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Women Behind the Lens: Female Photographers in Memoir, Fiction, and Documentary Film
This class explores the creative lives of female photographers in the U.S. over the past century.
Drawing on memoirs, documentary films, biographies, and photographs, we will analyze the life narratives and visual records of, “women behind the lens.” What opportunities and obstacles did they face in their pursuit of artistic achievement? How did economic, social, and cultural forces shape their visions and styles? How did they combine professional ambitions with romance, friendship, motherhood, and other obligations? What risks did they take in order to break new ground with camera in hand?
While focusing on their biographical stories, we will also explore questions such as: What are the differences between art photography, documentary photography, and photojournalism? Why do some images become iconic while others generate controversy or public disparagement? For photographers who have passed away, what are the ethical responsibilities of the individuals and institutions entrusted with their artistic estates? Class sessions may include short lectures, brief slide shows, and video clips, but most class time will be devoted to discussion.
This is not a class on the aesthetics or theory of photography. Nor is it a survey of canonical artists or images. Rather, we will focus on how stories about female photographers have been presented (or self-represented), and how we can understand the contributions they made to our country’s visual and social history.
Assigned readings include: Sally Mann, Hold Still: A Memoir; Lynsey Addario, It’s What I Do: A Memoir; selections from Pamela Bannos, Vivian Maier: A Photographer’s Life and Afterlife; and several articles and websites to be distributed in class. Students may choose to read the optional biography Dorothea Lange: A Life Beyond Limits by Linda Gordon.
Three documentary films will be viewed at home before the designated class session. Films can be accessed through amazon prime, which is highly recommended to participate in this class.
*Before the first class session, please view the film Grab a Hunk of Lightning about photographer Dorothea Lange (Dyanna Taylor, director.) Additional films include Finding Vivian Maier (John Maloof, director) and Her Aim Is True (Karen Whitehead, director) about rock & roll photographer Jini Dellachio.
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This class isn't on the schedule at the moment, but save it to your Wish List to find out when it comes back!
92nd Street Y is a world-class cultural and community center where people all over the world connect through culture, arts, entertainment and conversation. For over 140 years, we have harnessed the power of arts and ideas to enrich, enlighten and change lives, and the power of community to repair the...
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A survey of the causes of, and cultural and artistic reactions to, the pandemic that struck the world in the 14th century: the Black Death. We'll provide context and comparison for our current experience of COVID-19. The course will showcase art and contemporary documents that help communicate the thoughts and practices of medieval people who endured...
Saturday Apr 11th, 6pm - 7pm
Did you hear about bidets on Saturday Night Live once, but aren't entirely sure what they are? You're not alone. Bidets are not a recent phenomenon in the world, but the US has been reluctant to adopt them. A lot of people think they're gross. Others aren't entirely sure what's the point of using a bidet. This class aims to change your mind. ...
Thursday Apr 9th, 6pm - 7:30pm
But How Are We Going To Pay For it? Modern Monetary Theory and the Public Purse Amidst panic over our preparedness in response to public health crises such as Covid-19, private debt accumulation, and the urgency of the climate emergency, our nation faces pressing questions about the role of policy and government in the 21st century. The Green New...
Friday Apr 10th, 7pm - 8:15pm
Racial Capitalism: Race, Class, and the Black Radical Tradition “Racial capitalism” is a concept that has become central to contemporary radical movements, from Black Lives Matter to the prison abolition movement to movements against state violence and for climate justice. The concept was first developed by Cedric Robinson in his monumental Black...
Sunday Apr 12th, 3pm - 6pm(4 sessions)
at Think Olio
The Great Depression and the New Deal: A Two-Part Olio Series The Great Depression and New Deal fundamentally altered our relationship with our government and redefined how Americans conceive of the word freedom. Crisis often breeds great change. It’s an important story. And a complicated one. Taken together, the Great Depression and the New Deal...
Sunday Apr 12th, 7pm - 8:30pm(2 sessions)
What is the meaning of being? Martin Heidegger, one of the most influential thinkers of the 20th century, believed that this central question of ontology had been abandoned, even forgotten, by philosophy. Heidegger devoted his entire intellectual life to attempting to answer it. His earliest attempt takes the form of what he calls a “fundamental...
