The College is one of the most diverse communities anywhere–an exciting, sophisticated center in one of the most exciting and cosmopolitan cities in the world. Our mission is to prepare students to be thought leaders and successful global citizens. We do this by creating unique academic opportunities for student and faculty engagement that emphasize research and scholarly communication. Part of the College’s Honors Program, the Advanced Honors Seminars place students in small classes with distinguished faculty to study topics that have the potential to change how we think and how we work. As such, they are ideal gateways for the intellectually stimulating discussions we aim to foster. They challenge students and faculty to engage intensively within and beyond their fields of study, and they inspire intellectual responsibility towards the scholarly community and the wider world.
In spring 2005, the College of Arts and Science launched the Advanced Honors Seminar program, which extends the basic principles behind the Freshman Honors Seminars to upper-level courses (open to sophomores, juniors, and seniors). Distinguished professors drawn not only from the College’s faculty but also from NYU’s professional schools, and from among New York’s professional, cultural, and governmental leaders, teach these small classes. In many instances, the seminars are cross-listed with departments and students may count the classes toward their majors or minors; in some cases, the classes will count only as electives.
Advanced Honors Seminars have three central goals: to create close mentoring relationships between exceptional faculty and students; to challenge students intellectually through honors-level work in critical thinking, writing, and conversing; and to strengthen students’ interest in and aptitude for conducting independent research (e.g. a DURF grant or a Senior Honors Thesis). They are designed to foster scholarly insight and debate and to nurture the intellectual passions of students and faculty alike. We encourage you to try one this year!
G. Gabrielle Starr
Seryl Kushner Dean of the College of Arts and Science
Director of College Honors Programs
The NYU Mediation Lab VI: Startups at the Frontiers of Knowledge Edition
AHSEM-UA 176 (class # 8186)
Instructor: Clifford Siskin
Tuesday, 2:00–4:30 p.m.
The NYU Mediation Lab is open to ALL disciplines in FAS and to everyone who wishes to put their majors to work in the world. In your other classes this fall, you’ll learn what’s already in those majors. Our goal in this Lab is to figure out what’s not in them—yet. We’ll begin by mapping the frontiers of knowledge in our subject areas by sharing our own areas of expertise and then heading out into the city for field research at other universities, as well as other institutions, from think tanks to museums. Our goal is to identify opportunities for startups like the ones that gave birth to Silicon Valley. We’ll then all chose one and work collaboratively to make it happen. Its fate will be in your hands, and, instead of just a letter grade from me, you’ll end the term by presenting what you’ve built to an invited audience. [Since we will prepare ourselves by learning from “startups” in the past, the Lab will have the added bonus for English majors of fulfilling the pre-1800 requirement.] Origin of the Lab: MIT has its famous Media Lab (media.mit.edu) to ask “the questions not yet asked–questions whose answers could radically improve the way people live, learn, work, and play.” At NYU, we go beyond the “media” to “mediations” of every kind—to every strategy for turning the present into a better future. Cross-listed with English as ENGL-UA 252.001.
Clifford Siskin is the Henry W. and Alfred A. Berg Professor of English and American Literature and the Director of The Re:Enlightenment Project. His subject is the interrelations of literary, social, and technological change. Links between past and present inform all of his work, from his sequencing of the genres of subjectivity (The Historicity of Romantic Discourse) to his recovery of literature’s role in the formation of the modern disciplines (The Work of Writing). He is also co-editor, with William Warner, of This Is Enlightenment, and a forthcoming monograph that asks when and how the central genre of Enlightenment became the thing that we now love to blame: the SYSTEM.
Narrating Poverty in Brazilian Literature and Film
AHSEM-UA 186 (class # 17787)
Instructor: Marta Peixoto
Tuesday and Thursday, 3:30–4:45 p.m.
This course, CONDUCTED IN ENGLISH, examines literary works in various genres (novels, autobiography, short stories), and Brazilian films (Cinema Novo and after, including documentaries), that attempt to narrate the experience of poverty. We will discuss texts by Graciliano Ramos, Carolina Maria de Jesus, Clarice Lispector, Rubem Fonseca, and Patricia Melo and view films (Barren Lives, The Scavengers, The Hour of the Star, Pixote, Bus 174, City of God, Babilônia 2000 and Black Orpheus), in light of key questions. How do these texts reflect on the nature of representation and on the investments of author and reader in images of deprivation? How do they present the connections of poverty with violence, stigmatization, and citizenship rights? How do they frame the ethical responsibilities of the writer or film-maker, as well as of readers and spectators? What are the patterns of consumption and circulation of these texts? Cross-listed with Portuguese as PORT-UA 704.001.
Marta Peixoto is Associate Professor of Spanish and Portuguese. Her studies focus on Brazilian literature and culture, and she has written books and essays on the major 20th-century writers Machado de Assis, João Cabral de Melo Neto and Clarice Lispector, as well as on other novelists and poets. Her work draws on gender theory and more recently on theories of affect. She has also published essays on Brazilian cinema, focusing on representations of urban crises, on the blurring of distinctions between documentary and fiction, and on lyric aspects of recent documentary films.
Medieval Spain in Modern Fiction
AHSEM-UA 215 (class # 20982)
Instructor: S.J. Pearce
Wednesday, 12:30–3:00 p.m.
