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Network Summer 2008

Network Summer 2008 will be held from June 9 to June 13, 2008 at New York University's Washington Square campus.

*Please note*The Faculty Resource Network no longer subsidizes travel for our Faculty Enrichment Seminars.

To following seminars are being offered for Network Summer 2008:

Applications of Mathematics in Finance and Economics
Better than Fiction: The Urban Chronicle and the New Latin American Novel
Critical and Creative Thinking Across the Media
Designing Effective Online Learning Environments
Dynamics of Social Diversity in College Classrooms: New Topics in Teaching for Social Justice
Entrepreneurship and the Business Curriculum
Harlem and Its Landmarks: A Physical and Institutional History of the Black Metropolis
The Landscape of American Food in the Twenty-First Century
Library Assessment: Measuring and Documenting the Library's Contributions to Academic Success
The Quest for Peace in the Ancient World and Beyond
Teaching Visual Storytelling
Women's Studies in a Global World: Pedagogies of Transformation

The Program

Modern quantitative finance and economics offer a wealth of new applications and opportunities in mathematics. All major financial institutions use stochastic processes, Monte Carlo simulation and partial differential equations to determine the price and risks of financial contracts. Modern quantitative hedge funds use advanced statistical and optimization methods to hone algorithmic trading strategies. The economic theory of auctions was a focus of this year’s Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics and is used, for example, by Google to auction ad space on web sites (which auctions must be done electronically within a second as a user goes to the site).

All this is interesting to university mathematics faculty for many reasons. Quantitative modeling provides a variety of new and exciting career opportunities for mathematically talented students. It can be the source of new and interesting teaching material, either as examples in existing classes or as the basis for new classes. We have found that students interested in mathematics have heard about quantitative finance and economics, both the career and the technical side, and are eager to learn more about it. It is one of the factors that have led to an increase in the number of mathematics majors at NYU and other schools. Of course, there are many interesting research problems that offer opportunities for mathematicians to collaborate with faculty from finance or economics departments. Moreover, the stuff is just very interesting.

The main focus of this five-day seminar will be on quantitative finance. We will start with a brief overview of the modern finance industry and the increasing importance of quantitative methods. We will see that quantitative methods have had and should continue to have a profound effect on financial markets. Some of these are positive – the ability of companies to manage risk by purchasing financial options, and some negative – the securitization of mortgages forces lenders to offer only a small menu of mortgage options to consumers. Much of the week will be spent discussing the mathematical models and methods most central to finance. Concerning models, we'll focus on the Black Scholes approach to pricing and hedging options and the Markowitz mean-variance-based approach to portfolio optimization. Concerning methods, we will use basic linear algebra, partial differential equations, and probability, developing more advanced tools such as stochastic differential equations as necessary.

As a secondary focus, the seminar will include an introduction to the modeling of auctions. The elegant yet practical insights of William Vickrey emphasized the importance of the auction mechanism. The rise of Ebay and Google have made auctions more visible and important than ever.

We will present the mathematical core of the workshop ourselves. Guest lecturers from other disciplines such as Economics and Finance will provide additional content. We expect to arrange visits to some of New York City’s major financial institutions so participants can see a trading floor and hear from traders and recruiters.


Robert Kohn is Professor of Mathematics at the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences of New York University. He has been among the leaders of the Courant Institute's Mathematics in Finance Masters program since its inception in 1998. Dr. Kohn's research focuses on applications of nonlinear partial differential equations and the calculus of variations. In addition to quantitative finance, his current interests include crystal growth, cloaking, and energy-driven pattern formation. Dr. Kohn received the Ralph E. Kleinman award from SIAM in 1999 and was a plenary lecturer at both the 2006 International Congress of Mathematicians and the 2007 International Congress on Industrial and Applied Mathematics.

Jonathan Goodman is Professor of Mathematics at the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences of New York University. His research, in addition to quantitative finance, focuses on Monte Carlo methods for physical and engineering problems. Dr. Goodman is co-founder and major faculty member in the Courant Institute’s Master of Science program in Mathematics in Finance. He serves on the editorial boards of the Communications of Pure and Applied Mathematics and the Journal of Computational Finance.

