Arts in New York City: Baruch College, Fall 2008, Professor Roslyn Bernstein
Random header image... Refresh for more!

Syllabus for Arts in New York City Fall 2008 IDC Seminar

CHC/IDC 1001H KM 24 Bernstein

Fall 2008–T/TH 11:10 AM–12:25 PM VC: 12-170

Professor Roslyn Bernstein:

Office Hours: Tuesday, 1 PM to 3:00 PM (By Appointment)

Room 7-270, Vertical Campus (1 Bernard Baruch Way)

Tech Fellow: Craig Willse

The Arts in New York City:

Cultural Encounters

This class will explore the theme of cultural encounters. How do works of art in theater, opera, film photography, and visual art depict, describe, and decode cultural encounters? How do the arts bridge differences and create cultural connections. How do diverse artistic genres, by relying on acting, singing, stage directions, editing, and visual techniques, engage audiences? Supported by the CUNY Honors College Cultural Passport, we will look at major artistic works, studying their components and reflecting on the ways that the arts contribute to the rich cultural landscape of New York City.

How does an artistic work define and illuminate a cultural encounter? How does a playwright, a composer, an artist mold materials to expose an audience to new and challenging ideas? How do different texts and media illuminate the human condition –the twisting and turning, the metamorphosis, which we all experience as we struggle to understand who we are and why we exist? How do artists bring together disparate elements to create magical creative collages?

Texts: South Pacific

Who She Was by Samuel Freedman

Reading Like a Writer by Francine Prose

The Inheritance of Loss by Kiran Desai

Arts Section New York Times (daily and weekends)

Additional materials will be distributed in the course of the semester, including articles and background material on Dr. Atomic and background reading on photography and the visual arts. Please read The Arts section of The New York Times daily.

Assignments in the syllabus are always due on the date for which they are listed.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Thursday, 21. Aug. Performance of South Pacific. Lincoln Center

UNIT 1: Theater in the city: The Audience as Critic.

Thursday, 28 Aug. Introduction to the course theme: Cultural Encounters

In-class writing sample on South Pacific.“You’ve Got

to be Carefully Taught” says that racism is learned.

Do you agree?

Tuesday, 2 Sept. Musical Theater: Rogers & Hammerstein’s South Pacific and

James Michener’s Tales of the South Pacific.

Assignment: Read James Michener, Tales of the South Pacific

Fo’ Dolla pp. 165-226

Thursday, 4. Sept. Theatrical Genres: The ingredients of a review

Building a theatrical vocabulary

Bring in New York Times Theater Review for Discussion

and five words with definitions.

Tuesday, 9. Sept. Contemporary Theater:

Irena’s Vow by Dan Gordon

Wednesday 10 Sept. Baruch Performing Arts Center

Irena’s Vow: 8 PM

Thursday 11 Sept. Social Commentary as Drama: Irena’s Vow

Tuesday, 16 Sept. Artistic Interpretations of Lives on the Edge:

The Immigrant Experience in NYC:

Kiran Desai, The Inheritance of Loss (Chapter 1-4)

Thursday, 18 Sept. Kiran Desai, The Inheritance of Loss (Chapter 5,10, 14)

Tuesday, 23 Sept. Contrasting Two Worlds: Desai (Chapters 15-end)

Thursday, 25 Sept. Lahiri and Desai: The Namesake and The Inheritance of Loss

Assignment: Paragraph Describing your Collage Theme.

Due Oct. 2.

Thursday, 25 Sept. Culture Project: In Conflict

27 Barrow Street 8 PM

Macaulay HC Lincoln Center Programming

Sunday, 28 Sept. Meet the Artists

10:00AM-11:30 AM

Tuesday, Sept 30 No Class

Thursday, 2 Oct. Collage Project Theme Presentations/Viewing Old Sites

Discussion of Collage Assignment: Design a one page (8 ½ x 11) collage on the theme of a cultural encounter.. You may use any materials—paper, cloth, found objects. Give the collage a name and write a paragraph or paragraphs describing your creation. (Text and collage must be input and scanned in by Nov. 21 for our weblog.)

Reading Assignment for Oct. 7: See URL for Dr. Atomic

Thursday, 2. Oct. Waltz with Bashir 6PM

Ziegfeld Theater, 141 West 54th Street.

