts Intensive

Morning (9:30-12:30pm)

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.

 

SCREENWRITING: THE SHORT FILM

Helen Kaplan

​Program: Summer in the City

Morning (9:30-12pm)

From film festivals to cell phones, short films are everywhere. This workshop will demystify the art of screenwriting and give you the tools you need to write a great short script. You will learn how to grab viewers by their collective shirt collar and, more importantly, hold their attention until the final credits roll. Emphasis will be placed on visual storytelling, the classic three-act structure, plot, character development, conflict, and dialogue. Through writing exercises, script analyses, and film screenings, students will learn the craft of screenwriting. By the end of the course, each student will have written three short screenplays as well as revised one of these scripts.

 

WRITING OUR LIVES: WRITING MEMOIR AND PERSONAL NARRATIVE 

Jill DiDonato

​Program: Summer in the City

Afternoon (2:00-4:30pm)

The writer Anais Nin once wrote, “And then the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” As the high school student prepares to make the transition from high school to college, she is faced with many challenges. One of these challenges is finding a personal voice and telling a unique story. This is a course designed to help young writers take on the risks of writing memoir and personal narrative. Through use of the writing and revision process as a way to overcome perfection-striving, and use of a collaborative learning model to dispel competition, and through reading the work of luminary writers, students in this course will find power in their experiences, build community among their peers, and gain a sense of academic ownership. As a course designed for the young student coming of age, "Writing Our Lives" offers students the opportunity of a public reading at a New York venue. By the end of the course, each student will have written, workshopped, and revised a personal narrative and will have the chance to share her narrative in a public space. 

 

WRITING PLACE: COMPOSING PROFILES OF NEW YORKERS

Mary Roma

​Program: Summer in the City

Morning (9:30-12:30pm)

Broadway show superfans, buskers, comedy improvisers, Greenwich Village chess aficionados, NBC pages, sneakerheads, handball players—these are just a few of the unique subcultures and micro communities that bring vibrancy and culture to New York City.  Why and in what way is New York able to breed and feed them? What is complex, intriguing and surprising about these New Yorkers, especially in their connections to each other and this city?  By borrowing techniques of characterization and storytelling from fiction and learning some interviewing and research skills from journalism, students in this creative non-fiction writing class will craft portraits of these subjects without exploiting or romanticizing them.  Students will write one profile, and build on that into a longer draft of a paper, which will be expanded on in revisions and workshopped in the class with feedback from the instructor and other students.  We will read examples of literary journalism from Susan Orlean, Jeff Chang and others, and view some classic New York documentaries. There will be field trips, including excursions to Chelsea, home of Upright Citizen’s Brigade Improv Theater, and to Greenwich Village, the East Village, and Brooklyn.

 

REWRITING OUR LIVES WITH THE LYRIC ESSAY

Caroline Hagood

Program: Summer in the City

Morning: 9:30-12:30pm

"What if the poem and prose could party together and neither would regret it the next morning?"
                        —Amy Newman, “The Poem In The Gray Flannel Suit”

With its mixture of memoir, poetry, and essay forms, the lyric essay, or poetic essay, is a particularly exciting form of creative nonfiction. In this course we will consider what the lyric essay can do that a poem, memoir, or essay alone cannot. One of the works we will consider, Maggie Nelson’s The Argonauts, is a stunningly personal piece that also poses larger political questions about love, sex, and gender. As a hybrid genre, the lyric essay forces us to make innovative connections, see things in a whole new light, rewrite our lives both personally and politically. The members of this workshop will study the ins and outs of this ingenious form while crafting their own lyric essays. By the end of this course, students will have a submission-ready piece that will be the first step to a personal statement for college, a first published piece, or even a meaningful career as a writer.

 

WHO ARE WE?: INVESTIGATING RACE AND IDENTITY THROUGH WRITING

Rachel Parsons

Program: Summer in the City

Afternoon (2:00-4:30pm)

Now, more than ever, it is important to talk about race. How do writers help us navigate the complexities of our experiences, lead us to more deeply understand our society, and guide us through what can be difficult conversations? Students will read and discuss fiction, nonfiction, and poetry that explore race and identity in an American context: Octavia Butler, James Baldwin, Audre Lorde, Rachel Kaadzi Ghansah, Joanna Kadi, Sherman Alexie, Langston Hughes, Sandra Cisneros, Alice Walker, Flannery O'Connor, Gene Luen Yang, Peggy McIntosh, and others. Using these readings as a touchstone, students will craft creative pieces exploring race and identity in their own lives. We will deepen our studies by visiting cultural institutions, like the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Museum of Chinese in America, and El Museo Del Barrio. By the end of the course, students will have analyzed a diverse body of work across genres and identities, and assembled a portfolio of written reflections, critiques, and creative writing of their own. 

 

LIVING THE STORIED LITERATURE OF NEW YORK

Rachel Aydt

Program: Summer in the City

Morning (9:30-12pm)

This course aims to teach young writers and readers using New York City as a backdrop for creative practice and inspiration. As a hybrid exploration/creation lab, we will conduct a 3-part engagement with different New York-based authors to soak in their habitat. Part 1: Partake in short communal readings of texts. Part 2: Visit a storied literary site. Part 3: Craft individual and group exercises based upon the text and excursion, to leave with a portfolio of work.

We will explore and learn from imitation, focusing on E.B. White, Ric Burns, Walt Whitman, Anne Waldman, Allen Ginsburg, Patti Smith, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Andy Warhol, James Baldwin, Edith Wharton, Joseph Mitchell, Langston Hughes, and Zora Neale Hurston. Additionally, we will visit The NYC waterfront at Battery Park with a trip to Poet’s House and a Frank O’Hara read-a-thon; Washington Square Park (Edith Wharton); Caffe Reggio (Louisa May Alcott’s place is across the street); Harlem’s Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture; NYPL’s Rose Reading Room; the New School University.

 

Note: The courses listed are subject to change based on enrollment.