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NYU Berlin Considers Democracy in Crisis

On Thursday, November 30, NYU Berlin is hosting an event, Democracy in Crisis, that will explore pressing contemporary political questions in a global context. The discussion will feature Dr. Christian Lammert (Freie Universitat Berlin) and Dr. Boris Vormann (Bard College Berlin) and be moderated by Dr. Margit Mayer (Technische Universitat Berlin). Dr. Lammert and Dr. Vormann recently co-authored a book on democracy in crisis and they will present their work.
Questions to be considered include: What is common to the crises of democracy on both sides of the Atlantic? In which ways do they differ? How has economic liberalization hollowed out the political values of liberalism as an ideology and a set of political practices? What are the roots of a “politics of inevitability” that deems marketization to be the only and best way to govern societies? 
RSVP here: goo.gl/X5mu6F

NYU Buenos Aires Students Discuss Visionary Art Exhibition

In this video clip, three NYU Buenos Aires students speak about the recently opened art exhibition in Buenos Aires called La Forma de la Boca [Read My Lips is the English title]. The exhibition is about how the marginalized, immigration-informed La Boca neighborhood is seen or re-envisioned by five artists and one writer.

The curator is NYU Buenos Aires lecturer Florencia Malbran, an art historian and independent curator. She has chosen to fold in some narrative writing in her shows lately.

In the video you see three NYU Buenos Aires students speak about the show. This is a video produced by the Arts Department at the City of Buenos Aires, and it was fortunate that NYU students were selected as featured speakers. Two in Spanish and one explaining the show in English.

NYU Buenos Aires Director Anna Kazumi Stahl is the writer included in this show. Her work is based in fragments as a mode of telling unheard/invisible stories.

The visual artists include well-known figures like Pablo Siquier, Alejandra Seeber, and Gian Paolo Minelli as well as up-and-coming young artists Tomas Maglione and Irina Kirchuk.

NYU Sydney Faculty Seeks to Increase Competencies with Diversity and Equity

Increasing competencies with Diversity and Equity has been on the key goals this year at NYU Sydney. This led to a series of Diversity and Equity meetings and a training session conducted by Dr Tim Marsh (NYU Sydney Lecturer: Social Psychology) and Dr Suraj Samtani (NYU Sydney Lecturer: Multicultural Counselling). Both academic staff and administrative staff participated in this training and meetings this year to increase awareness and skills with diversity. We hope to lead by example and put our skills into practice every day. Here are some nerdy highlights:

What do we know from psychology about biases?

The training session discussed how biases play a role in everyday interactions. The research from Social Psychology is that we have two distinct systems that influence biased thinking and behavior: System 1 (automatic, fast, not conscious) and System 2 (effortful, slow, conscious). We generally operate using System 1 which results in quick judgements and reactions that we are not necessarily aware of. It is only by being aware of our quick judgements that we can bring our behavior into consciousness and therefore, give it a different direction. Our System 1 typically reflects the biases inherent to the culture we live in and the media we consume, even if our System 2 would consciously reject them.

How can we know our own biases?

Instead of self-report measures (which assume conscious awareness), the staff were encouraged to find out their own biases using Harvard University’s Project Implicit. This involves a sorting task, where you must categorize both photos of people and either positive or negative adjectives. The website analyzes differences in reaction times in milliseconds and lets you know if you have biases and how strong they are. Staff were surprised to find the biases they held against those with different skin colors, sexual orientations and genders. Find out your own implicit biases here: https://implicit.harvard.edu/implicit/

How can we change our biases?

In our increasing ‘curated’ online world, our sources of knowledge are funneled to match our existing preferences. Finding out where are biases lie is the most important step. Making changes to diversify the shows we watch, the websites we read, and the people we interact with, gradually adjusts our preferences in System 1, changing even our most subtle and unintentional behaviors and reactions over time.

How can we change our approach in class and in our teaching?

The syllabus is one of the key areas where we can change what we do. The training highlighted steps like representing cross-cultural sources of information in the syllabus. The staff shared ideas such as marking using student numbers instead of names, including photos of professionals who come from diverse backgrounds, managing which groups of students we stand closer to while teaching, and balancing out the amount of time given to male vs. female students when answering questions in the classroom.

Our challenge to you

Find out your own biases using the Harvard implicit project test, check your syllabus for cross-cultural references and investigate your non-verbal reactions in the classroom.

NYU Shanghai Hosts First MUN Conference

On Nov 4-5, NYU Shanghai hosted China’s first model UN conference recognized by the United Nations and endorsed by United Nations Academic Impact (UNAI). Joining 14 NYUSH freshmen, 44 Chinese students, from 10 leading high schools from across the country gathered on the Pudong campus for the weekend-long, inaugural Model United Nations Conference (NYUSHMUNC17).

