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ANTHC 311.51: Anthropology of Music and the Arts
Jonathan Shannon, Associate Professor

What is art? And what might an anthropology of art be like? This course explored those questions by looking at academic texts concerning art and its production and circulation as well as devoting significant time to experiencing the visual and performing arts.

Throughout the semester, students attended museum exhibitions and creative performances as well as interacted with working artists from a variety of disciplines. Composer Alexandre Tannous, dancer Patricia Winter, and Brooklyn Museum gallery/studio coordinator Maya Valladares visited class to speak about the relationship between anthropology and their respective art forms. Students also visited BAM (Brooklyn Academy of Music) to hear a lecture by choreographer and dancer Bill T. Jones.


ASTRO 101: Introduction to Astronomy
Kelle Cruz, Assistant Professor
Daniele Pinna, Lecturer

Untrained astronomers find it difficult to see the difference between conceptual and real images of astronomical objects. Understanding the difference between the two involves matters such as artistic license, false color, and color mapping, which is used to display images from the electromagnetic spectrum invisible to the naked eye. Class discussions focused on this bridge between art and science.

Students also engaged with the arts through a special program by astrovisualization expert Carter Emmart and attendance at the American Museum of Natural History's Space Show.


CHEM 112: Thermodynamics and Solution Chemistry (Second Semester Introductory Chemistry)
Donna McGregor, Doctoral Lecturer

This course introduced basic principles of bonding, thermodynamics, kinetics and electrochemistry while showing students how the concepts of bonding, entropy and quantum mechanics are represented in visual and performing arts.

Students visited the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) to view the "Picturing Science" exhibit and interacted with several artists who visited the classroom or held a special program. Martynka Wawrzyniak discussed in class her Chocolate Video - a nine-minute film of her face being covered in a stream of chocolate syrup - and its relation to over-consumption and entropy. Zefrey Throwell visited to speak about the motivating themes of his Entropy Symphonies. And Hunter Dance Professor Kathleen Isaac, a member of the AAC Faculty Committee, helped students use dance to explore molecular motion, magnetism, and other scientific concepts.

Click here to access Donna McGregor's website to learn more about how her students have merged chemistry and the arts


HIST 121: Early Modern Europe
Daniel Margocsy, Assistant Professor

This course investigated the Renaissance, the Reformations, the Age of Discoveries, and the invention of print, among other major transformations of early modern Europe. Lessons were interwoven with readings of poetry and influential literature as well as visits to local museums and libraries.

On campus, students visited Hunter's Archives & Special Collections to consider rare, illustrated botanical treatises and religious atlases to see how publishers, engravers and authors collaborated in creating knowledge about the world. Graphic designer and photographer Joanna Ebenstein also visited class, and students performed a scene from Goethe's Faust as well as listened to a flute concerto by the Enlightened Monarch Frederick the Great. Off campus, students visited the Metropolitan Museum of Art to view paintings from the Italian Quattrocento and Dutch Golden Age.


HUM 110: Map of Knowledge
Alan Hausman, Professor

This course looked at the relationship between the academic revolutions of the 1960s in women's studies and Africana studies as well as the relatively new appreciation for minority voices in the arts. Students explored the relationship between popular culture and the aesthetic values in academia, specifically the place of the arts in the hierarchies of academic life and the politics of the arts on campus.

Visits by various scholars and artists expanded the discussion, including guest lectures on the arts' relationship to women's studies (Jeanne Vaccaro, doctoral candidate in the Department of Performance Studies at New York University), Africana studies (Hunter College Prof. Frank Kirkland), LGBT studies (Hunter College English Prof. Sarah Chinn), and Broadway performance (Prof. L. Michael Griffel of Juilliard College).


HUM 180: Distinguished Living Writers
Rebecca Connor, Associate Professor
Meghan Daniels and Jessica Lacher, Instructors

This exciting brand-new course focused on the works of groundbreaking, successful, contemporary writers scheduled to visit Hunter for the Distinguished Writers Series, including Tea Obreht, Sharon Olds, and Michael Ondaatje.

Along with attending readings by the authors, students read and discussed selected works as well as studied the authors' biographies and cultural backgrounds. The class engaged in creative writing assignments and attended cultural events related to the works being studied.


NURS 300.09 Writing for Health Professionals: A Course for Undergraduates
Diana Mason, Rubin Professor of Nursing
Joy Jacobson, Senior Fellow, Center for Health Media and Policy
James Stubenrauch, Senior Fellow, Center for Health Media and Policy

This course developed by the Center for Health Media and Policy for the Hunter-Bellevue School of Nursing bridged the fields of creative writing and nursing with a mind toward helping student clinicians deepen their practice in healthcare by engaging in storytelling and verbal expression.

Students engaged in intensive writing exercises and studied the aesthetics of poetry, fiction, and other literary forms. The course addressed a range of writing styles, requiring students to complete poems, journal entries, blog posts, and a personal essay.


REL 308: Religion and the Arts
Wendy Raver, Lecturer

This course explored the relationship between religion and artistic expression through an analysis of traditional religious expression, modern conceptual and abstract art, and other examples of artistic spiritual expression.

Students considered the Dead Sea scrolls displayed at Discovery Times Square and Sarah Sze's "Infinite Line" exhibit at the Asia Society Museum, as well as visited collections at The Museum of Modern Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Rubin Museum of Art.


SOC 101: Introduction to Sociology
Erica Chito-Childs, Associate Professor

Students used the arts as a lens through which to consider sociology, exploring forms from opera to graffiti to understand our societies and social lives. Classroom lectures were augmented by in-class performances of dance and classical music as well as field trips to art galleries and museums.  

Students worked with Hunter College Dance Professor Kathleen Isaac and her students to explore the relationship between dance and dating rituals. Hot 97 disc jockeys Peter Rosenberg, Cipha Sounds and K. Foxx visited Sociology 101 to discuss their radio show, which explores racial perspectives on political and cultural topics. In addition, students participated in a cross-departmental reading of Sum: Forty Tales from the Afterlives, a book of short fiction by neuroscientist David Eagleman that offers a counterpoint to traditional religious views of life-after-death.


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