Seated woman speaking at an FRN event while other attendees listen attentively

Network Summer 2022

When & Where

WhenJune 6–10, 2022

WhereNew York University’s Washington Square campus

Background information on Network Seminars

Seminar Schedule. Seminars run Monday to Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., with a midday communal lunch. Seminar conveners may adjust the class schedule in response to participant needs. Special events may also be held during the week. Participants are required to attend the full week of seminar meetings and maintain 90% attendance overall.

Seminar Materials. Eligible participants are provided with all required seminar materials (books, articles, laboratory equipment, and entrance fees).

Accommodations & Meals. Limited housing accommodations are provided to participants who live more than 50 miles from the program site. All admitted participants are provided with some meals during the program period.

Application Procedure. Applicants should submit the completed application along with all of the following:

  • A statement of intent that indicates how the seminar participant will apply what is learned at the home institution
  • A current CV
  • A letter of support from either the division dean or department head, who is well-acquainted with the applicant’s area of research
  • Their institutional liaison officer’s approval

Please note that applicants may apply to either the week-long Network Summer series or one of the summer visiting scholar programs.

This Year's Seminars

Anti-Racism, Inclusion, and Diversity in Comics and Comic-Inspired Media

About the Seminar

Our seminar will explore the world of comic books, graphic novels, comic-inspired film, television, and popular culture, through topics of anti-racist and inclusive education. We will delve into both the content of our texts/media and the pedagogy of how we are teaching the content. With this in mind, each day will focus on issues of anti-racism, diversity and inclusion within comic-based works (texts, film and television) connected to a teaching strategy adaptable to diverse higher-education learning spaces. We will focus on a variety of comics and characters (primarily Marvel and the Marvel Cinematic Universe) in connection with various themes on the intersections of Afrofuturism, neurodiversity, environmentalism, multilingualism, gender and sexuality, racial justice and more. During this week, we will also be in dialogue with guest speakers (comic artists and experts), participate in a field trip experience in NYC, and create original comic activist-art.

About the Convener(s)

Heather Homonoff Woodley, PhD (she/her) is a clinical associate professor of TESOL and bilingual education and the director of childhood education in the Department of Teaching and Learning at NYU. Her research, teaching, and writing explore anti-racist and multilingual education, family connections and collaborations in schools, and teaching for justice with comics and the arts. Heather received a 2020 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Faculty Award at NYU, a 2019 Steinhardt Teaching Excellence Award, a 2018 Steinhardt Diversity & Innovation Grant, and a 2014 Outstanding Dissertation Award from the National Association of Bilingual Education. She was a Fulbright Scholar in Morocco, and earned her Ph.D. in urban education at The Graduate Center, City University of New York. Heather is an active member of NYSABE, serves on the national planning committee for Free Minds, Free People, is part of the NY/NJ coalition of Black Lives Matter at School and is a member of the West Orange public schools PTA and the St. Cloud Elementary School Diversity Council.

Designing Assessments for Online, Blended, and In-Person Courses 

About the Seminar

This seminar will focus on designing and developing formative and summative assessments for online, blended, and in-person courses.

Instructors are often challenged by the following assessment questions:

  • How can assessments be part of the learning process?
  • How can students practice authentic skills?
  • What have my students learned?
  • How will I know what they have learned?
  • When should I assess my students?
  • How can I modify the learning experience and/or instruction to help students meet my learning objectives?
  • How can technology help with the design and administration of assessments?
  • How can I reflect on my own instruction and evaluate the quality of my teaching?

This hands-on seminar will provide a variety of assessment models and approaches for participants to consider for their course. Curated readings and videos will be provided. Participants will have the opportunity to create assessments related to their course(s) as well as self-assessments of their teaching. Participants will share their ideas and work together to develop new assessment ideas.

The seminar will explore the following topics:

  • Crafting meaningful learning objectives;
  • Evaluating learning objectives;
  • Formative and summative assessments;
  • Assessments for in-person, blended, and online environments;
  • Designing rubrics;
  • Traditional and non-traditional forms of assessment;
  • Reliability and validity issues;
  • Working with our peers.

