master class

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.

Uncut Gems
Screening followed by Q&A with Benny Safdie, co-director

with Benny Safdie
Online
Thursday, July 16, 2020
6 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Uncut Gems was a critical favorite last year and Adam Sandler’s standout performance as a fast-talking, Jewish-American gambling addict who runs a jewelry store in the city’s Diamond District, won raves. Following a screening of this award-winning film, Benny Safdie, who directed this film with his brother Josh, will join Academy Fellows and other teachers for a Q&A.

Benny Safdie produces and writes films with his brother Joshua that have premiered at renowned international film festivals including Cannes, Venice, New York Film Festival and Sundance, and exhibited at the Film Society of Lincoln Center and the Museum of Modern Art in New York. His films include Uncut Gems, Good Time, Heaven Knows What, Lenny Cooke, and Daddy Longlegs. The Safdie brothers have diverse practices that extend beyond time-based media. Safdie co-founded Mmuseumm with Joshua Safdie and Alex Kalman, a modern natural history museum situated in an elevator shaft in Cortlandt Alley that showcases contemporary artifacts.

Telling Stories Out of School

Online
Thursday, July 9th, 2020
6 p.m. – 7 p.m.

Teachers have the most fascinating, difficult, and important job on the planet, and their workdays are filled with stories. Join us for an evening of teacher stories inspired by an Academy for Teachers master class on storytelling led by Seth Barrish and Mike Birbiglia.

13th: Screening & Discussion

with Dr. Yohuru Williams and Sari Rosenberg
Online
Wednesday, July 1, 2020
7 p.m. – 9:15 p.m.

Join us for an evening of reflection and discussion as we screen 13th, the 2016 documentary by award-winning director Ava DuVernay. The film explores mass incarceration as a form of racialized control—an extension of slavery—and features a host of voices, from Cory Booker and Jelani Cobb to Angela Davis and Khalil Gibran Muhammad.

Dr. Yohuru Williams is the Dean and McQuinn Distinguished Chair of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of St. Thomas. 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.

Sari Beth Rosenberg teaches U.S. history at the High School for Environmental Studies. Her gifts in the classroom are matched by her active presence in conversations about the teaching of history. In 2019, she received the 2019 Paul Gagnon Prize by the National Council for History Education, an award that recognizes a K-12 history teacher’s exceptional historical scholarship or contribution to the teaching of history.

Jewish, Christian & Muslim Relations in Medieval Europe

with Sara Lipton
Online
Thursday, January 14, 2021 • Thursday, January 21, 2021
4 p.m. – 5:15 p.m.

Applications & nominations are closed.
Deadline: Monday, December 28.

We will examine how members of the three monotheistic faiths of medieval Europe viewed each other and interacted with each other. In addition to intolerance and violence, there are also examples of friendship and cooperation. Discussions will be based on a range of primary texts, including a city charter, law codes, chronicles, religious polemics, and works of art and literature.

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.

Sara Lipton is professor of history at Stony Brook University specializing in medieval religion and culture, with a particular focus on Jewish-Christian relations and visual devotion. She has been a Visiting Scholar at Tel Aviv University, the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales in Paris, and the University of London, and has held fellowships from Oxford University, the Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the National Endowment for the Humanities. Lipton has published in numerous academic journals as well as the New York Times, the New York Review of Books, and the Los Angeles Times. Her most recent book is Dark Mirror: The Medieval Origins of Anti-Jewish Iconography, which won the Association for Jewish Studies’ Jordan Schnitzer Award.

Was Gandhi Racist? And Other Unsettling Questions about African-Indian Entanglements

with Shobana Shankar
Online
Wednesday, March 10, 2021 • Wednesday, March 17, 2021
4 p.m. – 5:15 p.m.

Apply or nominate a worthy colleague here.

Recent events, from Black Lives Matter demonstrations to Kamala Harris’s nomination, have brought into public discourse a reckoning with the complexity of structural inequality and solidarity movements—what does this mean for relations among people of color? This class will explore the history of this vexing problem through the work of M.K. Gandhi in South Africa and W.E.B Dubois in the U.S., and in the lives of lesser-known figures, many of whom were Africans living in the British Empire, a crucible in which many of today’s racial dilemmas were created.

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.

Shobana Shankar is a socio-cultural historian of West Africa and the Global South at Stony Brook University.  Before that, she worked in research and publishing at UNICEF and as a teacher in the New York City public school system. Her work crosses the fields of history, anthropology, religion, and public health. Her forthcoming book examines how Africans and Indians negotiated their complicated relationships in religion, science, and education in an effort to find postcolonial solidarity and autonomy from Euro-American power. She’s also written on the politics of public health and the history of eugenicist racial practices at the Mississippi State Penitentiary.

