Master Classes

Civil Rights & the Preamble

with Yohuru Williams
Online
Friday, March 19, 2021 • Friday, March 26, 2021 Friday, March 2, 2021
4 p.m. – 5:15 p.m.

The language in the preamble to the United States Constitution helps us understand the evolution of American democracy and offers a blueprint for a future expansion of civil rights.

This is a three-session master class. In the first two sessions, teachers learn from the master. In the third, participants have a rare and valuable opportunity to exchange ideas with other brilliant teachers. Participants are assigned a small amount of homework to prepare for each session.

Yohuru Williams is distinguished University Chair and Professor of History and founding Director of the Racial Justice Initiative at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, MN. He is an acclaimed activist and scholar who is presently finishing a book entitled In the Shadow of the Whipping Post: Lynching, Capital Punishment, and Jim Crow Justice in Delaware, 1865-1965.

Islam and Christianity: Faith and Contradiction

with Imam Abdullah Antepli & Ellen F. Davis
Online
Wednesday, May 19, 2021 • Wednesday, May 26, 2021 Wednesday, June 2, 2021
4 p.m. – 5:15 p.m.

Rabbi Jonathan Sacks wrote, “The single greatest antidote to violence is conversation.” This master class explores the power of Islam and Christianity to promote violence and social healing. With the help of ancient scriptural texts as well as contemporary voices within both traditions, we will consider how to engage religious identity in ways that lead to healthy self-criticism and deeper mutual appreciation. 

This is a three-session master class. In the first two sessions, teachers learn from the masters. In the third, participants have a rare and valuable opportunity to exchange ideas with other brilliant teachers. Participants are assigned a small amount of homework to prepare for each session.

Imam Antepli is an associate professor at Duke Divinity School and at the Sanford School of Public Policy. He has worked on a variety of faith-based humanitarian and relief projects in Myanmar and Malaysia and is founder of the Association of College Muslim Chaplains. He served as the first Muslim chaplain at Duke and Wesleyan University and was the associate director of the Islamic Chaplaincy Program & Interfaith Relations at Hartford Seminary in Connecticut. 

Ellen F. Davis is Amos Ragan Kearns Distinguished Professor of Bible and Practical Theology at Duke Divinity School. The author of eleven books and many articles, her research interests focus on how biblical interpretation bears on the life of faith communities and their response to urgent public issues, particularly the ecological crisis and interfaith relations. Her most recent books are Preaching the Luminous Word and Opening Israel’s Scriptures

Dance & High Tech: History and Practice

with Sydney Skybetter
Online
Friday, April 9, 2021 • Friday, April 16, 2021 Friday, April 23, 2021
4 p.m. – 5:15 p.m.

Elements of choreography have influenced developing technologies such as robotics, artificial intelligence, and surveillance systems, and sometimes the results have been unjust. This master class will examine ways choreography might be used to create less blinkered and prejudiced technologies. At the same time, we will also explore how technology can be used in the creation of dance pieces in our classrooms.  

This is a three-session master class. In the first two sessions, teachers learn from the master. In the third, participants have a rare and valuable opportunity to exchange ideas with other brilliant teachers. Participants are assigned a small amount of homework to prepare for each session.

Sydney Skybetter is a Public Humanities Fellow and Lecturer at Brown University where he researches the problematics of human-computer interfaces and mixed reality systems and is the Founder of the Conference for Research on Choreographic Interfaces. Hailed by Dance Magazine as “One of the most influential people in dance today,” Sydney’s work has been performed at such venues as The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Jacob’s Pillow, and The Joyce Theater. He received his MFA in Choreography from New York University.

Puppet by Lexy Ho-Tai made of various fabrics (turquoise, pink, magenta, yellow) sticking its tongue out, a fuschia cloth background is behind it.

Meet the Artist, Make Some Art

with Lexy Ho-Tai
Online
Thursday, January 28, 2021
5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.

Enter the lottery here.
Deadline: Tuesday, January 19.

Artist Lexy Ho-Tai believes art is a radical act of resistance and that play is a powerful source of artistic inspiration. In this hour-long special event, you’ll learn about Lexy’s art, visit her studio, and then make some joyful, radical art of your own, using everyday materials. 

