Author Archives: Professor Bernstein

Posts by Professor Bernstein

Cultural Encounters Food Celebration Tomorrow– December 13th

I thought that it would be fun for us to celebrate with a little food tomorrow –perhaps continuing our “cultural encounters” theme.   Asian? Chinese? Indian? American? Korean? Irish? Italian? Etc. Something easy to serve and share.

Do bring your own beverage.

Prof. B.

Who He Was/She Was Who He Is/She Is

I know that you are all under great pressure so I am pushing back the deadline for the

Who He Was Project  from Tuesday, December 11th to Thursday, December 13th!

Prof. B.

House/Divided (BAM)

Just added House/Divided (BAM) under Critics’ Corner.

Prof. B.

Background Reading and Viewing: Who He/She Was/Is Projects

Dear Arts in New York City Students:

For our discussion of the Who He Was/Who She Was/ Who He is/Who She Is project

please read through past stories. They can be found at:


See you on Tuesday, November 20th!


Prof. B.

The Dust Bowl by Ken Burns PBS on Sunday Night

Dear Arts in NYC students:

Thought you would be interested in The Dust Bowl, a documentary by Ken Burns, especially relevant to the production that we saw of House Divided (inspired by The Grapes of Wrath).

Prof. B.

Your Hurricane Sandy Blog Posts Up on Dollars and $ense

Do check it out:

On the homepage of Dollars and $ense, a link to your Hurricane Sandy posts.

Just click on Storm Stirs Passions

On our site: Use pull-down menu under Cultural Encounters to find your Hurricane Sandy posts

Very nice!

Prof. B.

Funny Photos

Hi Everyone,

I just added a new category Funny Photos (under Street Photography). Please add this to your Funny Photo Post.

See you tomorrow at ICP at 1:45 PM. Hope it doesn’t SNOW!

Prof. B.

For Tuesday, November 6th

Dear Arts Class,

Looking forward to seeing you all tomorrow in 1404–23rd Street for our session with photographer, Max Flatow.

I am adding a new, extra-credit assignment: a personal post of your Hurricane Sandy experience, if possible with photos and video. Do upload it to our blog. I will add a new category: Hurricane Sandy!

Prof. Bernstein

Tuesday, November 6th Class Meets in Room 1404–23rd Street Building

Right now, we are set to meet in room 1404–23rd Street on Tuesday, November 6th for a session with our guest photographer, Max Flatow. If anything changes, I will let you all know. Keep checking our blog site.

Photography Links

We begin our study of photography on Thursday, October 25th. Do check out the links listed below:

video: http://vimeo.com25857940

Notes for Thursday, October 11th

Be prepared to talk about Carmen.  Try to find a surprising detail about the libretto, the music, the opera’s history.

Final reviews of The Train Driver should be uploaded before class tomorrow  (make sure they are properly tagged in Critic’s Corner).

In the Spotlight post on Jody Sperling is due October 18th. Let me remind you that it is often good to take notes when a guest visits so that you can weave in direct quotes into your story. Add photos, too.

Dear Arts in NYC students:

A couple of reminders about next week and a comment on the Collage Themes. First, the Collage Themes. Your ideas were lively. I encourage you to aim for originality and creativity. Although I did say that the collage did not have to be on a cultural encounter theme, do consider weaving in a theme since it might strengthen the work. There are two creative arts projects this semester, the collage and the street photography project –which can be on any subject. The collage is based on the notion that the sum is greater than its parts, that the mixture/tension/friction of parts creates a greater, more meaningful whole. The street photography project is a series of photos on a given theme. But the collage is a chance to turn things inside out!

For Tuesday, October 2nd, please bring in a dance performance review and be prepared to discuss the challenges faced by a dance critic.  Remember that we are scheduled to see Fall for Dance on Tuesday evening at 8 PM at City Center at 131 West  55th Street (between 6th and 7th Avenues).

On Thursday, October 4th, we will have a class visit from Jody Sperling. I also asked that you upload your reviews of The Train Driver by October 4th.

About Faces

Looking forward to reading/sharing your About Faces posts in class tomorrow. Do upload images, too. Feel free to relate an anecdote, a moment in your life that is funny, serious, moving, surprising.

Teams for Keynote Photography Presentations

Dear Arts in NYC students,

Please review the ten photographers listed on our syllabus (see November 13th). Team up with a classmate and select four photographers who interest you (prioritize your list). We will discuss this in class on Thursday, September 13th and make assignments.

On Thursday, we will continue our discussion of political theater, Fugard, and Apartheid. Try to find a link that we can look at to enrich our class discussion.


Review of “Fighting to Have the Last Word “by Ben Brantley

Please read and analyze the following theater review for this week:




Artistic Endeavors

Not content to merely consume the arts in New York City, we set out to contribute something of our own. Through these projects, we discover that we are ALL artists!


In the Street Photography Project, each student will shoot 10 or 12 photos on a theme of their choice. Each photo will have a caption. Accompanying the images, will be a first-person essay describing how and why you shot the images –a narrative on your experience.

In the Spotlight

A series of close-up, 360° views of guest artists and speakers. The goal here is to weave together direct quotes and background information about their lives and work to create  vibrant portraits. Let us see them, hear them, understand what makes them tick!

Critics’ Corner

Writing encourages us to process what we have encountered, to articulate global impressions or break them down into more analytical components. Here in the Critics’ Corner, we respond in writing to events and excursions.

Feel free to express your own point-of-view, but back it up with details — especially visual ones — that support your opinions.

Who He Was, Who She Was… and Is

A series of in-depth profiles of inspiring New Yorkers. Who were they when they arrived, and who have they become since? Who were they at one point in their life and how did they change?

The idea is not to relate someone’s entire biography but rather to relate a period in their life, an event, a moment that is illuminating. If they were an immigrant, how, why did they end up in America and what were the specific challenges? If they were born here, what obstacles did they face?

Try to use visual details, stories, dialogue, stories, and anecdotes to flesh out your subjects.

Starting Tuesday, September 4th, Class Meets in 8-190 (Feit Seminar Room)

For Tuesday: Critical Terms for Theater

Dear Arts in NYC students, For Tuesday, I asked you to bring in at least five critical terms that you think would be useful in writing about the theater. Try to include basic terms like cast and set as well as terms such as protagonist, backdrop, denouement, etc. Please upload the terms to our class blog. Our ITF Ben Miller is adding another sub-category, critical terms under the category Critic’s Corner.  Once you have uploaded your terms, please read through the other terms and add your comments/suggestions for sharpening and/or refining the definitions. We will look at these in class.

Here is the information on The Train Driver

Romulus Linney Courtyard Theatre at The Pershing Square Signature Center

480 West 42nd Street (between 9th and 10th Avenue)

The performance is at 7:30 PM but we will meet at 7:00 PM so that I can distribute tickets.



Dear Arts in New York City Students,
I look forward to meeting you all at our first class on Tuesday, August 28th in Room 4-180 of the Vertical Campus Building. I will also be attending the Brooklyn Museum Event on Monday night, August 27th. In addition to Egypt Reborn , Connecting Cultures and American Identities (exhibits that have already been recommended to you), I strongly suggest that you see Judy Chicago’s The Dinner Party. Perhaps you might like to focus on that exhibit for your Smart History Project.

Please give some thought to your own “definition” of a cultural encounter” –the theme of our class this semester. Our goal is to enlarge the definition so that it does not only include formal encounters in museums, galleries, theaters, and concert halls but also informal encounters on the subway, on the street, in class, and at home. Give some thought, too, in this election year, to the ways that culture and the arts becomes politicized –to the politics of culture.

Roslyn Bernstein

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