For the NYU News team, this was the year we stood in the heat to hear Pharrell speak at commencement and in the cold with brand new Chief Diversity Officer Lisa Coleman to urge people to take the Being@NYU Assessment. We watched a provocative educational theater experiment in gender-swapped presidential debates go viral, quizzed faculty couples about who hogs the bookshelf, and gave professors a platform to make the case for attending their office hours (free espresso, anyone?). After another busy 365 days of chatting with rising stars on the verge of big breaks and asking top experts some very elementary questions, we can't wait to see what weird and wonderful NYU stories 2018 will bring. But before we all sign off for winter recess, join us in taking a quick look back at some of our favorite articles and videos from the past 12 months.
As an indigenous artist, I think a lot about the museum proposing itself as a neutral space. It’s a white space—as in white walls, white people .I find that proposition of neutrality problematic. But at the same time, I find that working within those spaces of friction can be generative for me.
Immigrants from all over the world are a vital part of our academic community. Inspired by the January 29 letter from President Andrew Hamilton—himself an immigrant, former green card holder, and now a U.S. citizen—in the wake of executive orders curbing immigration from certain countries, we welcomed 19 NYU faculty, students, and staff who posed pose for a photo shoot celebrating the international diversity of a University united against xenophobia.
Part of the problem with GPS that seems to induce greater susceptibility to dementia is the passivity factor—just blindly following directions or the dots on the screen. Humans are navigational creatures. We colonized almost all of this planet in 50,000 years. Interacting with the environment—trying to figure out where you are and what dangers there might be—is an incredibly complex process, and I think it’s fundamental to our humanity. When you just take instructions, you're not using that part of your identity at all, and it’s a really important part.
So much traditional advice about achieving the American Dream—years of steady work rewarded with enough savings for children’s college tuition and a comfortable retirement—emphasizes discipline and personal responsibility. And when we think about poverty, we tend to picture the chronically unemployed inhabitants of crumbling urban centers or isolated rural communities. But what about folks with jobs and homes in stable neighborhoods, who work hard and try to save but never seem to have enough cash when they need it?
Anybody who has studied Nixon carefully has an unusual understanding of how presidents can misuse their power. That puts us on guard.
There's something about summer that makes it a time ripe for reflection—an opportunity to slow down and explore new ideas or try on different points of view. In that spirit, and in continuation of the University's ongoing conversations about equity, diversity, and inclusion, the NYU News team asked various campus leaders to share their recommendations for beloved books, movies, music, and other media that explore the histories and perspectives of marginalized groups—or point a way forward toward a more equitable society.
Most of the members of the class of 2021 were born in or around 1999, when the tech world was bracing for a computer-induced apocalypse called Y2K. As it turned out, civilization didn't grind to a halt with the hotly anticipated digital rollover to the year 2000—planes didn't crash; elevators didn't stall—and, far from being plunged into a dark age, we instead barreled merrily into the millennium that would bring such technological marvels as Twitter and Candy Crush.
There are, no doubt, many devoted fans who’ve hummed along with Hamilton enough to boast that they know every line in every song. But chances are that they’ll never have to prove it. Steinhardt assistant professor Ana Flavia Zuim, however, has found herself in the unusual position of having to do that and more—not in some stage fright–inducing nightmare, but for her actual job as one of the show’s rehearsal pianists.
Whereas in the past the term “addiction” was reserved for those struggling with substance abuse, NYU professor Adam Alter expands the definition, arguing that many digital experiences are engineered to create psychological effects similar to those of drugs—and can be seriously detrimental to our well-being over time. Between online shopping, Snapchat, Netflix, email, and the ever-present Candy Crush, such temptations are everywhere, with a whopping 41 percent of us harboring at least one behavioral addiction and the average smartphone user spending three hours a day on the device, studies show. And because it’s viewed as normal (if not essential!) to carry the internet with us wherever we go—the average office email is opened within a mere six seconds of being sent—quitting cold turkey is rarely an option.
Whether concerned about their own issues or those of loved ones, members of the NYU community can receive free, confidential advice and representation from the Immigrant Defense Initiative at NYU Law by contacting 212-998-6640 or email@example.com.