By the end of the seminar, participants will be able to design learning objectives that align with assessments and course goals; design various types of formative and summative assessments; design and apply various evaluative strategies for instruction; and present a coherent assessment plan.

About the Convener(s)

Elizabeth McAlpin (she/her) is the project director of research and outcomes assessment at NYUIT. Her team assists faculty in assessing technology enhanced course designs aimed to increase student engagement and outcomes. She holds an undergraduate degree from Denison University, an Ed.M. in instructional technology and media from Teachers College, and an M.A. and Ph.D in educational communication and technology from New York University. In addition to her full-time position, she also teaches as an adjunct at NYU. Her interests include educational technology research, effective educational design, innovative pedagogy and assessment, and educational technology and media for all kinds of learning experiences.

Digital Cultures of the Middle East

Co-sponsored by the Hagop Kevorkian Center for Near Eastern Studies at New York University

About the Seminar

This seminar is a broad survey of artistic, academic, and activist productions of digital material over the last 15 years in the Middle East. We will address 4 larger themes across the week of the seminar, in addition to framing each day alongside larger debates in digital humanities and public scholarship. The sessions will include:

  • Digital Directions of Middle Eastern Studies
  • Archive Fever: Documents, Objects & Images
  • Maps, Space, and Visualizing Place
  • Digital StoryTelling: Text/Image/Sound/Video

Some of the questions that motivate this seminar are: How do we make sense of different archives, databases, and digitization projects that emerge across the region every year? How do they allow for new means of collaboration, crowdsourcing, and community? How are we teaching the “Middle East” with changing technologies? To whom? With what resources? What is the future of area studies in a digital age?

This seminar will speak to those with an interest in digital cultures and digital humanities. We will explore a wide number of platforms, archives, databases, and projects to understand larger developments. Each day, participants will come away with a wide list of resources they might use for their own research and teaching.

About the Convener(s)

Jared McCormick, Ph.D. (he/him) is the director of graduate studies and clinical assistant professor at NYU’s Kevorkian Center for Near Eastern Studies. Jared’s larger research explores issues of tourism and imaginations of place across the Middle East. Digital scholarship and methods are central to his teaching and personal work. He is interested in pushing the boundaries of how we conceptualize, use, and make visual/digital materials central within our research process. He completed his Ph.D. in social anthropology, and a secondary degree in critical media practices, at Harvard University and his M.A. from the American University of Beirut. He was a visiting assistant professor at the University of Pittsburgh and Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar before joining NYU. Jared is working on the book manuscript of his dissertation which joins a historical analysis of the tourism/leisure industry in Lebanon with an ethnography of queer mobility since 2004. He also has been carrying out a parallel project focusing on tourism in the Arabian Gulf (Qatar, Kuwait, UAE, and Bahrain) centered on “tourism” to explore state making, affective speculation, and new ways to understand infrastructures.

Establishing a Campus Makerspace: How Our Institutions Can Embrace STEAM, Creative Research, and Interdisciplinary Collaboration

About the Seminar

A makerspace is a place where people with shared interests, especially in computing, technology, and the creative arts, can gather to work on projects while sharing ideas, equipment, and knowledge. This five-day summer workshop series focuses on the process of establishing a makerspace and lab for innovation, using Spelman College, a historically Black women’s college in Atlanta, Georgia, as a case study. Each day, this workshop series will focus on a new topic of creative research (mixed reality, physical computing, 3D printing, creative coding) in order to explain the processes, technologies, resources, collaborations, and support tools that are needed when establishing a makerspace at your respective institution.

About the Convener(s)

Jaycee Holmes (she/they) is the Co-Director of the Spelman College Innovation Lab, Co-Director of the Spelman College Blackstone Launchpad Initiative, and faculty member in the Spelman College Department of Arts and Visual Culture. Holmes is passionate about encouraging students into the world of the innovative sciences and interdisciplinary collaboration. A trained maker, Holmes received her master’s from New York University’s Interactive Telecommunications Program. A former program manager at Microsoft, Holmes has considerable experience on ideation and product development processes that involve cross-discipline collaboration; an industry perspective that she now teaches in her classrooms. Outside of Microsoft, her work history has largely focused on leveraging culturally responsive pedagogy to train and teach maker-space technologies and its creative applications. Previously, Holmes helped established the first ever maker-space at Princess Nourah University, the world’s largest women’s university located in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, training both students and faculty. She also served as an instructor and on the Curriculum Advisory Board for Girls Who Code. Holmes is a co-founder and current Director of Curriculum of Instruction of CodeHouse, a 501c3 non-profit that encourages Black and Latinx high school students into opportunities within the technology sector.