The Program

Truth is not only stranger, but also better, than fiction, modern Latin American writers seem to suggest, as they turn to a new form of writing where a chronicle of real political, social, and historical events become the material prima for new literary interventions. The most compelling recent literature from Latin America works the border between reporting, urban chronicle, and fiction, and exploits the tensions between textual, documentary, and cinematic culture. Turning against the master genre of magical realism, but exploiting the novel’s longstanding feud with historiography, a new generation of writers claims the truth-value of a form that lies between journalism, literature and political essay. They engage immediate cultural realities and political events, using the chronicle as a provocative and often political form. Using the chronicle’s claim to truth beyond historiography, its attention to the details of particular events, these new writers explore the uneven and exploding modernity of Latin American cities, the dissonant versions of civil wars, criminal cultures, the political after-life of villains and heroes, giving Latin American and international audiences a new literary form with which to critically reexamine and re-imagine their own relationship to the past and to its echo in the present of everyday life.

Works may include

Elena Poniatowska, La noche de Tlatelolco (Massacre in Mexico)

Carlos Monsiváis, Los rituaels del cáos (Mexican postcards)

Fernando Vallejo, La virgen de los sicarios (Our lady of the Assassins)

Tomas Eloy Martínez, Santa Evita (Santa Evita)

Ricardo Piglia, Plata Quemada (Money to Burn)


Films may include:

Amores perros, City of God, Plata Quemada, Our Lady of the Assassins (excerpt), Crónicas


Ana Dopico is Associate Professor of Spanish & Portuguese and Comparative Literature at New York University. Her research includes comparative studies of the Americas, theory and history of the novel, Cuban and Caribbean Culture and nationhood and imperialism. She was editor of Jose Marti: Revolution, Politics and Letters, a two volume anthology prepared for the Oxford Library of Latin America.

The Program

With the addition of new media to our students’ repertoire of reading, writing, and reasoning skills, their ability to think critically and creatively is more important than ever. The forces of media convergence call for new ways to integrate our teaching. As technologies coalesce, as communications companies fuse into media conglomerates, and as words mingle with graphics, motion pictures, and sound on screens of all sizes, it’s easy to get overwhelmed or lost in the shuffle. As teachers, we need to understand these changes and their implications for learning.

This seminar is an opportunity to examine the nature of traditional printed texts and newer electronic forms and to investigate the codes and language systems that give them meaning. Through readings, exercises, and discussion, we will explore fresh approaches to diverse disciplines, developing classroom practices that will help our students think critically and creatively in and about a variety of media, including those that have just recently emerged.

This seminar provides an opportunity to think about thinking, with an emphasis on direct application to classroom practices. The conveners invite participants to engage with them in a series of critical (and creative) thinking exercises to experience directly what students can learn by taking thinking seriously (but not too seriously). Course materials include a variety of texts, visual and verbal: literary selections, excerpts from the sciences and social sciences, advertisements, film clips, cultural icons, works of art, photographs, podcasts, blogs, and more.

The emphasis of the seminar will be on practical pedagogy—applying thinking strategies to classroom situations across the disciplines. It will be interactive and participatory and will mix seriousness and humor in equal measure.


Dr. William Costanzo is a professor of English and film at Westchester Community College, New York, where he has taught courses in writing, literature, and film since 1970. His publications include Double Exposure: Composing through Writing and Film (1984), The Electronic Text: Learning to Write, Read, and Reason with Computers (1989), Reading the Movies: Twelve Great Films on Video and How to Teach Them (1992), Great Films and How to Teach Them (2004), and The Writer’s Eye: Composition in the Multimedia Age (2007). Since receiving his Ph.D. from Columbia University, he has received state and national awards for teaching and scholarship, and for designing educational software. Dr. Costanzo lectures widely on the educational uses of technology and has led workshops on media and English across the country. He is currently writing a book on global cinema.

