Explore how artists and writers have thought about and been inspired by the city by joining the conversation – dissect 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, architects, theologians, filmmakers, TV writers, poets, urban theorists 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.

Leveraging New York City as a case study, students will be introduced to a wide range of viewpoints, understandings and art, as well as experiment with thinking, writing and creating in those styles. The course will be organized around themes which may include: the city as utopia, the city as a literary character or the city as a system for organizing information, among other topics. Each theme will be explored through the reading of passages, essays, and other written forms about the city. Students will then examine and critique ideas from the readings in discussions and creative writing exercises, with the goal of developing the critical skills to make arguments about what we have seen and how cities – and the societies that define them – can move forward.

Course Highlights

Summer Academy enables students to dive deep into a course of study, sharpening skills for their academic and professional futures. Each course is carefully designed to suit student interests and encourage intellectual curiosity.

• Students will explore one of the most fascinating cities in the world as an extension of the classroom and be challenged to think critically and write creatively about their experience.

• Students will investigate many writing styles and analyze how the works of writers, filmmakers, artists and academics are shaped by questions around urban life.

• Through readings and discussions, students will analyze different perspectives on the city, on cities, on New York City as a source of inspiration, a center of capital, a place of social conflict and integration, a cultural mecca.

• Site visits will vary based on the instructors and terms. Previous courses have visited: the High Line Park, Hudson Yards, Governor’s Island, Museum of the City of New York, Ellis Island and Coney Island. Students will also have the opportunity to visit The New York Times newsroom and/or The Times printing press.

• Speakers and lecturers will vary with the instructors and terms. Previous speakers include: Michael Kimmelman (architecture critic, The New York Times), Luc Sante (author and frequent contributor to The New York Review of Books), Steven Johnson (critically-acclaimed author), Sara McElroy (architect, professor, Parsons School of Design), Jeffrey Scales (photo editor, The New York Times) and Amelia Stein (photographer).

Please note: All information is subject to change at the discretion of The School of The New York Times.

Cost and Session Information

Day Program: $5,225*

Residential Program: $5,825*


Term 1: June 7 - June 19

Term 4: July 19 - July 31

*Listed program costs do not include course-specific lab and materials fees. Learn more on our website.

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