In her welcoming remarks, Dean of Arts and Sciences, Prof. Maria Montoya, speaking as a historian about the harmful effects of “contraction, nationalism, and anti-globalism”, called on delegates to embrace collaboration and globalism, and to apply critical thinking to their debates and to the exchange of ideas.

Under the banner theme of “China’s Global Emergence”, NYUSHMUNC17 organized its work in three distinct committees targeting different global issues, the economy, environment and international relations. Zhang Jun’an ‘20, Secretary General of NYUSHMUNC, said the conference aimed to serve as a catalyst for global connectivity and awareness of issues that affect the entire human race. “The committees echo the urgent call for addressing global warming, building a more efficient financial system and saving the environment unaffected by nuclear threats,” he said.

In the Model UN Security Council Committee, delegates representing the five permanent members — China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States — and other non-permanent members debated about the rising tensions posed by North Korea’s repeated nuclear tests. In the Model UN Environment Assembly, students searched for global strategies to cope with the challenges of multilateral collaboration on carbon reduction and the implementation of Paris Agreement.

In the Model UN’s forward-looking FinTech committee, delegates discussed the emerging blockchain technology and China’s role in leading the technological advancement of the global cybercurrency market. After rounds of intense diplomatic negotiation, the FinTech committee successfully submitted a draft resolution on the regulation of blockchain technology and worked for its approval.

Ding Yuhao ‘21, representing Ethiopia on the FinTech committee, said he was impressed by fellow delegates’ appreciation of cutting-edge technologies and their future potential. “It is an amazing experience to interact with peers with thoughtful insight on global issues,” he said.

Concluding the two-day diplomatic dialogue, nine participants were selected for Honorable Mentions, Outstanding Delegates, and Best Delegates for their strong leadership and diplomatic potentials.

The conference was sponsored by Huaxia Finance, V-Credit and UCB.

NYU Students and Faculty from Florence and New York Brief European Parliament on Race, Racism, and Xenophobia

NYU students and faculty preparing just before the conference in the European Parliament.

9 November, 2017 was not a typical day for the European Parliament. That day, the Parliament’s Anti-Racism and Diversity Intergroup hosted NYU’s third conference on Race, Racism, and Xenophobia in a Global Context. Members of Parliament and the public heard from NYU faculty and students considering these issues through scholarly discussion and artistic expression.

This conference grew out of NYU’s unique willingness to allow students to grapple with the complicated issues they confront when studying away. The first conference, structured as an All-Campus Teach-In at NYU Florence on March 24, 2016, was developed by a student committee convened by NYU Florence Director Ellyn Toscano. As students observed the ongoing debate about “European identity” and migration, racism and Islamophobia, and as they also saw increasingly public racial violence in the US and student protests in response, they wanted to consider theses issues in a meaningful and informative way.

As the planning for the conference evolved, Ellyn explained the premise became that “the scope of this discussion on racism and intolerance be transnational and comparative. Racism must be understood as it operates in different historical and geographical contexts, reflecting local tensions and prejudices and intersecting with other important issues of class, gender, religion, nationality, marginality, citizenship, globalization and globalization.” The questions posed for the first conference included:

How does racism and discrimination operate in different geographical contexts, reflecting local tensions and prejudices and intersecting with issues of nationality, class, gender, religion, marginality, citizenship, and globalization? How does location affect the way in which we think about the social constructions of race and race relations? What role do historical experiences of slavery, discrimination and colonialism play? How does the current migration crisis in Europe and mounting Islamophobia help us better understand the similarities and differences between the U.S. and Europe?

Excited or Nervous? Students arriving at the European Parliament.

Asking those questions lead to a continuing dialogue and a second conference in New York on October 28, 2016. A diverse group of students has been involved in all three conferences, starting as freshman and sophomores in Florence, they presented and performed in Brussels as juniors and seniors. The students introduced and moderated conference panels in addition to providing live performances – song, poetry, monologue. A short student film was also shown. With faculty from both New York and Florence present, it was, according to NYU’s Senior Vice President for University Relations and Public Affairs Lynne Brown, a “unique opportunity to showcase students and faculty” which is at the core of NYU’s mission.

A number of NYU faculty have also been involved in all three conferences, including members of the faculty committee Deb Willis and Dipti Desai, Awam Amkpa, Jason King, Pamela Newkirk, Paulette Caldwell, and Ann Morning. NYU Florence faculty included Deborah Spini and Alessandra Di Maio. In opening the conference, NYU Steinhardt Professor Dipti Desai noted that the motivation for all participating is furthering the conversations necessary to create “a world that is more just and equal.”

MEP Kyenge and NYU open the conference.