Robert DiYanni, Director of International Services at the College Board, holds a B.A. from Rutgers University and a Ph.D in English language and literature from the City University of New York. He has taught English and humanities at Queens College (CUNY), Pace University, Harvard University (as Visiting Professor), and NYU, where he currently teaches courses in literature, interdisciplinary humanities and critical thinking. Dr. DiYanni has written and edited more than thirty-five books, primarily texts for college students of writing, literature, and humanities, including Literature: Reading Fiction, Poetry, and Drama, 6th Edition; The Scribner Handbook for Writers, 4th Edition; and Arts and Culture: An Introduction to the Humanities, 2nd Edition.  He has given numerous workshops and conference presentations worldwide for middle school and secondary school teachers, as well as for college and university professors. Recent books include Frames of Mind and Occasions for Writing, texts that promote visual and verbal literacy through critical and creative thinking.

The Program

What makes some learning environments (e.g., online courses, microworlds, simulations, or educational games) more effective than others? What makes learners more motivated, more engaged, more interested, and, ultimately, less likely to drop out and more likely to succeed in an online course? In other words, what are design principles for effective online environments?

This seminar is a design course that will provide those faculty members who have previously used technology-based learning materials, who have familiarity with learning tools and course management systems, and who are now interested in designing effective materials for online learning, with a theory-based approach to the practical design of these materials.

Designing a successful online course requires an understanding of issues related to the information architecture, information design, and interaction design of learning environments. The information architecture describes the features to be included to facilitate the type of learning suitable for the content and learners, and is often presented as a flow chart. The information design describes cognitive and affective (motivational and emotional) factors related to the interface design and choice of representations of the educational content (as text, picture, animation, video, simulation, etc.), and is often presented as sketches or wire frames. The interaction design describes the user interactions with the materials, the types of educational strategies included, and the navigation system for the environment, and is typically presented in page mock-ups or small prototypes.

This seminar will combine hands-on design experiences with readings and discussions of related educational, psychological, and design theory, enabling participants to gain a solid understanding of the principles that can be applied to the design of educational learning environments. In addition, participants will work collaboratively and on their own to design educational materials, and can begin to either adapt existing materials to an online environment, or design new educational materials, including microworlds, educational games, simulations, or online courses.


    • Familiarity with a Course Management System (Blackboard, WebCT, Moodle, Sakai, etc.)

    • Familiarity with drawing tools (e.g., in Freehand, Illustrator, Photoshop, or in Word or Powerpoint)

    • Experience used technology-based learning materials in your own teaching

Preference will be given to faculty members who have previously designed and developed their own courses, educational games, simulations, microworlds, or multimedia materials.


Jan L. Plass is Associate Professor of Educational Communication and Technology at New York University and director of the ECT program at the NYU Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development. Dr. Plass is interested in how cognitive science and learning sciences can inform the design of educational environments, including educational simulations and games. His current research projects focus on the design of computer simulations for science education (Molecules & Minds) and on the design and study of game-like environments (RAPUNSEL). He conducts these and other projects as part the Center for Research and Evaluation of Advanced Technologies in Education (CREATE) at NYU, which he also directs (see

The Program

This seminar is designed to help college teachers gain the knowledge and skills they need to design inclusive curricula and to identify and practice pedagogies that foster active learning and interactive interpersonal dynamics. Acknowledging that such knowledge and skills have not traditionally been included in the disciplinary training for most college faculty, we will create in this seminar a supportive (although challenging) environment, with like-minded colleagues, to examine our current classroom practice, explore models of curriculum transformation and social justice pedagogy that can stretch our current practice, and develop individually tailored plans of action to take back to our home campuses.

The seminar is based on the extensive experience with social justice curriculum development and pedagogical practice, most recently presented in the new edition of Adams, Bell, Griffin’s Teaching for Diversity and Social Justice (2007) and in Adams and Love (2006) Teaching with a Social Justice Perspective: A Model for Faculty Seminars across Academic Disciplines. The social justice education model emphasizes the many classroom challenges of social inequality as well as cultural diversity.

Topics and day-to-day approach:

The five-day seminar incorporates the four components of the social justice education model, namely (1) an exploration of our own social identities and social positions as faculty in diverse classrooms, in relation to systemic patterns of privilege or disadvantage, and also in relation to our students; (2) our understanding of who our students are, and how their social identities shape their social positions and their interactions in diverse classrooms; (3) the challenges and opportunities we face as faculty when we try to create more inclusive curriculum in our (often traditional) disciplines whereby diversity becomes a core part of the subject matter; and (4) our exposure and opportunities to practice pedagogical strategies that foster active learning and effective interpersonal interaction in classrooms that are socially and culturally diverse.

