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

Network Summer 2023

The FRN Network Summer 2023 program will be held in-person at New York University in New York City (Manhattan campus). The seminars will each provide interdisciplinary approaches to diverse topics and perspectives in academia emphasizing teaching methodologies that will have a direct impact on the undergraduate curriculum and educational experience.

Background information on Network Seminars

When & Where

WhenJune 5–9, 2023

WhereNew York University’s Washington Square campus

Application Deadline
Wednesday, March 8 at 11:59pm ET

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

Do No Harm: Health, Disease, and Society from Antiquity to Today

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

About the Seminar

Human health is a precarious matter. COVID-19 has laid bare not only the fragility of our bodily well-being on a mass scale, but it has exposed both the social ties and fault lines which define communities. The ills of the body politic—its institutional failings and systemic inequities—have reproduced themselves in the sick bodies of its citizens. The traumatic visibility of these events has sparked calls to radically reimagine our communities, to re-envision the ways in which we live, labor, govern and take care of one another. But it also demands that we consider the nature of health itself and what it means to be healthy. Was, or is, health ever solely the matter of sound and invisible bodily functioning? Where does the healthy, individual body begin and the web of interpersonal, economic, political, even religious forces surrounding it end? That is, when is the body not the body politic?

This seminar will address these questions and more by exploring conceptions of health, disease, and ways of taking care from the ancient world to modernity. Moving from the palace cultures of ancient Babylon and pharaonic Egypt to the city states of Greece and cosmopolis of Rome, we will examine how early medical ideas of health and sickness were contoured and contested by prevailing social, economic, and religious factors. But so too, similar and shifting pressures influence our ideas of “wellness” today, as gym memberships and cold-pressed juice betoken lifestyle as much as of health, and vaccination becomes a shibboleth of political affiliation. While (happily) the differences between our world and Galen’s remain many and substantial, it remains true that a deep exploration of ancient health can reveal profound truths about our own health-scape. This seminar is designed for historians and faculty who teach across interdisciplinary disciplines, the sciences, and the humanities.

About the Convener(s)

Calloway Scott (he/him) is an assistant professor of classics at the University of Cincinnati, where he works as a cultural historian of ancient Greece. His interests are drawn towards the intersections of social life and the life-sciences in the ancient world, especially ancient medicine. Inspired by turns in medical history and medical anthropology, his current book-project examines the ways health and disease were conceived of and experienced as biological, social, and political phenomena in antiquity. Similarly motivated by the ties that bind science and society, a second book project will examine the shifting concepts of heredity and the hereditary in the ancient Greek world. Among other things, he is interested in the historical formation of the Hippocratic corpus; conceptions of the body and embodiment; and the nature of dreaming, divination, and their relation to “scientific” epistemologies. He is also on the board of The Society of Ancient Medicine and Pharmacology, where he helps to promote both scholarly and public-facing projects in support of the medical humanities. His teaching ranges widely from the history of Greece, ancient medicine, religion and magic, to the history of objectivity and empiricism.

Exercising Enduring Self-Care to Rewire the Brain for Inner Peace & Happiness

About the Seminar

The past 2-3 years have been challenging for most of us, causing increased levels of distress, anxiety, and grief. In this session, Dr. Cirecie West-Olatunji will discuss the benefits of enduring self-care coping skills to counteract the effects of continuous traumatic stress. This seminar will cover a wide range of topics, such as COVID-19, civil unrest, socio-political conflict, natural disasters, workplace fatigue, and what to do about it! Designed for a cross-disciplinary group of participants, this seminar is for everyone. Dr. West-Olatunji will review the literature on various topics related to burnout and enduring self-care and include experiential exercises and field trips to make this week-long adventure fun and informative.

About the Convener(s)

Cirecie A. West-Olatunji (she/her) is the Melba Fortuné Martinez Endowed Professor in the counselor education program and director of the Center for Equity, Justice, and the Human Spirit at Xavier University of Louisiana. She is a past president of the American Counseling Association (ACA) and the Association for Multicultural Counseling and Development (AMCD). In addition, she has served as editor-in-chief of the Journal of Multicultural Counseling and Development (JMCD). Nationally, Dr. West-Olatunji has initiated several clinical research projects that focus on culture-centered community collaborations designed to address issues rooted in systemic oppression, such as transgenerational trauma and traumatic stress. Cirecie West-Olatunji has conducted commissioned research under the auspices of the National Science Foundation, ACA Foundation, Kellogg Foundation, federal Witness Assistance Program, Spencer Foundation, American Educational Research Association, and African American Success Foundation. Her publications include two co-authored books, numerous book chapters, and over 60 articles in peer-reviewed journals. In addition to national presentations, Dr. West-Olatunji has delivered research papers in Eastern and Western Europe, the Pacific Rim, Africa, and the Americas. Additionally, she provided consultation in a PBS initiative to create a children’s television show focusing on diversity through KCET-TV in Los Angeles, CA (“Puzzle Place”). Dr. West-Olatunji has also provided consultation to the Center for American Education in Singapore and the Buraku Liberation Organization in Japan to enhance their early childhood and counseling initiatives. In 2018, Dr. Cirecie West-Olatunji was recognized as an ACA Fellow.

