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Humanities and Social Sciences

Queer New York: Exploring the History of the LGBTQ+ Community in New York State

9-12th graders  |  Session A  |  1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

What was it like to be queer in New York in the 1970s and 80s? Queer New York will make use of Rochester’s extensive collection of archives, books, magazines, oral history interviews, digital media, and more in hopes of answering this question. The first week of the course will introduce students to key topics relating to gender, sexuality, and the history of the LGBTQ+ community in New York State (with a special emphasis on the city of Rochester); the second week will give students a chance to explore the University’s Libraries and build research skills through a guided exploration of a course-related topic of their choosing.

Instructor: Claire Becker, PhD candidate, Department of History

Ethics in the Modern World

9-12th graders  |  Session A  |  1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

What matters in life? What values should guide how we live? Pleasure, friendship, happiness, achievement, knowledge, justice, or something else? And how are these values reflected in popular culture—in movies, TV, social media, music, and even in the food we eat? This course investigates how philosophical reflection and argumentation can inform, and change, how we live. Should we reject the values of the culture we live in? Or embrace them? The aim of this class is to help students develop their own thoughtful answers.

Instructor: Ashley Labodda, Department of Philosophy

Dreaming New Realities: Interactive Storytelling with Extended Reality (XR)

9-12th graders  |  Session A  |  8:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

Bring your ideas to life with XR (the umbrella term for augmented, mixed, and virtual reality)! Students will start with XR basics, including their history and application. They will use design thinking, storytelling, world building, and low-fidelity prototyping to brainstorm and design a virtual reality mini-game or digital story. They will then learn the basics of XR tools, such as Blender, a 3D modeling tool, and Unity, a real-time creation platform, through hands-on workshops to develop their own unique virtual reality experience. Students will also engage in critical discussion of XR, including topics on privacy, accessibility, and empathy. All learning levels welcome. No experience necessary. Just bring your creativity and big ideas!

Instructor: Emily Sherwood, PhD, Meaghan Moody, and Liam O’Leary and Digital Scholarship Staff, Studio X.

Language and Advertising

9-12th graders  |  Session A  |  8:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

This course examines how advertisers use language to sell products and how it affects our perception of the products and ourselves. This course will appeal to those who are curious about the central role language plays in the art of persuasion. The course touches upon the structure of language only insofar as it is relevant for understanding advertising as a form of social action. The acquired linguistic tools will help us to understand how commercial messages achieve their effect in business, culture, or even grass roots movements.

Instructor: Solveiga Armoskaite, professor, Writing, Speaking, and Argument

Introduction to Visual and Media Studies

 9-12th graders | Session A | 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

This course will introduce students to the fields of visual and media studies. We will examine a variety of media including painting, photography, film, television, video, and social media. We will define and compare these media to one another, asking how each has impacted ways of visually perceiving, understanding, and relating to the world across the 20th and early 21st century. Example of questions we will address are: why do photographs look and feel more real to us than paintings? What does it mean for television to present us news updates in real time? Is social media good or bad, and how has it shaped contemporary society? Students will practice critically applying course readings to the study of visual objects, through writing prompts as well as group discussions. The course will include a fieldtrip to the George Eastman Museum.

Instructor: TBD Department of Art and Art History-Visual and Cultural Studies

Mysteries of the Human Mind

9-12th graders  |  Session B  | 8:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

Have you ever wondered how humans have the propensity to behave in ways that are astonishing, confusing, violent, or outside of the norm? How are humans capable of performing egregious acts toward others? Is déjà vu real? How do humans sense when someone they’re close to is in danger? If you’ve ever wondered about these things, then this might be the right class for you. Contemporary psychology includes the study of yet-unsolved mysteries of the mind and human behavior. Some of these mysteries include historic examples of mass hysteria – such as whole towns that took to dancing in the streets for days until they passed out or died. Other human mysteries include the experience of phantom limbs, déjà vu, and ‘twin-tuition.’ Despite the research efforts in fields of study including neuroscience, forensic psychology, and developmental, abnormal, and social psychology, researchers and society as a whole still grapples with understanding those things we categorize as ‘deviance’ from normal. The human mind is, and perhaps always will be, a mystery in many ways.

We will use a combination of discussion, in-class social experiments, games, videos, guest speakers, and direct teaching. Your curiosity has no limit in this class – discussion and questions are welcomed. We’ll start the day with ‘Fun Facts’ you Googled about a topic from the previous day (that’s your only homework!). Be open to surprises from your instructor that may include a social experiment used on you and your classmates.

Instructor: Jennifer Wick, PhD, Warner School of Education

Healthy Planet, Healthy Lives: Uncovering the Connections Between Environment and Health

9-12th graders  |  Session B  | 8:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

Explore the dynamic relationship between our environment and health in this engaging one-week workshop. From the basics of epidemiology and toxicology to pressing issues like water quality, air pollution, and climate change, we’ll delve into the critical factors shaping our well-being. Through lectures, interactive discussions, and hands-on activities, you’ll gain insights into how these elements intertwine, and develop innovative approaches to safeguarding our planet and ourselves. Join us on this transformative journey towards a healthier, more sustainable future!

Instructors: Faculty, Environmental Medicine

Down to Earth: A Natural History of the United States

9-12th graders  |  Session B  | 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

This course explores the history of nature in the United States. Drawing on contemporary historical scholarship, we will explore the many ways in which humans have thought about and treated the natural world. We will look at iconic natural spaces likes Central Park, Yellowstone, and the Grand Canyon. We will discuss the concepts of conservation vs. preservation as well as changes in nature not caused by human interaction.

Instructor: Lauren Ward, M.A.

AI and Human Rights

9-12th graders  |  Session B  | 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.  | Registration Closed

Will Chat GPT take our jobs? If so, how can we ethically address the impact on employment and labor rights? Who is responsible when autonomous cars make an accident, and how can we ensure accountability in the age of automation? How does AI impact children’s security? This class will discuss through engaging discussions and real-world case studies; in this course, students will explore the relationship between artificial intelligence (AI) and fundamental human rights.

Instructor: Ezgi Siir Kibris, PhD candidate, Political Science

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