The convener and co-facilitator will draw upon new topics presented in the new edition of Teaching for diversity and social justice (2007), which examines racism through the lens of immigration, explores various forms of U.S. religious oppression, and introduces transgender oppression as a expansion of previous analyses of sexism and heterosexism. Depending upon the interests of seminar participants, these relatively new topics in social justice education can provide the basis for our work together, or can be explored as ways to stretch our understandings of U.S. racism, sexism, and marginalized religions.

This week-long seminar will draw upon the experiential, active learning approach that we value and practice in social justice education. We believe that how we teach powerfully affects our students understanding and openness to what we teach, especially on topics of social justice. We will model our social justice education approach, so that faculty participants can experience and also make decisions about approaches that best suit their own disciplines, training, prior experience, teaching contexts, and personal temperament. Every day of the seminar will have at least one practical, hands-on application, so that participants will be able to apply new ideas and approaches to their own courses at their home institutions.


Maurianne Adams holds a Ph.D. in English Literature and has recently taught Human Development, Organization Development, and most recently, Social Justice Education. She is Professor of Education at the University of Massachusetts Amherst where she teaches graduate classes on historical and pedagogical foundations for social justice education, models of social identity formation and development, and practica on undergraduate social justice teaching. She co-edited Teaching for Diversity and Social Justice (Routledge, 1997; 2nd revised edition 2007) and co-wrote new chapters on pedagogy, religious oppression, and antisemitism. She co-edited Strangers and Neighbors: Relations Between Blacks and Jews in the United States (University of Massachusetts Press, 2000), and Readings for Diversity and Social Justice (Routledge, 2000). She is editor of Equity & Excellence in Education and consults widely on social justice pedagogy, faculty development, and social justice and diversity issues on college campuses.

Barbara J. Love holds an Ed.D. in Curriculum Studies and has taught Curriculum Development, Staff Development, and Social Justice Education. She is Associate Professor of Education at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, where she teaches graduate classes on contemporary frameworks for social justice education, reflective practice, and self-awareness. She co-wrote chapters on racism, ageism and adultism, and knowing oneself as a social justice educator, for Teaching for Diversity and Social Justice (2007), and she is author of an extended critical race theory analysis and counter-narrative on the “majoritarian achievement gap” (Equity & Excellence in Education,37/3, 2004). Dr. Love consults widely with NGO’s, college campuses and organizations internationally and in the U.S. on issues of racial and gender equity, empowerment, liberation, and community development.

The Program

The study and teaching of entrepreneurship is a growing component in the curriculum at leading business schools today. Whether the focus is on starting and managing small independent businesses, or creating new businesses within large corporate organizations, managing either has its unique challenges. Characteristics that are often common to entrepreneurs—risk taking, independence, contrary points of view, etc. are not necessarily valued the same way in larger organizations. Managing a small fast growing company demands a set of skills different from those that are necessary for success in large companies.

The field of social impact is a growing part of the entrepreneurial field as individuals and organizations seek to apply the rigor and discipline of traditional for-profit business management to non-profit organizations in the fields of poverty, healthcare and the environment. Many organizations seek to combine the best of both worlds. Social ventures such as Greyston Bakery, a for-profit commercial bakery selling products to manufacturers such as Ben & Jerry’s and Haagen Dazs is owned by a foundation. And of course there is 2006 Nobel Peace Prize winner Muhammed Yunis, founder of the Grameen Movement offering micro-finance loans as a tool for combating poverty.

During this seminar we will examine and discuss the general topics covered in entrepreneurship courses, beginning with writing a business plan.

Topics will include:

  1. Venture idea
  2. Sources of capital (financing) for start-up ventures
  3. Designing the business model
  4. Optimal organizational structures
  5. Identifying target markets and populations
  6. Developing a communication plan

Creating and managing social ventures presents additional challenges. Since social impact is a growing area within the entrepreneurial sphere, we will spend time examining differences compared to traditional profit driven businesses. This seminar will be a highly interactive program combining lectures, discussions, case studies and guest speakers. The only requirements for the participants are a willingness to think and participate. A sense of humor would also be greatly appreciated.