UNIT 2: Opera in the City: Dr. Atomic

Tuesday, 7 Oct. Dr. Atomic

Macaulay HC Meet the Directors

Tuesday, 7 Oct. 6:00 PM-8:30 PM

Thursday, 9 Oct. No Classes. College Closed

Tuesday, 14 Oct. No Class. Follow Monday Schedule

Thursday, 16 Oct. Francine Prose: Reading Like a Writer

Tuesday, 21 Oct. Francine Prose, Reading Like a Writer

Tuesday, 21Oct. Francine Prose, Sidney Writer-in-Residence Reading

5:45 PM Newman Conference Center

151 East 25th Street/7th floor.

Reception from 5:00 to 5:45 PM. Reading at 5:45 PM.

Writing Assignment: 250-500 word mini-review of event, 10/28.

UNIT 3 Photography in New York City

Thursday, 23 Oct. Establishing a critical vocabulary: photography

Open City: Street Photographers Since 1950

The Street Photography Project

Tuesday, 28 October Reading Assignment: Photography Articles

Thursday 30 Oct. MET OPERA: Dr. Atomic



Thursday 30 Oct. Class Discussion of Dr. Atomic


Tuesday 4. Nov. Class Visit by Photographer Jeff Mermelstein

Street Photography: Conveying Cultural Encounters

Wednesday, 5 Nov. Performance of CLAY 8 PM

Thursday 6, Nov. Photo Gallery Visit: International Center of Photography

1133 Avenue of the Americas at 43rd Street 11:45 AM

Tuesday 11 Nov. New York: Capital of Photography

Team Oral PowerPoint Presentations on New York Photographers:

. (10/12 minutes maximum)

Walker Evans

Berenice Abbott

Lewis Hine

James Van Der Zee (Alix Dejean)

Diane Arbus

Lisette Modell

Philip-Lorca DiCorcia


Thursday 13 Nov. Team Presentations Continue

Reading Assignment for November 20: Who She Was (Freedman)

Tuesday 18 Nov. Street Photography Project Presentations I

Street Photography Project

Show and Tell: Present your album/CD of street images (approx. 12)

Do include a one-line photo caption for each image.

Writing Component: A journalistic /1st person account

describing your theme and the challenges you faced in shooting this street photography project (750 Words).

Wednesday, 19 Nov. BAM: 7:30 PM Gilman Opera House

Les ecailles de la memoire

Thursday, 20 Nov. Street Photography Presentations II

Tuesday, 25 Nov. Guest Speaker: Author/NYT columnist Sam Freedman

Who She Was

Thursday, 27 Nov. No Classes. Thanksgiving

UNIT 4. The Visual Arts in the City

Tuesday, Dec. 2

Who She Was/Who He Was Projects

Class on the Art of Interviewing.

Weaving in quotes and background research

Assignment: All reviews to be submitted

in Cultural Passport Portfolio due: December 16, 2008

Thursday, Dec. 4 Visit to MET MUSEUM:

Meet at Entrance 11:45 AM SHARP

Fifth Avenue and 83rd Street

Tuesday, Dec. 9 Critical Discussion of MET Exhibits

Thursday, Dec. 11 Who He Was/ Who She Was Presentations I

Read Excerpt from your paper and talk about the person and the project.

Tuesday, Dec. 16 Who She Was/ Who He Was Presentations II

Looking Forward and Backward: Evaluating the CHC/IDC course




Reviews of South Pacific, Irena’s Vow, Dr. Atomic, ICP Exhibit, MET exhibits, and talks by Prose, Mermelstein, and Freedman

[All reviews are to be included in your Cultural Passport Portfolio due 12/16]



WHO SHE WAS/WHO HE WAS PAPER: 20 % [Due 12/11]

Baruch Policy on Academic Integrity:

I fully support Baruch College’s policy on Academic Honesty which states, in part:

“Academic dishonesty is unacceptable and will not be tolerated. Cheating, forgery, plagiarism and collusion in dishonest acts undermine the college’s educational mission and the students’ personal and intellectual growth. Baruch students are expected to bear individual responsibility for their work, to learn the rules and definitions that underlie the practice of academic integrity, and to uphold its ideals. Ignorance of the rules is not an acceptable excuse for disobeying them. Any student who attempts to compromise or devalue the academic process will be sanctioned.”

Academic sanctions in this class will range from an F on the assignment to an F in this course. A report of suspected academic dishonesty will be sent to the Office of the Dean of Students. Additional information and definitions can be found at

Please see the discussion of this subject The Little Brown Handbook, 10th Edition (Longman/Person) See Chapter 45, Avoiding Plagiarism and Documenting Sources, pp. 629-638.