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NYU Accra Students Converse with Influential Ghanaian Music Artist

On Thursday, April 27, NYU Accra students had the opportunity to engage in a lively discussion via the NYU Accra Conversation Series. The topic for the event was “Inside out: Conversation with a Contemporary Ghanaian Musician.” The lead discussant was Reggie Rockstone, one of Ghana’s finest rap artists who is often referred to as the ‘Godfather of Ghanaian Hiplife’. He is believed to have pioneered the Hiplife Art form and has played an important role in the development of this uniquely African genre. He raps both in English and in Twi. Both Reggie and the students enjoyed the opportunity to connect and converse.

The Transformative Power of Art and Ideas – Exhibition Inauguration at NYU Florence

On April 26, NYU Florence will celebrate the opening of a new exhibition, The Transformative Power of Art and Ideas. The exhibition includes fresco portraits by Fabrizio Ruggiero and projects by NYU Florence students: Angy Aguilar, Delaney Beem, Josefina Dumay Neder, Yuming Lu, Samantha Sofia Sneider, and Allegra Venturi. The exhibition will be in place from April 26 to June 18.

 The exhibition The Transformative Power of Art and Ideas pays homage to nine​ ​individuals​ ​who have​ ​worked for​ ​social justice, equality, and human dignity​ ​and have been recognized as thought leaders by the international community. The artist​ ​Fabrizio Ruggiero​ ​chose the pictorial language of fresco painting​ ​for the portraits, ​that​ he believes ​“forms the ideal medium to portray the human face”.

NYU Florence students worked​ ​with the artist throughout the semester ​​to understand​ ​his​ ​criteria​ ​for selecting ​subjects for his frescos and ​his artistic engagement with the public in a dialogue about the ideas his subjects represent. Students reflected on thought leaders in their own lives and the​ ​criteria they use to determine them.

The portraits were first exhibited in June 2015 at the United Nations Headquarters in New York to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the signing of the Charter of the United Nations and the campaign “Time for Global Action”.

NYU Abu Dhabi Chemist Helps Bring Digital Courseware to Schools in Kenya

Learning science is about to get a whole lot cooler for hundreds of high school students in Kenya. An international project co-led by an NYU Abu Dhabi chemist will deliver digital education materials such as interactive modules, online simulations, and even virtual chemistry experiments to many classrooms.

The idea for the project — Chemistry on Computers in Kenya — was born at the second Joint Undertaking for an Africa Materials Institute (JUAMI) conference held in Arusha, Tanzania.

“Computer learning in core scientific subjects like chemistry is uncommon in Kenya because internet service is unreliable and many teachers may have limited computer skills,” said Philip Rodenbough, NYUAD postdoctoral chemist who was also a member of the US Peace Corps in West Africa. “Chemistry on Computers in Kenya (CCK) will digitize science education and help improve digital literacy for both young people and teachers.”

Kenya’s government is already providing scores of tablets to elementary school students and funding more computer labs in secondary schools, Rodenbough said, but they need help establishing a digital curriculum. They have computers but nothing to put on them for students to learn.

CCK aims to develop at least three computer-based chemistry lesson plans this year and then encourage science educators to distribute them across their own personal networks. The project has the potential for a very large impact because “it’s easy for teachers to share digital materials” even beyond Kenya, Rodenbough added.

Along with Rodenbough, the project is co-led by PhD student and Kenyan chemistry teacher Agatha Wagutu at the Nelson Mandela African Institution of Science and Technology in Tanzania. The JUAMI conference was funded by the US National Science Foundation and the CCK project received funding and support from the Materials Research Society Foundation.

Andy Gregory, NYUAD Public Affairs; this post originally appeared here.

NYU Berlin Hosts Women, Gender and Media Images of the Refugee Crisis: Germany in Global Perspective

On 21 April, NYU Berlin will host an event, Women, Gender and Media Images of the Refugee Crisis: Germany in Global Perspective, that will bring together scholars to discuss this complicated and vibrant topic.
The panelists will include:
Radha Hegde, Professor, Department of Media, Culture and Communication, New York University
Regina Römhild, Professor, Institut für Europäische Ethnologie, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
Arjun Appadurai, Professor, Media, Culture and Communication, New York University & Visiting Professor, Institut für Europäische Ethnologie, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
The program will be moderated by Taiye Selasi, a writer and photographer.
This public engagement brings three scholars together in conversation about the ways in which media help us to understand (and sometimes misunderstand) the role of gender in the current refugee crisis in Germany and the wider world. We hope to stimulate constructive debate about the following questions:
How can we place gender issues related to migration within broader geopolitical contexts of violence, trauma and gender?
How are visual representations of refugee women and children framing responses to migration?
Is the refugee crisis producing certain types of documentation and genres of narration?
Ogranized jointly with the Institut für Europäische Ethnologie der Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, the program is 5:00 – 6:30 pm in the Auditorium of the Jacob-und-Wilhelm-Grimm-Zentrum, Geschwister-Scholl-Straße 1–3, 10117 Berlin. A reception will follow.