Jeffrey A. Carr is a Clinical Associate Professor of Marketing and Entrepreneurship and the Executive Director of the Berkley Center of Entrepreneurial Studies at the Stern School of Business, New York University where he teaches Strategic Marketing, Marketing Management and Business Planning in the M.B.A. and Executive M.B.A. programs. Professor Carr is also an entrepreneur and marketing consultant with clients including Booz Allen Hamilton, IBM, General Electric, Pfizer, Kodak, Time Inc., and Unilever, among others. For each of the last 12 years, he has also been involved in a United Nations sponsored program to help developing countries create more effective budgeting strategies and implementation plans for their healthcare initiatives.

The Program

This seminar will explore the black experience in Harlem through some of its major historic landmarks and institutions. Although Blacks have lived in Harlem since the 18th Century and occupied blocks and tenements in the late 19th Century, it is the turn of the 20th Century that marks the beginning of a large-scale movement to Harlem of African Americans, who sought safety in critical masses within protected enclaves and who helped to create what became the Black nerve center of the nation. As part of that process Blacks occupied, refashioned, and built their own edifices and institutions.

Through examination, representation, and exploration of physical structures both extant and extinct--which include churches such as Abyssinian Baptist, St. Mark’s AME, and St. Phillips Episcopal; the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture; the Studio Museum of Harlem; the Lorraine Hotel; Harlem Hospital; the Lafayette and Alhambra Theaters; the 369th Armory; the Dunbar Houses; clubs such as Small’s Paradise and the Cotton Club; and even famous streets and corners as sites of vibrant civic and political life—the seminar will attempt to vivify Harlem’s social, cultural, and political past in relation to its ever changing present and its prospects for the future.

This seminar will include historical, literary, and sociological readings; expert presentations, hands-on exposure to key sites, audio and visual representations, and informed discussions. The seminar will coincide with the 18-month celebration for the 200th anniversary of the Abyssinian Baptist Church, and there is a possibility that we will spend part of the seminar participating in the festivities.


Jeffrey Sammons is Professor of History at New York University. He holds the Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina. Sammons, whose major interests include U.S. social and cultural history with an emphasis on the intersection of race and sport, is the author of Beyond the Ring: The Rise of Boxing in American Society and has published numerous journal articles. He also has served as a consultant to various film and museum projects and was historical adviser to HBO's "The Journey of the African-American Athlete."

The Program

Few would argue with the premise that food has taken on new importance in the United States in recent years. Experts declare the United States a "toxic food environment" and, taking cues from battles over smoking, seek to establish a "fat tax" on high-calorie, non-nutritious foods. Public health crises abound as toxic substances in processed meat and organic spinach cause sickness and even death. Many are wringing their hands over what they see as the extinction of family meals and the disappearance of home cooking. As Wal-Mart begins to stock organic foods, Whole Foods--that bastion of virtuous food procurement--counters criticism by offering more local, seasonal items. Add to the mix the boom in culinary tourism--restaurants, food television, books, magazines, cooking classes, artisanal products, and the search for "authentic" cuisine of every sort--and the result is a surfeit of interest and anxiety about food.

The current interest in food has historical roots that reach back centuries. Yet in the last 30 years or so in the United States, we've witnessed an emerging food "revolution" that has attempted to counter (or at least circumvent) the worst aspects of the industrialization of food. This seminar will explore the American landscape of food in all its broad socio-cultural, historical, and environmental, and health contexts. Topics will include: the industrialization of food and the resulting emphasis on sustainable agriculture, the so-called “American food revolution” in restaurants and markets, globalization of the food supply, and the related socio-cultural meanings and uses of food. Possible readings include Warren Belasco’s Meals to Come: A History of the Future of Food, Michael Pollan’s The Omnivore’s Dilemma, and Marion Nestle’s Food Politics. There will be at least one field trip.