Latin America Through Moving Images

Co-sponsored by the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies at New York University

About the Seminar

This seminar embarks on discussions about the cultural diversity of Latin American countries, the complexity of political contexts, and societal transitions to new orders. It uses films and other manifestations of moving images from different periods as tools and resources to explore issues of representation; politics and memory and ongoing social tensions. The emphasis on archival materials (both analog and digital) creates a space to think about the digital way in which we approach collections these days, encouraging a reflection on how resources are made available; challenges that Latin America faces for access and availability of audiovisual cultural production, and digital resources that optimize reflections and discussions about the region.

About the Convener(s)

Juana Suárez is the director of the Moving Image Archiving and Preservation Program (MIAP) at New York University, a scholar in Latin American Cinema, and a media-preservation specialist. She is the author of Cinembargo Colombia: Critical Essays on Colombian Cinema (Spanish-language edition, 2009; English-language edition, 2012) and Sitios de contienda: Producción cultural y el discurso de la violencia (2010); the co-editor of Humor in Latin American Cinema (2015); and the Spanish language translator of A Comparative History of Latin American Cinema, by Paul A. Schroeder-Rodríguez (2020). Suárez is currently working on a book tentatively entitled Moving Images Archives, Cultural History and The Digital Turn in Latin America, and coordinating, a collaborative digital humanities project on Latin American audiovisual archives.

“Mining” the Store: The Museum as a Pedagogical Tool

About the Seminar

The museum is defined as a “place where important things are preserved; a building or institution where objects of artistic, historical or scientific importance and value are kept, studied, and put on display.” But who decides what “important things” should be preserved? And what narrative is implicit in a particular museum’s existence? How do museums shape historical memory, and how do we train students (and ourselves) to interrupt and more fully understand those narratives?

This course will examine ways in which museums deal with the evolving political, social and ethical values of a community, and how such decisions may be interrogated in an academic setting. Through visits to local museums, lectures and seminar-style discussions, we will come to a fuller understanding of effective modes that utilize the museum as a pedagogical tool, and illustrate how effective strategies may be employed in the classroom.

From Andrew Jackson’s antebellum mansion in Tennessee to the Ashanti Palace in Kumasi, Ghana; from the separate entrances marked “black” and “white” and “colored” in Johannesburg’s Apartheid Museum to the folk art collections at the Whitney Museum, leading museum educators will weigh in on the ways in which notions of race, identity and gender inform cultural presentation. We will take a close look at artist Fred Wilson’s installation at the Maryland Historical Society, “Mining the Museum,” in which he sought to make the “viewing/visiting” a welcoming experience for the community at large. Wilson’s intervention serves as an excellent case study for reshaping pedagogical practice in relation to the ‘modern’ museum.

In New York, we will visit alternative spaces offering novel educational approaches, as well as mainstays such as the Museum of Modern Art and the Brooklyn Museum. Innovative techniques and curatorial practices that engage a diverse and inclusive audience–and aid in expanding existing museum pedagogical practice–will be central to our exploration.

About the Convener(s)

Michael D. Dinwiddie’s (he/him) teaching interests include cultural studies, African American theater history, dramatic writing, filmmaking and ragtime music. A dramatist whose works have been produced in New York, regional, and educational theater, he has been playwright-in-residence at Michigan State University and St. Louis University and taught writing courses at the College of New Rochelle, Florida A&M University, SUNY Stony Brook, California State University at San Bernardino, and Universidad de Palermo in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He spent a year at Touchstone Pictures as a Walt Disney Fellow and worked as a staff writer on ABC-TV’s Hangin’ with Mr. Cooper. He was awarded a 1995 National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in Playwriting.

