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Network Winter 2015

The application deadline for Network Winter 2015 is Friday, October 3, 2014.

Network Winter 2015 will be held from
Monday, January 12 to Friday, January 16, 2015
in Athens, Greece.

For the first time ever, the majority of the world's population lives in cities. This number will increase to 7 out of 10 people by 2050, resulting in a global urban population of 6.4 billion. The demographic shift towards increased urbanization will have profound impacts on economies, societies, cultures, and environments.

Given this outlook, we are focusing on the theme The City for our Network Winter 2015 program, through three seminars that will explore cities from various scholarly perspectives and also will highlight the use of urban locations as a rich learning environment.

The following seminars will be offered:

The City in Contemporary World Literature
The City as Teaching Canvas
The City and the Environment


To access FAQs for the Network Winter program, please click here.


About the Seminar

Urban experience helped define the form of the novel -- especially the European novel and its inheritors in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Cities produced experiences of migration, cultural interaction, language, spectatorship, consumption, class exploitation and aspiration, self-invention and self-destruction, that tested, transformed, and were informed by novels' attempts to represent, capture, or test our definitions of reality. What is the place of the city, then, in the literature of the twenty-first century, particularly when migration happens not just from countryside to city (one of the dominant tropes in nineteenth-century fiction) but from one global city to another? Does globalization threaten to end the distinctiveness of the world's great cities and reduce urban experience to a common set of consumer experiences? Or are cities still primary sites of what Anthony Appiah calls cosmopolitan contamination? Can novels, like cities, be read as repositories of historical knowledge about urban experience? In this seminar we will address such questions as we read contemporary fiction and non-fiction from and/or set in a range of cities -- Beirut, Karachi, London, Cairo, Brussels, New York, Shanghai, Athens -- in order to examine the city's place in literature of our own time and to think about the state of what has been alternately referred to as "world" or "global" literature.

About the Convener

Bryan Waterman has taught American literature and culture at NYU since 2001 and has taught world literature at NYU Abu Dhabi since 2012. His research ranges from the seduction novel in the Revolutionary Atlantic world to the formation of punk rock on New York City's Lower East Side in the 1970s. He is currently at work on a project titled "New York in the Age of Warhol," which focuses on interrelations among underground arts scenes and subsequent transformations in the commercial art world from 1962 to 1987.


About the Seminar

In our globalized economy and with new ways of thinking about the spaces for learning, we often hear of the world or the city as a classroom or canvas. Rather then the space of the traditional classroom or assessment through the research essay, faculty are being encouraged to consider new spaces within which to engage with learning and new ways of demonstrating what has been learned. This seminar focuses faculty-as-students in an experiential engagement with the city as both a real and a virtual teaching canvas and learning laboratory. It aims to bridge the chasm between texts, physical spaces and virtual representations through experimentation with digital tools and differing types of academic engagement with the built/lived environment. It will explore physical, virtual and cognitive spaces that can help faculty build and exploit digital tool-kits, utilize the physical space of the city as a classroom and begin investigating resources for using their own home cities and built spaces as classrooms.

The seminar will use Athens as the 'laboratory' in which to explore this type of active and interdisciplinary learning. It is a city that is both ancient and modern; the subject of books of history, travel, poetry and more; and a city that has inspired the political and artistic ideals of Western civilization and which has recently remade itself to host an Olympic games. The exercises, lectures and discussions over the course of the week will help faculty members grapple with the ways that different kinds of source materials provide different perspectives on a particular place.

Physical exploration of the city through hands-on exercises will give participants an understanding of how to move around and experience on-site learning, along with a consideration of how this differs from time in a classroom. While exploring, we will utilize different examples of maps and texts to compare ancient and modern, landscapes to built-scapes. Afternoons will be spent experimenting with and evaluating tools related to archival exploration, spatial analysis and digital visualization. Participants will return home with practical experience in a variety of digital tools. Finally, woven into the week will be discussions as to how faculty participants can incorporate this type of experiential learning into their 'home' spaces.

Readings for this seminar will include: Akerman, J. R.. et. al, Maps: Finding Our Place in the World; Camp, J., The Archaeology of Athens; Joint Association of Classical Teachers, The World of Athens: An Introduction to Classical Athenian culture; Miller, H., The Colossus of Maroussi; and Pausanias, Guide to Greece: Central Greece. We will also read selections from early travellers to and travel writing about Greece such as Jacob Spon, George Wheler, Richard Chandler, early Bedaekers, amongst others.

About the Conveners

Jordana Dym is Associate Professor of History at Skidmore College. Her teaching interests include history & travel, the history of cartography, and public history. Her publications include From Sovereign Villages to National States: City, State and Federation in Central America, 1759-1839 (2006), an exhibit catalog, Declarando Independencias (Archivo General de la Naciůn, Mexico, 2010), and four edited volumes, including Mapping Latin America: A Cartographic Reader (with K. Offen, 2011). She is also a recipient of several major research grants, including from the NEH (2003-2004) and John Carter Brown Library (2012). She is currently a Humanities Writ Large Fellow at Duke University (2013-2014), where she is working on The World Displayed: Western Travelers' Cartography, 1450-1930.

Elizabeth Langridge-Noti is Professor of Archaeology, Ancient History and Classical Studies at The American College of Greece. Her teaching interests include archaeology, Greek pottery and mythology, Sparta and ancient Laconia, and on-site and collaborative teaching. She has taught on-site in Athens and Greece for many years, including leading the summer programs for the American School of Classical Studies (2013) and the British School at Athens. She recently held a Humanities Writ Large grant from Duke University (2013-14), which resulted in cross-ocean collaborations between faculty members and students. She has curated displays at the American School of Classical Studies and recent publications include: "Consuming Iconographies," in Pottery's Markets in the Ancient Greek World (8th - 1st c. B.C.).


The City and the Environment
About the Seminar

In 2010 more than half of the almost 7 billion people on earth lived in urban areas. By 2050 it is estimated that the urban population will rise to 70% of the global total with approximately 10% in megacities (a metropolitan area with a population of more than 10 million). This situation makes it ever more important to understand environmental science in the context of urban environments. This class will focus on two key questions about the urban environment:

  1. How is the environment in a city different or similar to the surrounding rural areas?
  2. What are the local and global environmental impacts of increasing urban development?

Specifically, we will discuss the importance of green spaces in cities, the urban heat island effect and urban air quality. We will also explore the energy efficiencies of cities, waste disposal, water resources and feeding urban populations. All of these topics will be explored through readings from the key literature. Additionally, participants will have an opportunity to gain hands on experience with Geographic Information System (GIS) technology. Participants will use Android tablets for data collection, and perform data analysis using a suite of Google Tools including their latest remote sensing platform. Each participant will be encouraged to develop resources about their home cities that can be used to engage students about their local environments.

This seminar is suitable for faculty members with specialties in biology, ecology, environmental science, and urban studies. No prior knowledge of urban ecology or remote sensing is expected.

About the Convener

Mary Killelea is Clinical Associate Professor of Biology and Environmental Studies at NYU. She received her PhD in Environmental Information Science from Cornell University where she studied remote sensing and carbon modeling of northeastern hardwood forests. Prior to coming to NYU, she was a post-doctoral research associate at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies in Millbrook, NY where she developed her current research on the ecology of tick-borne diseases. She continues her research as a visiting scientist at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies. She also teaches a broad range of Environmental Science and Biology courses at NYU (i.e. Biogeochemistry of Global Change, Biostatistics, Environmental System Science, Ecological Analysis with GIS, Epidemiology, and Where the City Meets the Sea).