Lexy Ho-Tai is a multi-disciplinary artist and educator based in Queens, NY. Her practice explores world-building, accessibility, craft, and play. She disrupts the elitist tendencies of the art world by working in non-traditional art spaces, repurposing discarded materials, collaborating across disciplines, and engaging with diverse audiences. She has a BFA in Fashion Design from Parsons School for Design, and residencies have included Flux Factory, ARoS Museum, Everglades National Park, Museum of Arts and Design, and The Watermill Center.

A.I. Explained

with Lawrence Carin
Online
Friday, January 29, 2021 • Friday, February 5, 2021 • Friday, February 12, 2021
4 p.m. – 5:15 p.m.
Applications and nominations no longer being accepted.

Artificial intelligence has been studied for decades, but recently it has made significant progress. Advances in analyzing images and processing language are making an impact in many aspects of life, and that impact is likely to accelerate in the coming years. In this class, using almost no math or statistics, the intuition behind A.I., as well as A.I.’s implications for the future, will be presented in a way that anyone can understand. 

This is a three-session master class. In the first two sessions, teachers learn from the master. In the third, participants have a rare and valuable opportunity to exchange ideas with other brilliant teachers. Participants are assigned a small amount of homework to prepare for each session.

Lawrence Carin is a professor of electrical and computer engineering and Vice Provost for Research at Duke University. He researches machine learning, artificial intelligence, and applied statistics, and publishes widely, with over 450 peer-reviewed publications. Professor Carin is a Fellow of the Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers and co-founder of Signal Innovations Group and of Infinia ML. 

Headshot of Richard Haass in front of a white building.

Nationalism, Regionalism, and Migration

with Richard Haass
Online
Tuesday, January 5, 2021 • Thursday, January 14, 2021 • Thursday, January 21, 2021
4 p.m. – 5:15 p.m.
Applications & nominations are now closed.

We will examine the forces that move, and restrain the movement, of populations, with particular emphasis to the historical, political, economic, and other causes that led to the immense diversity we find in our classrooms today. Richard Haass’s book The World: A Brief Introduction is required reading for this class.

In the first two sessions of this three-session master class, teachers will learn from the master. In the third, teachers will have a rare opportunity to exchange ideas with their brilliant colleagues.

Dr. Richard Haass is the president of the Council on Foreign Relations. In addition to service in the Departments of State and Defense, he has been a legislative aide in the U.S. Senate, special assistant to President George H.W. Bush, senior director for Near East and South Asian affairs for the National Security Council, chair of the multiparty negotiations in Northern Ireland, principal advisor to Secretary of State Colin Powell, U.S. coordinator for policy toward the future of Afghanistan, U.S. envoy to the Northern Ireland peace process, and a member of the faculty of Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. The recipient of a Presidential Citizens Medal, the Tipperary International Peace Award, and multiple honorary degrees, Dr. Haass is also the author of many books on foreign policy, including, most recently, The World: A Brief Introduction.

Claudius’s Soliloquy: What We Can Learn from Hamlet’s Villain

with Ramie Targoff
Online
Tuesday, February 9, 2021 • Wednesday, February 10, 2021
4 p.m. – 5:15 p.m.
Apply or nominate a worthy colleague here.

Deadline: January 19.

This master class will focus on a single extraordinary scene in Shakespeare’s Hamlet when the guilt-ridden Claudius confesses his crime and struggles to pray. What does this soliloquy tell us about Claudius’s tortured inner self? And what does it mean that Hamlet misreads what he sees happening before him?

This is a two-session master class. In the first session, teachers learn from the master. In the second, participants have a rare and valuable opportunity to exchange ideas with other brilliant teachers. Participants are assigned a small amount of homework to prepare for each session.

Ramie Targoff is professor of English, co-chair of Italian Studies, and Director of the Mandel Center for the Humanities at Brandeis University.  She is the author of Common Prayer, John Donne, Body and Soul, and Posthumous Love, and Renaissance Woman: The Life of Vittoria Colonna.  She recently completed a translation of Vittoria Colonna’s 1538 Rime, the first book of poems ever published by a woman in Italy. Targoff is the recipient of fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, the American Council of Learned Societies, the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin, and she has been a Scholar in Residence at the American Academy in Rome. Her latest project, Shakespeare’s Sisters—a group biography of four women writers in Renaissance England, will be published in 2022.

Image of artist Betty Yu smiling in front of a red painted fence.

