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Master Class Series

If you have an idea for a Master Class, please contact us at cte@colum.edu.

Fall 2011 Master Class Series
Artistic Convergence: Integrating visual, live and performing arts with media arts 
Mary Filice, AEMM

Thursday, December 1, 3:30-5:30pm
8th Floor Faculty Center, 600 S. Michigan

According to media scholar Henry Jenkins, technology has enabled a “convergence culture” wherein content is disseminated and consumed across multiple media platforms such as film, television, and gaming. But where are the live, performing, and visual arts in this transmedia approach to storytelling? Why are they excluded?

This Master Class will explore how the stage, clubs, galleries, and museums form the missing links in the creative cycle of production, distribution, and consumption. The "artistic convergence" of these distinct genres can help reach an audience across a range of platforms. What might such a confluence of the arts and media look like? What knowledge and skills will students need to succeed in such an all-inclusive creative environment? Through discussion and a Visual Explorer activity we’ll each share our vision of this convergence and consider its impact on teaching and learning at an arts and media school like Columbia.


   Past classes

On Wave Functions, Cats, and Quantum Tunneling
Constantin Rasinariu, Science & Math

Quantum physics uses an advanced mathematical formalism that makes quantum ideas seem inaccessible to non-experts. In this Master Class, we will explore how to address complicated concepts using metaphors from everyday life. For example, how about modeling radioactive decay using dice? Using simple representations, we will discuss the meaning of wave functions, including some of their unusual properties, quickly touch on the famous Schrödinger’s cat experiment, and explore some fascinating consequences of the probabilistic nature of wave functions. Finally, we will reflect on what lessons we can learn about our teaching by grappling with these quantum concepts.

Learning on the Lake
Sharon Bloyd-Peshkin, Journalism  
How do you learn new skills? When was the last time you had a chance to find out? Join us for a morning of kayak instruction on Lake Michigan, during which we'll explore various style of teaching and learning, from direct instruction to distracted learning, and explore what works, what doesn't and why.

Memory, Detectives, and the Digital Age
Brendan Riley, English
In this class, Brendan Riley will discuss work from his in-progress book, Electric Detective: How Digital Age sleuths are solving the mystery of the future.  We will explore how the concept of memory is
changing in the digital age, and how detective fiction illuminates those changes.  Further, we will explore how to present these ideas in student-centered ways to encourage active investigation by students, so
they can use these ideas in their own academic and creative work.
Mixing Pop and Politics
Zack Furness, HHSS
How do we help students make sense of our complex media-saturated world? And is it our responsibility to do so? Understanding and interpreting popular culture means examining the media images we consume in the context of larger political, historical, and socioeconomic forces. This Master Class aims to foster a critical teaching sensibility that isn’t afraid to mix popular culture, politics, and pedagogy in the classroom and beyond.

Ways of Seeing: The Journal and Sketchbook in Creative Practice
Patricia McNair, Fiction Writing
Mark Twain, Henri Matisse, and Sylvia Plath are among the many writers and artists who have recognized the exciting interplay between word and image, using both writing and drawing in their creative practices. This Master Class is aimed toward helping you become comfortable with visual note taking, writing, and mark making, and will help you record memories, observations, imaginings, stories, etc., to use in your own artistic pursuits.

Black Student Success in the Classroom
Shanita Akintonde, Marketing Communication
How many black students do you typically have in your classroom? And why does it matter? How do we practice truly inclusive pedagogy? 

Shanita Akintonde will explore the extent to which black students feel cared for within higher education. Inspired by the moral lessons of her maternal great grandmother, Great Grand, Shanita will present a creative performance and interactive workshop for anyone who enters the classroom.

Learning from the Fragments of your Imagination
Brian Shaw, Theater
Historical understanding is often built by piecing together fragments to create a narrative. The historian sees these fragments in context, adding them to the established story, but also allowing them to stretch the imagination to add new chapters.

Based on a project from the first day of class in the Theater History and Inquiry course, this workshop will lead participants through a highly interactive and improvisatory process of building historical narratives from fragments: visual, literary, sonic... and collaborative.

Choreographing Collaboration
Peter Carpenter, Dance
How can we help students of varying ability and experience work together successfully in the classroom? In this Master Class, Peter Carpenter demonstrates how he helps first-year dance students bridge dance history and dance making through collaborative work. Students, ranging from true beginners to accomplished technicians, use Isadora Duncan's pioneering dance experiments as imperatives and inspiration to make a dance of their own. Come experience the process of shared creation and learn about the ways that movement, scholarship, and pedagogy might intersect.
Peter Carpenter is an independent choreographer and Associate Professor in the Dance Department.

What We Think We Know About Haiti
Cadence Wynter, HHSS 
HAITI --  Site of the world's only successful revolt led by enslaved African people?  The second republic in the Americas?  A lesson of failure? Site of natural disasters? Another country in need of U.S. aid?  

 Cadence Wynter, scholar of the African Diaspora and Caribbean history, will lead this Master Class in which we begin to separate fact from fiction, debunk some commonsense notions about Haiti, and consider the past, present, and future of Haiti in the history of the Americas. In doing so, we will also talk about ways that we can help our students connect current events with their historical antecedents in meaningful ways.