In recent years, the idea of “the three cultures” of medieval Spain — Christianity, Islam and Judaism — has become a popular ideal and model for modernity among a wide variety of thinkers and writers; and both utopian and distopian visions of Sefarad and Andalus (the Hebrew and Arabic terms that refer to the Iberian Peninsula) permeate discourses on politics, religion and even education. This course will examine the ways in which that nostalgia for a lost Andalus or Sefarad is both explored as a theme and used as a device in a wide variety of modern novels and short stories (as well as some poetry), and the ways in which modern authors deploy this trope to comment on the worlds they inhabit. Reading medieval Spanish texts alongside the writing they inspired in modernity will provide a diachronic framework for better understanding medieval Iberian literature and will also raise questions about the salience of the past for the present. Modern readings will include The Moor's Last Sigh by Salman Rushdie, Averroes' Search by Jorge Luis Borges, The Tamarit Diwan by Federico Garcia Lorca, and others. Cross-listed with Spanish as SPAN-UA 351.001, with Medieval and Renaissance Studies as MEDI-UA 983.002 and with Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies as MEIS-UA 951.001.
S.J. PEARCE is an assistant professor in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese. She returns to NYU after having held the Apfelbaum Fellowship in Judaic Studies at the University of Pennsylvania during 2012-13, where she completed a book-length manuscript entitled "No Achievement But Through Arabic" in which she explores the attitudes of medieval Spanish Jews towards reading and writing in the Arabic language. She tweets about the Middle Ages @homophonous.
Love and Politics in Latin America
AHSEM-UA 218 (class # 20883)
Instructor: Perla Masi
Tuesday and Thursday, 9:30–10:45 a.m.
This course will explore the ways in which art, literature and activism intersect with social and political power in modern and contemporary Latin America. What is the peculiar relationship between poetic practice, political action and love? How does the work of poets, visual artists, filmmakers, photographers, and guerrilleros, testify to the resistance to authoritarianism? And what makes of their creations a work of love, a work that questions the logic of liberal and neo-liberal political economies, and becomes a tool for social, political and cultural change? Using case studies drawn from literature, art, popular culture, film and media, the course will focus on key moments of Latin American history and their present legacy. Topics will include Mexican muralism, avant-garde movements and contemporary anti-neoliberal social movements (Sergei Eisenstein, Frida Kahlo, Tina Modotti, Juan Rulfo, EZLN); the artistic and political link between revolutionary Cuba and the Soviet Union as reflected in cinema, diaries of war and poetry (Mikhail Kalatozov, Alberto Korda, Ernesto Guevara, Reina María Rodríguez); the counterculture of the sixties in Brazil in music and cinema (Maria Bethânia, Glauber Rocha); the work of political mourning and cultural resistance carried out in Chile by Pedro Lemebel and Patricio Guzmán. The program includes theoretical readings on the politics of love (eros, agape, familial love and friendship) by Plato, Søren Kierkegaard, Luce Irigaray and Alain Badiou, among others. All the readings will be in English; students may chose to do coursework in English, Spanish or Portuguese. Cross-listed with Spanish as SPAN-UA 551.002.
Perla Masi is an Assistant Professor and Faculty Fellow in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese. Her current research project deals with the relationship between poetry and philosophy in modern and contemporary Iberian Peninsula and Latin America, particularly with the idea of community and the intersection of the political, the religious, and the cultural found at its center. She is currently working on a book manuscript titled The Place of Poetry: Poïesis and Political Theology in the Twentieth-Century Iberian-Atlantic. Her research interests include Arab migration and Orientalism in Latin America and Spain, and cosmopolitanism and political solidarity shared between Latin American and Southern European poets in the post-war period.
U.S. Latin@s in the Age of Social Media
AHSEM-UA 231 (class # 17804)
Instructor: T. Urayoán Noel
Monday, 4:55-7:25 p.m.
This seminar examines twenty-first century U.S. Latina/o culture and identity through the lens of social media. The rise of Latin@s as a demographic and political force over the past fifteen years coincides with the rise of social networks, and the Internet has been a crucial yet underexamined space for the negotiation of contemporary Latinidad. In this course we will explore how artists, activists, governments, and corporations are using social media to reshape Latina/o identity from above and from below. While engaging with various social networking sites (including Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram), we will also consider a range of related phenomena: internet memes, data-mining and hacking, new-media activism around issues such as immigration and gentrification, the politics of hashtagging, social movements in the age of digital libertarianism, and the intersections between technology and race/gender/sexuality/class. Critical readings will consist of work in the emerging field of social media studies (e.g. Mandiberg's The Social Media Reader and Fuchs's Social Media: A Critical Introduction) as well as key texts in media, cultural, and Latina/o studies by authors such as Raymond Williams, Stuart Hall, Marshall McLuhan, Leah Lievrouw, Ian Bogost, Arlene Dávila, Jillian Báez, and Cristina Beltrán. We will also read one or more work of “electronic literature” (Hayles) by authors such as Salvador Plasencia, Josefina Báez, and Andrew E. Colarusso, and we will reflect on the state of literature in the age of social media. Assignments may include a visual essay, a group blog, a mapping exercise, and a social-media project. (No background in media and digital studies is assumed or required). Cross-listed with Spanish as SPAN-UA 952.001.
Tomás Urayoán Noel is an Assistant Professor in the Department of English and the Department of Spanish and Portuguese. Before coming to NYU, he taught at SUNY Albany and was a 2011-2012 Ford Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow at the Center for Puerto Rican Studies at Hunter College. He is the author of In Visible Movement: Nuyorican Poetry from the Sixties to Slam, and of various books of poetry in English and Spanish, as well as a contributing editor of Mandorla: New Writing from the Americas. His essays, poetry, and translations have appeared in such journals as Contemporary Literature, Fence, Small Axe, Latino Studies, and La Noria (Cuba). Also a performance poet, Noel has been featured in New York City venues such as the Nuyorican Poets Cafe and the Poetry Project at St. Mark's Church, as well as nationally and internationally.
Updated on 03/24/2016