City Baricco Critical Thinking

The final deadline for NYC Summer Academy is Monday, March 12. Apply now!


Please note this course has limited space remaining. Students should indicate their second and third choice course preferences when applying.

Explore how artists and writers have thought about and been inspired by the city and join the conversation, asking what a city is, how it works and what it can help us understand.

This advanced class will explore how classical and contemporary artists and thinkers have engaged with the city. All sorts of thinkers — novelists like Raymond Chandler, architects like Rem Koolhaas, theologians like Augustine, filmmakers like Ridley Scott, TV writers such as David Simon, poets like Laurence Ferlinghetti, urban theorists such as Jane Jacobs and more — have turned their minds and talents to the metropolis with questions about what it is, what it should be, how it works and what it can help us understand or imagine.

Using the city as a case study, students will be introduced to a wide range of styles of thought and art, and will experiment with thinking and writing in those styles. Each class is organized around a specific theme: the city as utopia, as a literary character and as a system for organizing information, among other topics. Each theme is paired with short passages from a handful of works about the city. Students will examine and critique ideas from the readings in discussions and writing exercises.

Site Visits:

Site visits may include:

  • Soho and the Bowery, to experience urban sites that have transformed into new environments
  • Coney Island to visit the Boardwalk and its storied place in urban imagination
  • Central Park to discuss a great example of 19th-century aesthetic and the political importance of green spaces
  • The Cloisters, the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s collection of medieval and Byzantine art
  • The High Line park
  • Queens’ Flushing neighborhood
  • Flushing-Corona Park/World’s Fair Site & Queens Museum/Panorama
  • Museum of the City of New York
  • Activist New York exhibit
  • OMA Office visit
  • Ground Zero, 9/11 Memorial site

Guest Speakers and Lecturers: 

Past guest speakers include:

  • Michael Kimmelman, architecture critic for The New York Times
  • Luc Sante, author and frequent contributor to The New York Review of Books
  • Steven Johnson, critically-acclaimed author
  • Jeffrey Scales, New York Times photo editor

Who Is This Program For?

The course is perfect for students who enjoy a wide range of writing styles, have a strong interest in cities, architecture and urban planning and are looking to hone critical reading and writing skills. It will be a great preparation to help students get ready for college. 

Previous instructors have included A.C. Lee, Former Editor and Contributor, Op-Ed and The Stone, Former Weekend Miser Columnist, The New York Times and James Ryerson, Senior Staff Editor, Op-Ed, The New York Times.


Students enrolled in this course will be assessed a $195 materials fee.

Please note: This information is subject to change at any time at the discretion of course leaders.

Мне больно! - задыхаясь, крикнула Сьюзан. Она судорожно ловила ртом воздух, извиваясь в руках Хейла. Он хотел было отпустить ее и броситься к лифту Стратмора, но это было бы чистым безумием: все равно он не знает кода.


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