Sound + Vision: Pedagogy for Audio-Visual Media

About the Seminar

Since the emergence of talking pictures in the late 1920s, the formal unity of sonic and visual media has become conventionalized and is often overlooked. And yet, the ways in which images and sounds complement, corroborate, or contest one another in audiovisual media remains an important topic for consideration at the level of both aesthetics and politics. This course probes these questions, investigating the ways in which both looking and listening closely to media objects might engender new forms of subjectivity and relation to the world. Touching on the work of an array of artists such as Julie Dash, the Black Audio Film Collective, Pauline Oliveros, Beyoncé, Dario Argento, and Robert Bresson, and theorists Theodor Adorno, Frantz Fanon, Michel Chion, and Mara Mills, this course examines interrelations of sound and image through a range of media topics, themes, and contexts including the voice, musical scoring, music videos, sampling/remix aesthetics, foley art, the development of early film sound, and disability alongside practical workshops for basic sound recording and mixing.

About the Convener(s)

Leo Goldsmith (he/him) is a New York-based scholar, critic, and curator who works at the intersection of experimental moving-image media, documentary film, media ecologies, and digital culture. He completed his Ph.D. on found footage and moving-image circulation at New York University in the Department of Cinema Studies in 2018. He has taught film and media studies at Eugene Lang College, The New School; Feirstein Graduate School of Cinema, Brooklyn College; Harvard University; and NYU Tisch School of the Arts.

With Robert Stam and Richard Porton, he is a co-author of Keywords in Subversive Film/Media Aesthetics (Wiley 2015), for which he contributed an afterword on the aesthetics of oppositional digital media strategies. His forthcoming book on the radical documentary practices of British filmmaker Peter Watkins was awarded an Arts Writers Grant by Creative Capital and the Warhol Foundation in 2015. He was the co-editor of the film section of the monthly arts and politics newspaper The Brooklyn Rail from 2011 to 2018. His critical writing has appeared in 4Columns, Film Comment, Artforum, Cinema Scope, and The Village Voice. He currently serves as an advisor to the programming team of the New York Film Festival. Website

Special Topics in Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Studies: Sex and the City

About the Seminar

This seminar takes an interdisciplinary approach to the study of race, sexuality, and gender in the 20th century U.S. city. Although focused on lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) communities, the class adopts an expansive understanding of marginalized genders and sexualities to include a range of identities and experiences outside of dominant racialized concepts of heterosexuality. Possible topics include queer theories about visibility and identity; histories of Progressive-era urban reforms, the Great Migration, and pre-Stonewall sexual minority communities; debates about the Moynihan Report and “culture of poverty” theories; historical and contemporary LGBT and queer social movements; public sex, gentrification, street safety, and the politics of violence; and everyday nightlife, performance, and cultural production. The class will also cover key methods in LGBT and queer studies (historical, ethnographic, and discourse analysis); site visits to LGBT/queer archives and historic locations; and discussions of different pedagogical practices common in LGBT/queer studies classrooms.

About the Convener(s)

Christina B. Hanhardt is an Associate Professor in the Department of American Studies and an affiliate of the Department of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at the University of Maryland, College Park. Her research focuses on the historical and contemporary study of U.S. social movements and cities since the mid-20th century, with an emphasis on the relationship between race, gender, sexuality, and the politics of poverty and punishment. Her first book, Safe Space: Gay Neighborhood History and the Politics of Violence (Duke University Press, 2013), is a history of LGBT activism against violence in New York and San Francisco from the mid-1960s to the early 2000s, framed in the context of debates about poverty, gentrification, and policing. Safe Space won the 2014 Lambda Literary Award for Best Book in LGBT Studies, and honorable mention for both the American Studies Association’s John Hope Franklin Prize for Best Book in American Studies, and the Lora Romero Prize for Best First Book in American Studies that highlights the intersections of race with gender, class, sexuality and/or nation. Hanhardt teaches classes in LGBT studies and queer theory, American studies, U.S. social movements, urban studies, and other topics. She was the winner of the 2013 Undergraduate Studies Teaching Award at the University of Maryland.

Writing and Research Across the Curriculum: Embodied and Digital Place in an Age of Disinformation

About the Seminar

In this seminar designed for undergraduate instructors teaching in all disciplines, participants will discuss, learn, and practice strategies for integrating writing, critical thinking, and active reading at a variety of levels, and into various disciplinary and interdisciplinary subjects, with particular focus on research in an age of disinformation. The seminar will stress meta-discursive approaches, including writing as thinking and writing to learn, that guide students to become researchers adept with online sources and alternative media, as well as with embodied research.