NYU Abu Dhabi Alum Speaks to NYU Buenos Aires Class on Security Analysis

Invited by NYU Buenos Aires professor Nicolas Comini, former NYU Abu Dhabi student Nicole Lopez del Carril participated in a class at NYU Buenos Aires entitled “Inter-American Relations: Latin America & the US.”

Nicole, who is Argentine- American, studied Social Research and Public Policy in NYU Abu Dhabi and currently works at Novetta Solutions, a security analysis company, as a Strategic Media Analyst. Since the class was discussing topics related to her professional experience, she agreed to join them. The session explored the different processes of regionalization and internationalization in Latin America. Further, because one of the main dimensions of these processes revolves around the security variables in the region’s link with the United States, her experience in security analysis contributed greatly to the students’ understanding of this complex subject.

Nicole shared her perspectives on the topic, and explained how her work analyzing news of conflict issues and reporting the information to different clients influences decision-making both in the private sector and in government. After listening to Nicole, students shared their thoughts on the matter, asked questions, and participated in a lively discussion.

NYU Florence Student Qixiu Fu Writes on Viareggio Carnevale

Today we hear from Qixiu Fu, a first year student at NYU Florence. She is thinking about majoring in psychology and feels fortunate discovered Florence. So much so that she is considering returning for Fall 2017.

Photo credit – Jasmine Zhang, first year student at NYU Florence

Un Viaggio a Viareggio Carnevale

In two minutes, the sign up for Viareggio Carnevale was full. I was so excited that I got a spot on this free OSL (Office of Student Life) trip to Viareggio to visit one of the fascinating carnivals in Italy. The first Carnival of Viareggio took place in 1873 when there was a small parade of decorated carriages organized by the wealthy people of the city. Other local citizens were annoyed by their display of wealth, so they decided to wear masks to protest the high taxes they had to pay and to show disrespect toward the ruling upper classes.

For our trip, we took a private bus to Viareggio and enjoyed a guided tour about the history of carnevale and this year’s floats. The guide told us that today Viareggio Carnevale keeps its tradition of speaking out. Talented artists, local citizens and tourists are all part of this powerful “protest”. After we received our entrance tickets from the OSL staff, we followed our guide to the parade area where we learned about floats designed to imitate and poke fun at the world’s leaders, politicians, celebrities, and current events.

Photo credit – Jasmine Zhang, first year student at NYU Florence

This year, politics was in the spotlight. What amazed me the most was the dedication each team put into their choice of float design, choreographed dance, costumes, makeup, and music. Before visiting Viareggio, my impression of Italy was stereotyped to its good wine, delicious food and attitude of enjoying life. Then, I saw a different personality of Italy in Viareggio, the active and energetic one. Viareggio is a place where you can relax by the beach and enjoy the chilly breeze of early spring, but it is also a place where you can immerse yourself in the fantasy and surreal colors of carnevale!

NYU Accra Hosts Writer Session with Former President John D. Mahama

On 28 March,  NYU Accra hosted Former President John Dramani Mahama as a Guest Writer to a Special Interactive Session with students taking writing classes. Organized jointly with the English Department at the University of Ghana, the program allowed students in the NYU Accra classes Creative Writing and Colonialism and the Rise of African Literature to participate along with writing students from the University of Ghana.

The focus of the special session was on President Mahama’s book My First Coup d’Etat: Memories from the Lost Decades of Africa, which was a required or recommended reading for students in the participating classes this semester.

Former President Mahama did a reading of selected stories from the book and also responded to questions and comments from the audience. It was an engaging and successful event.

Anniversary of Ralph Ellison’s “Invisible Man” Commemorated at NYU Florence and in New York

Ralph Ellison’s “Invisible Man,” Re-visited, Re-applied and Re-purposed, is a two Salon event, taking place on two continents, that will commemorate the 65th anniversary of this iconic novel published in April 1952. We are hosting the first Salon in Italy, at NYU Florence, because in 1955, Ralph Ellison accepted a two-year fellowship from the American Academy in Rome. The mission of the American Academy in Rome is “To live and work together in a dynamic international community,” mirrors the global network university mission of NYU. Ralph Ellison served as the New York University, Albert Schweitzer Professor of Humanities from 1971 to 1979. Ellison proclaimed that, “…the obligation of making oneself seen and heard is an imperative of American democratic individualism,” it can be argued that being visible remains a political act and a quest for self-actualization in America and abroad.