Italian Member of the European Parliament Cécile Kyenge participated in the first Race, Racism, and Xenophobia conference in Florence and the second in New York. A member of the Anti-Racism and Diversity Intergroup, Ms. Kyenge was so impressed that she invited NYU to organize a conference for the European Parliament and the public in Brussels. During her opening remarks on November 9, Ms. Kyenge praised NYU’s interdisciplinary efforts, noting that the university does not “stop at scholarly discussion, but also takes a creative approach.”

That is in part what the students found inspiring. Helen You, a CAS senior who has participated in all three conferences, described the vibrancy of the event. “As someone who is both an IR major and potentially going to law school, but who danced and played music throughout my life, I really appreciate just how diverse we have made this conversation. I mean, we have everyone from the Law School to Tisch siting in this room to talk about issues that span across all departments and that is just amazing.” She and other students expressed their gratitude for the professors and administrators helped to make the conferences happen. Helen also especially thanked NYU Florence Director Ellyn Toscano on behalf of the students, saying, “So often, students have a passion and an idea in their heads, but they don’t have the opportunity to explore it and create something meaningful. You gave us the confidence and the voice to share our stories and make this conference a platform for change and we never thought that something like this could happen. Thank you so much for everything you have done for us and your support.”

The students with MEP Kyenge.

The conference was well-received in Brussels, with Parliamentarians and other participants very engaged. Even if you missed the opportunity to participate in Brussels, New York, or Florence, this is not the end of these conversations at NYU. According to student participant Eilish Anderson, “I sincerely hope that we were able to inspire the people watching the conference to take action in fighting against hate in the world, particularly through policy change. Even after the third edition of this conference, it’s still just the beginning. Where will we go next?”

The conference program is available here.
A live stream video of the Brussels conference is available here.

NYU Paris Hosts Conference: Rouch in the USA

On November 9, NYU Paris will host a conference entitled Rouch in the USA. This year marks the centenary of the birth of the French ethnographic filmmaker, Jean Rouch. Founder of the cinéma-vérité movement and pioneer of techniques such as “shared anthropology” and “ethno-fiction,” Rouch not only re-defined the landscape of anthropology and cinema in France during the 1950s and sixties, he helped transform Post-Independence African cinema and documentary film practice, writ large. Having made upwards of one hundred films with countless collaborators over the course of a career that spanned six decades and several continents, the story of his complex legacy is just beginning to unfold.

Rouch in the USA aims to trace the contours of Rouch’s influence on American thinkers and filmmakers. Whether through his work with students and faculty at summer workshops on the East Coast (where he taught alongside such pioneering figures as Ricky Leacock and John Marshall), his invaluable presence at the now legendary Flaherty Seminars, or his lasting impact on scholars and artists working in the U.S., it has long been recognized that Rouch’s work has been embraced and taken up in the American context in ways that are wholly unique.

An integral part of the centenary edition of the annual Festival International Jean Rouch, the event is co-sponsored by the Comité du Film Ethnographique and has been made possible by the generous support of the Office of the Provost’s Global Research Initiatives at New York UniversityNYU Paris, the NYU Center for the HumanitiesThe Gallatin School of Individualized Study, and the Center for Media, Culture and History at NYU. Rouch in the USA will also coincide with several centenary events taking place in Paris this fall, including two major Rouch exhibits at the Musée de l’Homme and the Bibliothèque Nationale de Paris.

Organized by Beth Epstein (NYU Paris), Faye Ginsburg (Department of Anthropology, NYU), & Jamie Berthe (The Gallatin School, NYU).

N.I.C.E. Film Festival Opens at NYU Washington, DC

The N.I.C.E. Film Festival will open today at NYU Washington, DC. A number of films will be shown over the next week. NYU Washington, DC, the Italian Cultural Institute and N.I.C.E. (New Italian Cinema Events)  open the festival with a screening of Children of the Night (Figli della notte).

N.I.C.E. is a non-for-profit cultural organization that was founded in 1991 by a group of film professionals and which has consequently grown into one of the most important expressions of Italian cinematography abroad. The goal of the organization is to promote New Italian Cinema abroad, through a series of film festivals and cultural exchanges. Every year, Nice organizes festivals in the United States, Russia, England, and China. The festival in the USA, taking place every November, is the first one to be organized every year and the oldest for N.I.C.E.

N.I.C.E. is a non-for-profit cultural organization that was founded in 1991 by a group of film professionals and which has consequently grown into one of the most important expressions of Italian cinematography abroad. The goal of the organization is to promote New Italian Cinema abroad, through a series of film festivals and cultural exchanges. Every year, Nice organizes festivals in the United States, Russia, England, and China. The festival in the USA, taking place every November, is the first one to be organized every year and the oldest for N.I.C.E.

