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Field Notes: We expect you to keep a journal in which you develop your  questions and interests as they relate to our course. We encourage you to use this tool to:

– elaborate and critically engage your record of the cultural habitats you inhabit;

– cultivate your critical voice;

– engage with assigned readings for the course; and

– identify additional materials, artifacts, and experiences of potential relevance to our project.

Research Collaboration: All seminar members will participate in the research and design of a collaborative, multimodal publication using the SCALAR platform that documents and interprets the development of humanist enterprise in the modern era. As part of your work for this project, each member will undertake brief directed exercises, designed to build skills in archival research and critical analysis.  These exercises will consider the case of NYU, from its 19th century origins to its 21st century incarnation as a “Global Network University,” seeking to make visible site-specific, historical, and conceptual contexts for advancing humanist values and practices within our contemporary media ecology.

In addition, each participant will be expected to make an additional independent contribution that helps us accomplish the project goals. Since we will be working as a team, it is important that participants define and occupy roles that best allow them to pursue their particular skills, interests, and talents. These contributions will be published or otherwise incorporated into our Scalar project. Contributions might touch upon topics such as the following:

  • Cultural geographies of New York City: libraries, lyceums, learned societies, museums, art institutions, reform agencies, foundations, cultural centers, heritage sites, tours, as well as universities
  • Advocacy campaigns for liberal education in our contemporary media ecology and political economy (e.g. 4Humanities)
  • Environmental scans of current policy debates, foundation reports, nonprofit and for-profit platforms for higher education
  • For- and non-profit endeavors such as the book-of-the-month club, great books curricula, hackathons, DIYbio, media workshops, et al
  • Intellectual communities & movements: coteries, community labs (e.g. Genspace), Occupy, P2P, fandom, et al
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