Dinwiddie received a 2005 NYU Distinguished Teaching Award in recognition that one of NYU’s primary institutional priorities, along with research, is exceptional teaching inside and outside of the classroom setting. In 2015, he was awarded a team-teaching grant from NYU Humanities Initiative for the course Movements for Justice and Rights: Let Them Lead the Way. His course offerings include Migration and American Culture; Dramatizing History I and II; Poets in Protest: Footsteps to Hip-Hop; James Reese Europe and American Music; Sissle, Blake and the Minstrel Tradition; Guerrilla Screenwriting; Motown Matrix: Race, Gender and Class Identity in “The Sound of Young America;” and the study-abroad course Buenos Aires: In and of the City.

Nations and Nationalism: Past and Present

About the Seminar

Nationalism—and the organization of the globe into a patchwork of territorial nation-states, each with a unique social or cultural identity—is such a taken-for-granted feature of contemporary life that it is easy to forget that nations did not exist for most of human history. And yet, despite many predictions of nationalism’s imminent demise—Albert Einstein quipped famously that it was an “infantile disease” that humanity would eventually outgrow—nationalism remains perhaps as powerful an ideological force as ever, in the United States as elsewhere.

This seminar will examine a range of foundational questions about the emergence of nations and nationalism in world history: What is a nation, and how has national identity been cultivated, defined, and debated in different contexts? Why did nationalism emerge when it did? Who does nationalism benefit, and how do different social groups compete for control over national identity and ideology? The series will begin by offering an overview of the origins and spread of nationalism in the late 1700s and 1800s and conclude with some thoughts about the resurgence of nationalism in Great Britain and the United States in the 21st century. Along the way, we will consider a number of specific examples of nationalism from different regions around the world.

About the Convener(s)

Matthew H. Ellis, Ph.D. (he/his) is a historian specializing in the social, intellectual, and cultural history of the modern Middle East and North Africa. His first book, Desert Borderland: The Making of Modern Egypt and Libya (Stanford UP, 2018), charts the emergence and crystallization of Egypt and Libya as distinct territorial domains by examining the impact of various state-making projects on local experiences of place and belonging in the easternmost reaches of the Sahara Desert during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Matthew currently holds the Christian A. Johnson Endeavor Foundation Chair in International Affairs and Middle East Studies at Sarah Lawrence College, in Bronxville, NY, where he teaches a range of courses on modern Middle Eastern history and politics. He received his B.A. in history from Williams College, his M.Phil in Modern Middle Eastern Studies from the University of Oxford, and his Ph.D. from the Department of History at Princeton University.

Teaching the Chemistry of Life Using Lessons from COVID

About the Seminar

The COVID pandemic is one of the greatest scientific challenges of our time. This seminar will use the science of COVID as an engaging framework for teaching the chemistry of life. We will analyze COVID using the principles of chemical biology, an interdisciplinary field that combines chemical, biological, and computational strategies to analyze the molecular foundations of biological systems. By applying chemical biology to studying the structure, replication, mutation and therapeutic treatment of the coronavirus, we will show how COVID can be used to illustrate foundational topics in the undergraduate science curriculum.

The seminar begins with an overview of the life cycle of the coronavirus and the important enzyme families involved in viral replication. We explore the origin of mutations in the viral genome, plus the evolution of variants and their implications for COVID vaccine development. We also examine examples of antiviral drugs that have been repurposed or designed de novo as new COVID therapeutics.

Faculty members in chemical biology from New York University will present recent progress in antiviral research, including the prevention of viral entry into cells using synthetic peptides, and drug design approaches to halt viral protein maturation. A guest speaker from industry will provide insight into current pharmaceutical efforts in this field.

During the afternoon sessions, participants will engage in hands-on lab activities that use inexpensive reagents and equipment, as well as publicly accessible software. One lab activity uses a bioinformatics database to examine mutations of the coronavirus genome. A second activity guides participants through molecular visualization software that can be used to examine viral protein structures and drug targets. We will also present experimental-based laboratory modules, such as biochemical assays for studying the inhibition of viral proteins.