Black and white photo of Dr. Max Liborion in front of a microscope

Anti-Colonial Science

with Dr. Max Liboiron
Online
Monday, January 11, 2021 • Tuesday, January 12, 2021
5 p.m. – 6:15 p.m

Applications & nominations are now closed.

Anticolonial science questions and transforms underlying assumptions in Western science that stem from imperialism and mastery. Such assumptions are present throughout STEM, from the study of water cycles, to sample gathering, to data entry, and beyond. In this master class, we’ll identify colonial premises and explore how science can be practiced in a manner that foregrounds good land relations, humility, and gratitude.

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. Max Liboiron is associate professor of geography at Memorial University of Newfoundland. She directs the Civic Laboratory for Environmental Action Research, which develops feminist and anti-colonial methodologies to study marine plastic pollution. Dr. Liboiron has played leading roles in the establishment of the field of Discard Studies (the social study of waste and wasting), the Global Open Science Hardware movement, and is a figure in Indigenous science and technology studies and justice-oriented science.

Side-by-side photo of author George Saunders by Chloe Aftel and of editor Deborah Treisman.
Photo of George Saunders by Chloe Aftel.

The Writer and the Editor

with George Saunders & Deborah Treisman
Online
Wednesday, November 11, 2020 • Wednesday, November 18, 2020
4 p.m. – 5:15 p.m.

Applications and nominations are no longer being accepted.

The relationship of a writer and an editor is fascinating and mysterious, and has similarities to the relationship of a student and a teacher. In this master class, writer George Saunders and editor Deborah Treisman will describe their collaboration through various drafts of Saunders’ short story “Ghoul” before it was published in The New Yorker.

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.

George Saunders is the author of eleven books, including Lincoln in the Bardo, which won the 2017 Man Booker Prize for best work of fiction in English, and was a finalist for the Golden Man Booker, in which one Booker winner was selected to represent each decade, from the fifty years since the Prize’s inception. The audiobook for Lincoln in the Bardo, which featured a cast of 166 actors, was the 2018 Audie Award for best audiobook. His work has been appearing in The New Yorker since 1992.
He was born in Amarillo, Texas, and raised in Oak Forest, Illinois. He has a degree in Geophysics from the Colorado School of Mines and has worked as a geophysical prospector in Indonesia, a roofer in Chicago, a doorman in Beverly Hills, and a technical writer in Rochester, New York. He has taught, since 1997, in the Creative Writing Program at Syracuse University.

Deborah Treisman has been Fiction Editor at The New Yorker since 2002, and is the host of the New Yorker Fiction Podcast.

Virus Evolution

with Paul Turner
Online
Thursday, December 10, • Thursday, December 17, 2020
4 p.m. – 5:15 p.m.

Applications & nominations are closed.

The current pandemic emphasizes the fact that viruses are always evolving and the importance of understanding how they are driven to emerge in new host species (such as humans). This class will explore virus evolution and the benefits of developing non-harmful viruses for use in disease therapy and other applications.

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.

Paul E. Turner, the Rachel Carson Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Yale University, examines how viruses evolutionarily adapt to overcome new challenges. His laboratory uses an interdisciplinary approach to investigate these processes, employing techniques from microbiology, population genetics, genomics, molecular biology, and mathematical modeling. He was a member of the United States delegation at the joint USA-Russia Workshop on Infectious Disease held in Novosibirsk, Russia.

Imagination & Childhood

with Nancy Tarshis
Online
Thursday, May 14, 2020
4 p.m. – 5:15 p.m.

What are the limits of imagination? Why do we care about unleashing it in the elementary classroom? After exploring how the imagination drives, binds, and challenges, we’ll hit the pause button, turn away from our screens, and to step into our own imaginations. (For K-2 teachers and K-4 special education teachers.)

Nancy Tarshis is a speech-language pathologist, special educator, and author. Currently, she is Director of Early Childhood Programming at The Quad Preparatory School, a nationally renowned K-12 program dedicated to twice-exceptional children. Previously, she was a member of the clinical team at Children’s Evaluation and Rehabilitation Center at Einstein College of Medicine. She is co-author of We Thinkers! Volume 1 Social Explorers and We Thinkers! Volume 2 Social Problem Solvers and The Group Collaboration Play and Problem Solving Scale.


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