The Italian Cultural Institute in Washington DC (IIC) is an official organization of the Italian government dedicated to the promotion of Italian language and culture in the United States. It is part of a network including more than 80 cultural institutes worldwide. Since its foundation in 1980, the IIC acts as a lively go-between for Italy and United States and as a reference point for the best in Italian Art, Cinema, Music, Theatre, Design, and Performances in the DC Metro Area.

For information about upcoming films, visit the NYU Washington, DC events page here.

NYU Shanghai Marks Five Year Anniversary

Mid- October marked five years since Shanghai New York University was officially established, becoming the first Sino-American joint university in China and the third degree-granting campus in NYU’s global network.

On this occasion, the Gazette spoke to faculty, students and administrators to capture their thoughts about the past momentous years. Also, leaders from the Shanghai Government and ECNU offered their best wishes to the school.

Deputy Mayor Of Shanghai Chen Qun: “Congratulations NYU Shanghai, for your remarkable achievements over the past five years. My wish for the University is for it to receive even more support over the next five years and reach greater achievements.”

On March 28, 2011, NYU Shanghai held its groundbreaking ceremony in Lujiazui Financial area, setting in motion preparations for the new university.

Chancellor Of NYU Shanghai Yu Lizhong:“In its first five years, NYU Shanghai has devoted itself to establishing world-class undergraduate education. The school has achieved remarkable success in attracting outstanding faculty and students as well as innovating our education model. NYU Shanghai is training students by the standards of the world’s top universities, preparing them to be global citizens and leaders that will contribute to our society. This is why the inaugural class of NYU Shanghai has received numerous offers from leading graduate schools and enterprises.

Five years is a short time for a growing university, but I believe the growth of NYU Shanghai will not only stimulate reform in education, but also develop students’ critical thinking capability. NYU Shanghai is especially bringing forward a number of outstanding students who know about China, who love China and who are willing to build connections between China and the rest of the world. ”

NYU Shanghai was jointly established by New York University and East China Normal University, on October 15, 2012.

Vice Chancellor Of NYU Shanghai Jeffrey Lehman:  “The past five years have been a blur, as NYU Shanghai developed from a mere concept into a fully operating university. The courage and devotion of almost 2,000 students, faculty, and staff have created a living institution that embodies the values of creativity, cosmopolitanism, and excellence. Along the way, it has drawn heavily on the commitment of our four parents (NYU, ECNU, Shanghai, and Pudong) and also of individuals and organizations around the world who share a hopeful dream for our future.

Over the next five years, I expect the pace of development at NYU Shanghai to accelerate. As our faculty and student body continue to grow, they will have an ever greater impact on the interconnected worlds of research, teaching, and service to society. That will in turn attract even greater numbers of comparably talented people to our community. The future of this university is bright indeed.”

On August 12, 2013, the inaugural class held their convocation at ECNU’s campus, where they spent their first year.

Ben Tablada ‘20 :“One of the main reasons why I chose NYU Shanghai is because it was an empty canvas. The school is waiting for someone to start clubs, organizations, and traditions that can continue once I graduate and leave. To me, it’s an opportunity to leave a lasting impression on an institution as prestigious as NYU Shanghai.

I can’t even express how fast NYU Shanghai  has changed. With each new class, a plethora of fresh faces arrive and bring new organizations and events. The NYU Shanghai community, although small, continues to grow,  fueled by innovators and global citizens. In the year that I was here, several new programs and majors have become available for students and I can only imagine the progress that the next few years will bring. ”

On May 28th, NYU Shanghai held its very first Graduation ceremony at Shanghai’s Oriental Arts Center. The pioneering Class of 2017 earned their NYU bachelor’s degrees as well as their NYU Shanghai diplomas.

Associate Dean Of Students Davie Pe: “Commencement was a great time to reconnect familiar faces. Many parents who dropped the students off in August, 2013 then came back to see their children walk across the stage after four years. It is with their trust and constant support of NYU Shanghai that allowed us to confidently progress and grow each year. They were in the background cheering and rooting for us during each milestone.

I was so impressed by the friendships between our students. Each of them has developed a deeper understanding and connection of the “other” that crossed cultural boundaries. They continue to be roommates, colleagues, graduate school classmates and life partners! Each activity, interaction, conflict and moment all contribute to establishing the history for the university. I hope students will continue the momentum and realize the special opportunity they have and  seize it to the fullest.”

PCI Director Professor Adam Brandenburger: “Teaching at NYU Shanghai, I see our students taking a highly entrepreneurial approach to their own education. They have decided to attend a newly founded university pursuing an innovative model. They choose programs of study that include both courses on traditional subjects and courses on new and emerging areas. They are extremely active in participating in and organizing workshops and shows and all kinds of events beyond the classroom. Being such entrepreneurs in their education, our students will go on to be innovators in many areas of life beyond university.  It is very rewarding to teach and work with them.”