Anniversary Salons
Salon I: NYU Florence, Villa LaPietra, Florence, Italy, April 6, 2017, 6:00pm.
Confirmed Speakers: Dr. Khalil Gibran Muhammad, Harvard University; Grace Ali, Of Note Magazine/NYU Tisch School of the Arts; Jonathan Capehart, The Washington Post; Kimberly Bowes, American Academy in Rome; Allen McFarlane, NYU Student Affairs; Dr. Lisa Cesarani, NYU Florence

Salon II: New York University, Kimmel Center for University Life, Shorin Auditorium, New York, NY, April 17, 2017, 6:00pm.
Confirmed Speakers: Clint Smith, 2014 Poet Slam Champion, writer, contributor -The New Yorker Magazine; Dr. Michelle Dent, Senior Lecturer, NYU Expository Writing Program; Monroe France, NYU Student Affairs, Diversity Initiatives; Allen McFarlane, NYU Student Affairs. Special Guest: Ms. Martha Bernard, granddaughter of Ralph Ellison´s benefactor Mrs. Ida Espen Guggenheimer.

Sponsoring Organizations:

Africana Studies at NYU’s Department of Social and Cultural Analysis
NYU Campus Services
NYU Center for Multicultural Education and Programs
NYU Institute of African American Affairs in Africana Studies
International Publications Media Group
NYU Liberal Studies Program, College of Arts & Science
NYU Department of Art & Public Policy, Tisch School of the Arts
NYU Office of the Provost for Multicultural Affairs
NYU Office of the Vice President of Student Affairs
NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing
NYU Silver School of Social Work*
NYU Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development
NYU College of Arts and Science
100 Black Men of New York City
Villa La Pietra, NYU Florence
Organized with the American Academy in Rome.

NYU Prague’s Latest PragueCast Explores Youth














The latest edition of PragueCast, a podcast with stories of Prague told through the eyes of NYU Prague students coordinated by BBC correspondent Rob Cameron. With Cameron’s guidance, the students produce 20-minute editions, each with a different theme chosen by students, and distribute it to a wide audience. Students write, record, produce, edit, and market the episodes – all as a non-credit internship. Read more about the origins of the program in an earlier Global Dimensions conversation with Cameron and participating students here. The program has now been running for three years. Themes covered have included topics as divers as dreams. refuge, searching, thirst, and the anniversary of the Velvet Revolution. The latest edition is focused on Youth.

Youth – wasted on the young, as George Bernard Shaw famously said? Or is that unkind? What are the dreams and aspirations of Czech kids today? Why do so many Czech women (and men) pursue the elusive goal of youthful looks? And what do the elderly think of the young people of today? Tune in to find out! Listen here.

Patrick Virgie speaks to the not-so-young about the youth of today.

So, what are the dreams and aspirations of Czech kids today? According to Patrick Virgie, an NYU Prague student and PragueCast member who spent time with elderly Czechs to find out what they think of young people today, “No matter the cultural, political or age difference, at the end of the day, … we all just want to come together, tell a good story, and share a good laugh.”

Working with Cameron, the PragueCast team visited a local senior citizen’s home, a school, a plastic surgeon and interviewed people on their street about their opinions on the theme. Every semester, the PragueCast releases 2-3 episodes that explore Czech politics, society, and culture.

PragueCasters Onyeka Osih and Aine Marie Policastro hit the streets to ask Czech women for their beauty tips – how do they stay young, and for whom?

“Working with Rob is amazing, and doing the podcast has definitely pushed me out of my comfort zone,” reported one member of the team this semester.  This is a fantastic opportunity for aspiring journalists, writers, or students who want to learn more about the Czech Republic in an active way.

You can download the Youth podcast here or find all of the episodes on thePragueCast site. Happy listening!


NYU Tel Aviv Director Benjamin Hary Interviewed by NPR

NYU Tel Aviv Director Benjamin Hary recently spoke to NPR. He contributed to the “The World in Words,” (NPR World Program) about Judeo-Arabic, which Professor Hary calls a “religiolect” because it is more than a dialect. Here is a link to the podcast. The program focuses on the unlikely story of the near-death and cultural revival of Judeo-Arabic. Professor Hary speaks about languages around minute three and comments on the politics of Arabic around minute ten.