Amy Bentley is Associate Professor in the Department of Nutrition, Food Studies and Public Health at New York University. A historian with interests in the social, historical, and cultural contexts of food, she is the author of Eating for Victory: Food Rationing and the Politics of Domesticity (University of Illinois, 1998), as well as several articles on such diverse topics as the politics of southwestern cuisine, a historiography of food riots, and the cultural implications of the Atkins diet. She is currently working on a cultural history of baby food.

The Program

Libraries have long recognized the value of collecting operational data as a way of measuring and justifying library performance. However, during the past decade the focus of library assessment has shifted from internal measurements to examining the value of libraries to the communities they support. A number of new assessment tools, such as LibQUAL+®, have been developed to measure customer satisfaction and the contribution of libraries to faculty and student success. Regional and professional accreditation agencies now stress outcomes-based assessments rather than input measures. This seminar will review practical approaches to library assessment that can be applied successfully in various settings and organizational structures. Examples will show how libraries have demonstrated and documented the value they add to their communities.

The seminar will cover such topics as:

    • introduction to library assessment, performance quality and outcome measures

    • asking the right questions, prioritizing assessment needs, choosing appropriate methods

    • review of assessment methods available (including LibQUAL+®)

    • user needs assessment

    • understanding data (even for the numerically challenged!)

    • developing performance and outcome measures

    • the Balanced Scorecard in the library environment

    • understanding and presenting assessment information

    • using assessment information to make libraries better

    • building practical and sustainable assessment in your library

Seminar participants will learn how to apply these methods in critical areas such as information literacy outcomes and support for faculty and graduate student research.  They will have the opportunity to develop and discuss assessment plans for their own libraries. They will also discover that library assessment can be fun.


Steve Hiller is Director of Assessment and Planning, University of Washington Libraries.

Jim Self is Director of Management Information Services, University of Virginia Library.

Jim and Steve have been actively involved in library assessment and management information for more than 15 years and have published and presented widely on a wide range of assessment-related topics. Under Jim’s direction, the University of Virginia Library has become the foremost practitioner of the Balanced Scorecard in libraries while the University of Washington Libraries is well known for its work in user needs assessment. Both their libraries have received the ACRL Excellence in Libraries award, in part due to their successful assessment programs.

Since 2004, Jim and Steve also serve as Visiting Program Officers for the Association of Research Libraries. They work on a number of assessment efforts, including the “Effective, Sustainable and Practical Library Assessment” service which helps libraries develop their assessment programs. As part of this service (and its predecessor “Making Library Assessment Work”) they have visited and evaluated assessment activities and needs at more than 30 academic libraries. They were also co-chairs of 2006 Library Assessment Conference in Charlottesville, Virginia and play the same role for the 2008 Library Assessment Conference which will be held August 4-7 in Seattle, Washington.

The Program

War was part of daily life, an ever-present reality, in all ancient civilizations. Upon closer examination, “peaceable kingdoms,” although often postulated, always proved illusionary. Hence all ancient societies were forced to cope with the impact of war. Did they also try to prevent war or preserve peace? By what means did they try to do this? How did they restore peace once war had broken out? Did they think consciously and in open discourse about war and peace? Were there theories or philosophies of peace?

For example, in ancient Greece, Homer’s Iliad begins with a disastrous quarrel between Agamemnon, “generalissimo” of the Greeks before Troy, and Achilles, his greatest warrior. The community (here represented by the Greek army), lacking laws, formalized public institutions, and a developed political culture that would enable it to control even its strongest members, is limited to persuasion, but where a leader’s honor and status are involved, persuasion is ineffective. Although this concerns a community’s internal sphere, it also illuminates a crucial problem in Greek interstate relations. How could arbitration between two powerful states succeed if there was no generally recognized superior agency, and if the prevailing political culture did not encourage peaceful conflict resolution? (This issue has obvious relevance for our own time as well.) Earlier, for various reasons, arbitration was possible and often effective but by the mid-fifth century the Greek world was polarized between two power blocs potentially competing for predominance over the entire Greek world (a constellation often compared with the Cold War). This is one of the problems Thucydides analyzes in discussing the outbreak and course of the Peloponnesian War between Sparta and Athens in the late fifth century BCE. But Thucydides goes much farther. The issue of war and peace is of great concern to him throughout, and he consistently pursues questions like: why can war not be avoided or settled even if the instruments to do so exist? What factors propel a community towards war, despite the hardships and losses involved? Nor was Thucydides alone. Athenian citizens attended Euripides’ and Aristophanes’ plays that criticized the brutality of war and emphasized the desirability of peace. Herodotus offers penetrating analyses of the dangers inherent in uncontrolled imperialism and lets a Persian general bluntly criticize the Greek ways of war and their failure to settle disputes by nonviolent means. Already the Iliad expresses an intense awareness of the cruelty of war and concern for issues of peace and just war, and the seventh-century poet Hesiod considers peace one of the most essential communal values.