Monday Apr 13th, 6:30pm - 9:30pm(4 sessions)
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Wednesday Apr 29th, 7:30pm - 9pm
What does civic engagement look like at a time when media is derided, the political process is becoming less transparent, and judges are playing crucial roles in reshaping long-standing laws? In anticipation of Primary Day in New York on April 28th, join us to hear about the prospects for democracy in the era of fake news, obstructions of justice,...
Thursday Apr 16th, 6:45pm - 9pm
In this long-running monthly show, two short, entrancing science lectures inspire sets of hilarious, never-to-be-seen-again improv comedy. Featuring veteran improv team Thank You, Robot, whose members’ credits include Veep, This American Life, The Onion, SNL Weekend Update and more. Plus a different special guest team every month, and lectures curated...
Saturday May 2nd, 9pm - 11pm
You're invited to brunchwork at home with Peloton Director of Global Insights & Brand Strategy Lillian Smith. Our virtual experience is intimate, interactive, and includes curated breakout sessions around a group business activity. Practice pitching & get feedback on your ideas.
Sunday Apr 19th, 11:30am - 2pm
at Think Olio
In this workshop, we will not only write and revise our own poems, but we will examine our relationship to poetry, discover new places to find it, and figure out ways it can provide solace in these strange and trying times. Objective: What is poetry? How does it relate to the ever-changing world around us and how do we experience it as individuals...
Monday Apr 20th, 7:30pm - 9:30pm
In the wake of the climate emergency and the consequences, our planet faces if we do not take immediate action, eliminating waste is crucial. By reducing our consumption and diverting trash from landfills, humans can ultimately lower their impact on the planet. By following the waste hierarchy (reduce, reuse, recycle, refuse) consumers can implement...
Wednesday Apr 22nd, 6:55pm - 8:45pm
You're invited to brunchwork at home with Foursquare Co-Founder/Executive Chairman Dennis Crowley. Our virtual experience is intimate, interactive, and includes curated breakout sessions around a group business activity. Practice pitching & get feedback on your ideas.
Saturday Apr 25th, 9:30am - 11:30am
Elections are complicated and complex and make us both excited and stressed out. Lucky for us, political scientists have been studying pretty much every aspect of how they work for a long time. In this series, you’ll learn the biggest ideas and most important concepts that actually help us better understand the madness. You’ll learn things...
Monday Apr 27th, 6:30pm - 8:30pm
Rem Koolhaas has organized this incredibly unique exhibition focusing on innovations happening in the countryside, which makes up 98% of the earth’s surface. Together we’ll discuss issues like migration, climate change, and evolution. This is the first time the Guggenheim has undertaken such an interdisciplinary exhibition, which is more...
Tuesday Apr 28th, 6pm - 7:45pm
What will New York City look like in the coming decades? Will it diversify more, become less white and more Hispanic and Black, and draw more immigrants from Central America, South Asia, and West Africa? Will the city become still denser, and will inequities and income disparities persist? Educators, planners, artists and civic leaders discuss...
Wednesday Apr 29th, 6:30pm - 8:30pm
To celebrate the Kentucky Derby, this month's MSG is dedicated to that all-American spirit: bourbon! During this all-out celebration of bourbon (and its friends whiskey, whisky, and scotch), Sarah will cover the Whiskey Rebellion and Brooklyn's Whiskey Wars — two alcohol fueled feuds where the little guys took on big government. Then, she'll explore...
Wednesday Apr 29th, 6:30pm - 8:30pm
How are the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals shaping the impact of governments, businesses, and nonprofits? Five years into the ambitious goals, organizations across all sectors are grappling with how to motivate their workers and supporters around the objectives. Learn from our expert panelists what initiatives have been the most successful...
Wednesday Apr 29th, 7pm - 8:30pm
Remember when stars were bigger than life? When names like Astaire, Kelly, Ball, Hope, Cagney, and Peck virtually assured the best in entertainment excellence? This course will focus on the Golden Age of Hollywood and the heyday of the studio system, from about 1920-1960. In each session participants will re-examine the brilliance and work of dozens...
Tuesday May 5th, 10:30am - 12pm
The Use of Psychedelics for the Treatment of End-of-Life Existential Distress This presentation reviews the history and findings from psychedelic research on the relief of psychological and existential distress associated with a life-threatening illness or at the end of life. The 2016 NYU School of Medicine clinical trial demonstrated the efficacy...
Friday May 8th, 7:30pm - 9:30pm
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