Co-curricular programs give students the opportunity to engage in academic conversations outside of the classroom. These programs may complement your academic inquiries, or may expose you to a topic or issue outside of your studies. Co-curricular programs often involve Gallatin Faculty members, alumni and outside community members.
Affinity Groups are organized around interdisciplinary themes and meant to be primarily social in nature, building communities within and beyond Gallatin by meeting regularly throughout the academic year to discuss pressing issues, host speakers, and visit relevant organizations, museums, parks, or community spaces throughout New York City (in small groups and following NYU health and safety protocols). Students must enroll in affinity groups and they appear on student transcripts as a zero-credit notation and are assigned a grade of Pass/Fail. Groups are open to all Gallatin undergraduate students and led by Gallatin graduate students. Students may find current groups titles and descriptions on Albert under COCUR-UG. To learn more or receive a permission code for enrollment, email email@example.com
Fall 2021 Groups include:
Music, Marketing, & Media
This affinity group thinks about and engages with music, its business and marketing industries, and the various media platforms it relies upon. Students will bring their own interests and shape the direction of the group, but initial questions may include: Why is TikTok currently one of the largest topics of conversation in the music industry? How are artists emerging out of the pandemic and showing the value of their work? What do the big-name record labels, streaming services, and social media platforms have the ability to do differently with content strategy than smaller, independent arts and entertainment organizations? What even is content strategy? Students will work collectively to discover marketing tactics that have driven their own consumer behavior and question the cultural benefit and effects of those tactics in practice. Throughout the semester, we will watch music videos, documentaries, and social media, while also engaging with music, its histories, and communities in New York City. Possible outings include: The Green at Lincoln Center, The Fotografiska Museum, and one of the many immersive media experiences in the city.
New York City: Cultures, Histories, and Geographies
As observers of contemporary life, we have a responsibility to explore and investigate the places we inhabit. In this affinity group, students will participate in a collective engagement with NYC at large — discovering the city’s complex history on the subjects of race, social inequality, sexuality, art, and design — through its cultures and neighborhoods. How do we as individuals move through and inhabit spaces? Who (or what) shapes the narrative of a place and people? We will visit cultural landmarks like the Stonewall Inn, and consider how activism yielded a bounty of creative influence: David Wojnarowicz, James Baldwin, and Marsha P. Johnson. Students will tour the M’Finda Kalunga Garden, and ask how sites transition and change, from being a territory of the Lenape, an African-American burial ground, and most recently, a community park. Activities may include the Tenement Museum and Film Forum. Lastly, students will connect with guest speakers, and ask questions related to advocacy and the creative’s role within it.
Social Justice, Community, and Intersectionality
How might something as seemingly unpolitical as joyful play serve as a tool for social and political change? How can gardening be used to challenge land rights? Can biking be used to make a statement and if so, about what? This affinity group will explore the various ways people have organized for social and political change as well as how the intersection of our identities may influence our understanding of and mobilization around issues of social justice. While the focus of this group will be grappling with the different forms advocacy for change takes, we will also think about alternative modes of engagement that fall outside of the conventional understanding of “activism.” Finally, we will work collaboratively to plan outings throughout New York City, such as attending events, visiting historical landmarks, and starting our own initiatives in our own communities or those of interest to us. Possibilities include: Museum of the City of New York, Zucotti Park, Greenwich Village Waterfront, Seneca Village, and MoMA PS1.
The Performing Arts in Unconventional Spaces
After a hiatus of over a year due to COVID-19, live performances are officially returning to New York City, although they have existed in unconventional spaces prior to and throughout the pandemic. In this affinity group, we will consider how the performing arts exist in relation to space--the expected and conventional theaters and concert halls as well as the unexpected and unconventional spaces, such as a subway car, Little Island, Central Park, a church in Brooklyn, a converted industrial warehouse. In these moments, we will think about the traditional conventions of the performing arts, such as the dynamics between the audience and the stage, and how they may be subverted or reframed in contemporary artworks. Possible outings will include Ellen Reid’s Soundwalk through Central Park, seeing a performance at Little Island, and visiting venues such as Performance Space, among others. If students are interested, this semester will culminate in a devised performance piece of our own. Note: while this group meets at its scheduled time, students should be open to seeing performances outside the scheduled meeting time, likely to take place on the occasional weekend evening.
Art and Storytelling for our Future
In this affinity group, we explore the role of artists as storytellers and change-makers, questioning existing narratives and media, and creating our own. We examine how art and culture have historically marginalized people, what harmful narratives are perpetuated in culture today, and the power artists have to disrupt cycles by imagining a new future. Core questions may include: How can art change systemic issues such as patriarchy, capitalism, race, ableism, and our relationship with the Earth? What is the artist’s role in imagining and building a future in which we all can thrive? How can an artist effectively and ethically tell stories? What is cultural power and how can artists harness it? Through gallery visits, content browsing, guest speakers, and conversation, we consider how to dismantle interconnected, systemic issues through art. Finally, we reimagine what marginalized artists can call home—the safe spaces artists may build or use without the art being appropriated and/or commodified. In culmination, we will curate our own gallery show with these questions at heart. Possible outings include: Weeksville Heritage Center, NeueHouse, New Museum, Fotografiska, and more.
During the Fall 2021 and Spring 2022 semesters, Gallatin Student Life plans to continue hosting various small in-person gatherings, known as Gallatin
Meet-Ups, for Gallatin students and led by Gallatin students. These Meet-Ups abide by the COVID-19 health and safety protocols set forth by NYU Returns such as being cleared to be on campus and wearing a mask. We are offering Meet-Up opportunities most weekends and would love for Gallatin students to join us whenever they can! For an updated list, please refer to the Gallatin Meet-Ups RSVP Form where students can get information on upcoming gatherings as well as register for any they are interested in.
The Coffee House furnishes a space for Gallatin students, faculty, alumni and community members to discuss a charged topic in an unconventional, uncontrolled manner. Each coffee house features a panel comprised of faculty, students and alumni. Coffee houses happen at least twice a semester. Past topics have included UnNatural Diasters, Religious Freedom in America, and What is Art? We provide the coffee -- and you provide the conversation. If you have a topic you would like to be considered for a coffee house, please contact the Office of Student Life at firstname.lastname@example.org. (Please note that during the COVID Pandemic all Gallatin Coffee Houses are virtual)
Gallatin Student Life loves to hear from you! Have an idea for something you’d like to see? Please reach out to us. Past events and series have included interest group meetings, the dinealogue series, which features dining and conversation among students, faculty, and external guests on particular topics, and film series, among others. To get in contact with Student Life, please email email@example.com.