Throughout the week, participants will work in a team to develop a teaching module on COVID that can be used in undergraduate courses in their home institutions. For example, mRNA vaccines illustrate the foundational principles of gene expression. In addition, using computational tools to analyze the coronavirus spike protein illustrates the principles of protein structure and the presence of amino acid mutations in coronavirus variants. We will provide a collection of instructional resources that can be used for developing these projects.

This seminar is suitable for faculty participants with a background and interest in chemistry, biology, biochemistry, chemical biology, and infectious disease.

About the Convener(s)

Tania Lupoli (she/her) is an assistant professor of chemistry at New York University. She holds a B.S. in chemistry from New York University and a Ph.D. in chemistry from Harvard University. After gaining experience in the Microbiology and Immunology Department at Harvard Medical School, she was a Helen Hay Whitney and Simons Foundation postdoctoral fellow in microbiology at Weill Cornell Medicine. She established her chemical biology research laboratory at NYU in 2018. Dr. Lupoli’s multidisciplinary research combines her background in chemistry and microbiology to develop novel chemical tools to study bacterial survival in various environments. Her group has recently initiated drug discovery projects that treat coronavirus infection by halting viral replication.

Techno-Cultural-Pedagogical Praxis

About the Seminar

The ecosystem in higher education has been forever transformed and will continue to challenge and grow the ways in which faculty engage teaching and assessment of student learning through the use of technology and the lens of social justice. As we strive to advance knowledge, foster innovation, and ensure inclusion in our virtual and face-to-face learning environments, it is essential for faculty to have time to reflect, collaborate and refresh the instructional arsenal within active communities of peer learning. This seminar is designed for faculty who value collaboration, creativity, diversity, equity, blended learning, and the use of technology as intentional instructional practice.

Learning Objectives

Faculty participating in this seminar will increase their:

  • Understanding and awareness as teacher and learner through self-assessment, peer-reflection, and small group discussion.
  • Knowledge of culturally relevant pedagogical tools and inclusive instructional practices.
  • Engagement, selection and use of technology to promote learner engagement, innovation, and demonstration of learning.
  • Ability to redesign instructional activities to achieve student learning and program outcomes.

About the Convener(s)

Dr. Monique Earl-Lewis (she/her) is the founding director of the Faculty Development, Teaching, and Advising Center at Morehouse College and, as an associate professor, teaches interdisciplinary courses in Africana Studies, the Freshmen Year Experience, and psychology. Her applied research and practice focus on learning organizations, integrated techno-cultural-pedagogical practice to advance social justice and equity through active communities of learning and authentic participation engagement. She received her Ph.D. in Organizational Psychology from the California School of Professional Psychology; a master’s of science in Counseling and Behavioral Studies from the University of South Alabama; and a bachelor’s degree in Speech Communication from Auburn University.

To Hell and Back: Dante for Today

Co-sponsored by the Center for Ancient Studies at New York University

About the Seminar

The explosion of videos, podcasts, op-ed pieces, articles, and conferences in honor of the 700th anniversary of the death of Dante Alighieri this year testifies to his astonishing relevance for the present. We will become part of that ongoing conversation by reading and discussing selections from The Divine Comedy, Dante’s spectacular three part journey to the afterlife. We will begin our five day journey by talking about the poem and its importance in general and by suggesting strategies for how best to approach it. For each of the next three sessions we will read selected cantos from the Comedy that foreground the following still very timely topics: Politics and Religion; The Self and the Other; Sex and Gender. We will conclude by giving our own assessment of "Dante for Today," that is, why and how he still matters.

About the Convener(s)

Ron Herzman (he/his) is the director of education and outreach for the Dante Society of America. He has taught Dante at SUNY Geneseo, Georgetown University, St. John’s College in Santa Fe, Regis High School, NYU, and Attica Correctional Facility. He was the founding program officer for the National Endowment for the Humanities’ Summer Seminars for School Teachers program, and has himself directed eighteen of these six-week seminars, fifteen of which have been on Dante’s Divine Comedy. Together with William R. Cook, he also teaches Dante through a twenty-four lecture course on the Divine Comedy available from The Teaching Company. He was the first recipient of the CARA Award for Excellence in Teaching Medieval Studies from the Medieval Academy of America.