The Art of Speaking Without Words
Peter Cook, ASL-English Interpretation
Doing a yoga exercise on the floor of a Paris restaurant so that an Indian man can "cure" one's deafness; meeting Laura Bush at a White House breakfast, where the food was so stale. How do you tell these stories without speaking? We live in a phonocentric society, where speech dominates communication and other forms of communication are marginalized. In this Master Class, internationally renowned deaf performing artist Peter S. Cook will introduce basic storytelling techniques without voice. Participants will learn how to use nonverbal communication features, such as facial expression, body language, gesture, and basic American Sign Language (ASL) as teaching tools in any classroom.

The World is Interdisciplinary
Hyunjung Bae, Marketing Communication
Clear separation between many discreet concepts is an old model. Consumers produce and producers consume. Rules and hierarchy are obsolete. Self-policing is the new order. When all the things we had assumed to be distinct with designated functions are merging and swirling, how do we navigate our lives and how do we teach principles that will remain principles  ten years from now? How do we know what those principles are? This Master Class will explore how we think about these big questions in our classrooms.

Capturing and Preserving Stories: the Foundational Oral History Interview
Erin McCarthy, HHSS
The Foundational Oral History Interview refers to oral history initiatives with little or no budget, significant time restraints, and limited resources. The material presented in this Mater Class is designed to be adaptable to a wide range of projects that seek to capture life stories. The class will focus on script development and interview techniques. Excerpts of oral history inspired performances will also be shown and discussed.

The Aesthetics of Cartooning
Ivan Brunetti, Art and Design
Aesthetics and cartooning are two words rarely found in the same sentence, but this Master Class will examine how cartoons embody all the essential principles of two-dimensional design, as well as offer an opportunity for personal expression, creative self-discovery, the exploration of ideas, and social and political commentary. We will discuss the formal elements of cartooning and comics, as well as the process of structuring graphic narratives. We'll also examine how comics can be used in the classroom to demonstrate not only art and design principles,  but also the complexities of literature, whether it be poetry, memoir, essay, or fiction.

Teaching Asian America
Samuel Park, English
Asian Americans hold an intriguing place in the cultural imagery, traditionally stereotyped as perpetual foreigners, "model-minorities," or "beings-for-others." In this Master Class, we'll explore recent theoretical developments in the field of Asian American studies, consider strategies for the teaching of texts by and about Asian Americans in the curriculum, and reaffirm inclusive and well-rounded pedagogical practices.

Rhetorics of Apocalypse
Ames Hawkins, English
Rhetorics of Apocalypse will address what it means to develop effective and engaging courses that focus on abstract topics. More generally, we will examine how our personal interests (stuff we love to read and think about) can become curricular/pedagogical pursuits (the classes we teach), which can then become scholarly production (the stuff that the academy is “made of”).

The One-to-One Future: Matching Pedagogy to Learning Style
Sandra Allen & Mike Swidler, Marketing Communications
Today’s Millennial generation college students aren’t shy about their preference for active rather than passive learning. Their expectations have driven transformations in how we teach. In this workshop, participants will complete the VARK questionnaire on-line to model the student experience. We will then use this data to workshop instruments that can help us align the instructor’s ways of teaching with students’ preferred ways of learning. Participants will leave the session with ideas for tailoring their own course for student-learning environments. 

The Media Sound Bite, Bites: Cognitive Dissonance in Media
Hope Daniels
This session introduces us to the complex world of news broadcasting, focusing on the uses and abuses of the “sound bite.” Participants will build on their knowledge of media criticism, learn the elements of public communication with the filter of the broadcast media, design a “sound bite” of their own for use in a broadcast news story, and reflect on how the world outside our classrooms can be harnessed for interactive student learning.

Women, Modernism, and Mischief
Jean Petrolle
How do friendships and collaboration fuel creative work? In this master class, we will explore the idea-world shared by Leonora Carrington and Remedios Varo, surrealist painters and friends who spent several hours a day together living in Mexico City after World War II. We will also discuss our own creative projects and may even meet new contacts whose response to our ideas might enhance our creativity and lead to future collaboration.

Make Your Students Part of Your Story!
Beatrix Büdy, Science & Math
Stories are the cement that hold together a community and carry the seeds of its cultural and intellectual identity. Even the greater story of an academic discipline has to be told within a community. If we want our students to be interested in mastering the subject by connecting the facts of life with the knowledge acquired, then we have to know how to create an intellectual community in our classrooms. 

Lions and Hyenas, Producers and Consumers
Stephanie Shonekan, HHSS
Whether we like it or not, the influence of pop culture—from Stephen Colbert and Tupac to YouTube and Facebook—powerfully shapes our students’ learning and career choices. In this climate, how can we lead and succeed from our unique scholarly and creative vantage point at Columbia in impacting our students’ interactions with pop culture? How do we model ways of engaging the culture like the proactive lion, who tracks and apprehends its prey, rather than the furtive hyena, who lurks in the background and then picks through the leftovers the lions produce?

The Black Atlantic as Fact, Story, and Myth
George Bailey, English
What are the current repercussions of the Atlantic slave trade? What does scholar Paul Gilroy mean when he claims that the “Black Atlantic” provided an instance of the first multi-national endeavor in the New World? How are narratives of the slave trade taught, read about, used as texts? We will explore the temporal and spatial elements of the Black Atlantic to engage borderlands between history and memory, and provide resources for teachers to reexamine fact, story, and myth.