This seminar will progress from best practices in the teaching of writing across the disciplines to research-specific pedagogies, including strategies for topic generation, assignment design, teaching online research, and source engagement. Each day will include an introduction to two subjects, time for discussion, and related activities. Participants will have the opportunity to share, compose, and/or revise their own relevant research assignments. This year’s course will take full advantage of NYC, integrating place-based methodologies for teaching writing: two to three afternoons will be dedicated to experiential activities across the city, and one day will be entirely devoted to writing place and the close reading and writing of “texts” all around us. Interdisciplinary faculty across institutions, domestically and internationally, including those with and without writing pedagogy training, will benefit from this course.

Seminar Objectives:

  • Learn best practices of Writing Across the Curriculum (WAC) pedagogy.
  • Learn best practices of Place-Based Learning (PBL) pedagogy.
  • Experiment with WAC and PBL pedagogies both as designers and participants, to then take to their institutions and students.
  • Consider the affordances of embodied and online research practices.
  • Learn methods for teaching ethical research practices, including combatting disinformation.
  • Design their own discipline-specific prompts, assignments, and activities that integrate writing, research, and place.

About the Convener(s)

Diana Epelbaum (she/her) is Associate Professor and Director of the Academic Writing Program at Marymount Manhattan College. Her scholarship is interdisciplinary, bridging Writing and Rhetoric, Early American Literature, and History of Science. She is a reading specialist and educator trained in a balanced literacy approach who has spent her career in deep engagement with writing, reading, and thinking pedagogies. A recipient of The New York Times “Teachers Who Make a Difference Award,” Diana now teaches interdisciplinary history of science, literature, and FYC in the Writing about Writing model—and trains faculty in classroom metacognition.

Tahneer Oksman (she/her) is Associate Professor and former Director of the Academic Writing Program at Marymount Manhattan College, where she teaches classes in writing, literature and comics, and journalism (cultural criticism). Prior to MMC, she was co-coordinator of the Writing Across the Curriculum Program at Brooklyn College, and she has facilitated many writing workshops over the years. Tahneer is the author of “How Come Boys Get to Keep Their Noses?”: Women and Jewish American Identity in Contemporary Graphic Memoirs, and the co-editor, with Nancy K. Miller, of the forthcoming Feminists Reclaim Mentorship: An Anthology.

Writing Successful Grant Proposals

About the Seminar

This seminar is designed for both beginner and intermediate grant writers across disciplines from STEM to the Arts. It is also for academic administrators, student affairs personnel, and professional staff. Structured like a workshop, this seminar will introduce some of the most helpful grant writing resources available online and will include readings on how to construct a grant.

Are you a faculty member who needs release-time or sabbatical support to pursue your research or artistic endeavors? Do you want to equip a lab with sophisticated equipment? Are you a department chair or academic administrator seeking to expand a successful program or secure support for undergraduate student research or a new student activity? Are you an IT specialist or librarian seeking additional resources? All these needs can be satisfied if you can learn to write competitive grants.

We will examine the components of a successful grant proposal: finding a potential funding source, analyzing an RFP (Request for Proposals), researching and stating the need for the grant, writing appropriate goals and objectives, describing the proposed activities and methods, and developing a credible evaluation plan and a realistic budget. The presenters will share their experience and accumulated wisdom, however, at the heart of this week-long seminar, there is the opportunity for each participant to make substantial progress in developing their own idea into an actual grant proposal.

Each participant is asked to bring an idea for a grant proposal. We want you to write a one-page concept paper outlining your idea for a grant that either supports your research or a program on your campus. Tell us about (1) why your project is needed, (2) your goals and objectives, (3) what you plan to do, (4) how you would evaluate your project, and (5) how much money you estimate it would take. By sharing your specific ideas with the conveners, they will be able to offer personalized, targeted guidance.

About the Convener(s)

Beverly and Robert Kahn (she/her and he/him).

Beverly and Bob Kahn are political scientists who have written grant proposals together and separately for many years. After receiving their doctorates from Indiana University where she specialized in Italian politics (winning both a Fulbright and Rome Prize) and he specialized in African American political ideology – they both taught at the University of South Carolina and The Ohio State University for 17 years before going off on separate careers as administrators.

As an academic administrator, Beverly has served in the roles of dean, vice president, and provost at Fairfield University, Pace University, and SUNY-Farmingdale and has authored more than $20 million in grants. In her most recent position at SUNY-Farmingdale, Beverly authored and secured more than $12 million in major grants, including a First in the World Grant, a Title III grant, and an SSS Trio grant (plus renewal) from the U.S. Department of Education, as well as a Smart Grid grant from the U.S. Department of Energy and an NSF S-STEM grant. Bev retired in fall 2020.

Bob has served as dean, vice president, and grants director at Rockland, Bergen, Queensborough, and LaGuardia community colleges. In eight years at LaGuardia as grants director, Bob’s college brought in more than $100 million in grants – highest among City University of New York Community Colleges, higher than several CUNY four-year colleges, and usually more than twice as much as the CUNY community college in second place. Bob is now retired after 27 years in community college administration.

On the side, they raised two adorable children who are now amazing adults.