The Greeks thus developed an intensive and public discourse on peace. Given that in their world was frequent throughout and became endemic and excessively brutal in the fifth century, this seems hardly surprising. It is, though, if we consider what we know of concerns about peace in other ancient or early societies, from China to Mesoamerican, in which war was no less pervasive, its consequences for the defeated no less cruel. Efforts to avoid war and to consolidate victory, control, and in this sense peace were certainly not lacking. But with the possible exception of China at the time Confucius, India, and to some extent Rome, we do not find anywhere an explicit, varied, and critical discourse on peace on a level that is comparable to that produced in classical Greece.

The seminar will be devoted to studying the quest for peace in the ancient world and beyond. About half the sessions will focus on the Greek and Roman discourse on peace. In the remainder, guided by knowledgeable experts, we will look in some detail at early China (and possibly India), discuss peace efforts in other ancient societies, and pursue the quest for peace into the modern world. Here, we will study the unparalleled example of the Iroquois Peace League that maintained peace among six Indian nations for over 300 years, and discuss 20th Century efforts to control war and maintain peace.

Readings will include Homer’s Iliad, Thucydides’ History of the Peloponnesian War, Aristophanes’ Lysistrata, a wide range of collected sources from the Greco-Roman world, and K. Raaflaub (ed.), War and Peace in the Ancient World (2007). Invited speakers might include Robin Yates (McGill University), a specialist in early Chinese peace efforts; Neta Crawford (Boston University), an anthropologist who has written on the Iroquois Peace League and focused on recent peace efforts, and Terry Hopmann (Brown University), a political scientist and specialist on war and peace in the current world.


Kurt A. Raaflaub received his Ph.D. at the University of Basel in Switzerland. He taught at the Free University of Berlin, Germany, at the height of the Cold War before coming to Brown University in 1978. He is currently Professor of Classics and History as well as Director of the Program in Ancient Studies. His main interests cover the social, political, and intellectual history of archaic and classical Greece and the Roman republic, and the comparative history of the ancient world. Recent (co-) authored or (co-) edited books include Democracy, Empire, and the Arts in Fifth-Century Athens (1998); War and Society in the Ancient and Medieval Worlds (1999); The Discovery of Freedom in Ancient Greece (2004); Social Struggles in Archaic Rome (2nd ed. 2005); Origins of Democracy in Ancient Greece (2007), and War and Peace in the Ancient World (2007). He has taught Network Summer seminars in 2006 ("Conditions for Democracy: From Ancient Mesopotamia to Modern Iraq") and 2007 ("The Origins of Political Values in Ancient Greece and Their Continuation into Modern Political Thought").

The Program

The Russian writer Ivan Turgenev wrote (in Fathers and Sons in 1862), "A picture shows me at a glance what it takes dozens of pages of a book to expound." Learning to tell a story through a series of images excites creative thinking, adds new points of view, and deepens learning on a topic.

Using visual storytelling in the classroom, whether fiction or nonfiction, for humanities or history, can teach students an effectiveness of creative and critical thinking that is important to their academic and professional careers. The depth of understanding that is achieved when using images to tell a story, or explain an idea, or describe a thought, helps students gain confidence in their creative thinking process, leading them to have more trust in their own critical thinking skills.

Planning a visual story by working in a group, whether it be a film, video, or still photo story sequence, fosters many skills. Working together creatively necessitates being open to collaboration on a personal level. In planning out and implementing the many details of a production, they must be organized and rely on each other to be responsive and responsible colleagues. Developing creative ideas together and working toward constructive and supportive critique fosters a mature collegiality, an important skill that translates to any career.