Activist Art: Theory & Practice

with Betty Yu
Online
Wednesday, December 16, 2020 • Wednesday, January 13, 2021
Wednesday, January 20, 2021
4 p.m. – 5:15 p.m.
Applications & nominations are no longer being accepted.

This master class considers the possibilities and limitations of socially aware art. The first session will be an overview in which we’ll consider several activist artists and the causes that inspire their work. In the second, Yu will talk about her own practice. In both, theoretical and aesthetic questions will be considered, as well as practical, how-to issues. There will be a special emphasis on how collective process and community-building are essential to this work. Participants will then work in groups to develop socially aware art projects they could do with their students.

This is a three-session master class. Participants are assigned a small amount of homework to prepare for each session.

Betty Yu is a multimedia artist, photographer, filmmaker, and activist born and raised in NYC to Chinese immigrant parents. Her work integrates documentary film, new media platforms, and community-infused approaches. She is a co-founder of the Chinatown Art Brigade. Her work has been presented at the Directors Guild of America, Brooklyn Museum, Margaret Mead Film and Video Festival, Tribeca Film Festival’s Interactive Showcase, Queens Museum, the 2019 BRIC Biennial, and Open Source Gallery, among others. She is a recipient of the Aronson Journalism for Social Justice Award for her film Three Tours.

Professor Tanton writes on a whiteboard ising a green marker.

How Round is a Cube? A Sideways Interpretation of Euler’s Famous Polyhedron Formula

with James Tanton
Online
Thursday, February 25, 2021 • Thursday, March 4, 2021
4 p.m. – 5:15 p.m.
Apply or and nominate a worthy colleague here.

Deadline: January 26.

The Earth seems flat for us living on it. If it were the shape of a cube, only those living on the cube’s edge might suspect something strange is going on. But what would be the “degree” of that strangeness? Could we get a measure of the overall “non-flatness” of a cube from what those on the edge report? We’ll explore these peculiar, amorphous questions and whether the cube is, actually, just as round (aka “equally flat”) as a sphere.

This is a two-session master class. In the first session, teachers learn from the master. In the second, participants have a rare and valuable opportunity to exchange ideas with other brilliant teachers. Participants are assigned a small amount of homework to prepare for each session.

Dr. James Tanton earned his Ph.D. in mathematics from Princeton University. He is an author, a consultant, and ambassador for the Mathematical Association of America, chair of the Advisory Council for the National Museum of Mathematics, and a founder of the Global Math Project, an initiative to transform the entire world’s perception of what mathematics can, and should, be. James has taught mathematics both at university and high school institutions. He advises on curriculum, consults with teachers, and gives demonstration classes, lectures, and professional development sessions across the globe. He is also a recipient of a Joint Policy Board for Mathematics communication award.

Portrait of Steven Guarnaccia with fancy designs drawn on his face

Visual Narrative

with Steven Guarnaccia
Online
Wednesday, February 24, 2021 • Wednesday, March 3, 2021
4 p.m. – 5:15 p.m.
Apply or nominate a worthy colleague here.

Deadline: January 26.

In this master class we’ll explore strategies, both contemporary and historical, used in the creation of visual narratives, whether in a children’s book, an animation, a comic, a zine, and so on. We’ll consider narratives told with images alone or with images presented in list form or as pages in a sketchbook, as well as narratives that include 3-dimensional elements and that alter the conventional orientation of the page. We’ll also look at narratives that use one or more of these strategies in order to provide an idea of how visual narratives have been made, and to offer a sense of the possibilities available.

This is a two-session master class. In the first session, teachers learn from the master. In the second, participants have a rare and valuable opportunity to exchange ideas with other brilliant teachers. Participants are assigned a small amount of homework to prepare for each session.

Steven Guarnaccia, illustrator and designer, is associate professor of illustration at Parsons School of Design. He was previously the art director of the Op-Ed page of the New York Times, and during his 40-year career, has worked for many publications, including Abitare, Rolling Stone, and Domus. He is the author of books on popular culture and design, including Black and White, a book on the absence of color, and has received awards from the AIGA, the Art Directors Club, and the Bologna Book Fair. His children’s books include The Three Bears: A Tale Moderne, The Three Little Pigs: An Architectural Tale, and Cinderella: A Fashionable Tale.

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