This seminar is designed to introduce participants to techniques and theory of visual language and narrative structure in a way that will be useful to them as teachers in their own expertise. The workshop will begin by focusing on viewing and discussing examples of visual storytelling through short films and feature film clips. Participants will then workshop the practical and aesthetic elements of visual storytelling production and relevant filmmaking techniques by using digital and disposable still photo cameras. From creative story idea development through the practical steps of filmmaking (script, shotlist, shooting schedule, and editing), all elements will be presented as workshop exercises in order to develop or enhance the participants’ curriculum.


Rosanne Limoncelli is the Director of Production for Film and New Media at the Kanbar Institute, Tisch School of the Arts, New York University. She received her BFA from the Department of Film & TV at Tisch and her PhD in Teaching Reading, Writing, and Media from NYU’s Steinhardt School of Education. Dr. Limoncelli has been teaching writing and filmmaking to students and professors since 1989, and has served as a consultant in the area of teacher education to high schools, colleges and universities.

The Program

Nearly forty years ago, the first women’s studies program was established in the U.S., and there is a growing body of scholarship about its evolution. Over the past few decades, the interdisciplinary field of Women’s Studies as an intellectual and political project has gained visibility and importance  around the world and impacted higher education in profound ways. Feminists everywhere have variously and successfully transformed lives, communities, and institutions.  Nevertheless, questions of social and economic justice, identity and self-determination, psychic and social decolonization, and solidarity and alliance-building across class, race, ethnicity, sexual and national borders, remain at the heart of feminist work.

This seminar explores interdisciplinary theoretical frameworks for addressing these issues within the context of Women’s Studies.  Specifically, the seminar provides historical, critical, and epistemological perspectives on the development of women’s studies, feminist practice, and its connections to multiple social movements in Asia, Africa, Latin America, the Caribbean, Europe, and the U.S.A. It will be organized thematically and deal with topics such as the global and transnational within comparative feminist studies; global Black feminisms and their impact on women’s studies, feminist theory, and post-colonial discourse; transnational feminist visual cultures; and the politics and pedagogy of comparative women’s studies.

In addition to print sources and selected course syllabi, films will be included that illuminate the themes of the seminar, especially women and globalization. A site visit to UNIFEM will occur. Guest lecturers will include Leslie Hill (U.S.A.) and Gail Lewis (UK). In addition to journal articles and other hand-outs, two texts, Peterson and Runyan’s Global Gender Issues (1999) and Aguilar and Lacsamana’s Women and Globalization (2004) will provide an important context for seminar discussions.


Beverly Guy-Sheftall is founding director of the Women's Research & Resource Center and Anna Julia Cooper Professor of Women's Studies at Spelman College. She also teaches courses on African American feminist thought and global black feminisms in the doctoral program in women's studies at Emory University. Her most recent book is Gender Talk: The Struggle for Women's Equality in African American Communities (with Johnnetta Betsch Cole).

Chandra Talpade Mohanty is Professor of Women’s Studies and Dean’s Professor of the Humanities at Syracuse University.  Her work focuses on transnational feminist theory, cultural studies, and anti-racist education, and has been translated into German, Dutch, French, Italian, Spanish, Chinese, Russian, Swedish, Thai, Korean, Slovenian, and Japanese. She is author of Feminism Without Borders: Decolonizing Theory, Practicing Solidarity (Duke University Press, 2003 and Zubaan Books, India, 2004; translated into Korean, 2005, and Swedish, 2007), and co-editor of Third World Women and the Politics of Feminism (Indiana University Press, 1991), and Feminist Genealogies, Colonial Legacies, Democratic Futures (Routledge, 1997). Ms. Mohanty has worked with three grassroots community organizations, Grassroots Leadership of North Carolina, Center for Immigrant Families in New York City, and Awareness, Orissa, India, and has been a consultant/evaluator for AAC&U and the Ford Foundation. She is series editor of “Comparative Feminist Studies” for Palgrave/Macmillan. Her current projects include a book with Minnie Bruce Pratt, At Home in the Struggle, a co-edited anthology, Feminism and War, and the Sage Handbook on Identities (co-edited with Margaret Wetherell).