Literacies Unbound Summer Institute at Columbia University

Program Summary

Available for rising 10-12th grade students

2 week multidisciplinary course at Columbia University, whereby students respond to complex literary works through reading, writing, discussion, and experimentation with different art forms including drama, music, dance, film, and visual art

Students work as writers, researchers, computer coders, web designers, and visual and performing artists

Instruction from professionally distinguished teachers and graduate-level instructors from Columbia University and other top-tier American universities

Students who complete the course satisfactorily receive a certificate of course completion

Students are immersed in rigorous study from two complementary perspectives:

The Coding strand which focuses on introducing students to the field of creative computing through a series of workshops led by expert computer science instructors. Students have the opportunity to learn the fundamentals of programming using the p5.js JavaScript library favored by artists and students worldwide to create interactive and dynamic digital art pieces. Students work on projects that enable their coding skills to be integrated into the performance strand of the institute

The Performance strand which is facilitated through a series of daily workshops led by guest teaching artists and the core Columbia team. Students explore the chosen literary text through deep discussion and through varied art forms including drama, music, and dance. Student also draw on the coding skills to extend their ideas into virtual space. In sharing and processing these creations, students participate in college-level academic discourse, learning to articulate their thinking with clarity and precision

Program Details

Course Details
The Literacies Unbound Summer Institute unbinds traditional approaches to literary analysis by providing students genuine opportunities to explore and analyze complex literature in dynamic and multidimensional ways, fostering the varied literacy skills and habits of mind essential to 21st century participatory learning culture.
Coding Coursework
The goal of the coding component is to empower students with the technical skills and knowledge that they can then apply to their final performances during the second week of the course. We will examine the ways in which technology and art intersect, and use the p5.js library to experiment and develop multiple digital art pieces. The coding coursework consists of practical, hands-on development of digital artifacts using p5.js, integrating sound, sensors, visuals, and data. Students will choose ideas, issues or themes that are of interest to them and use these to experiment with the technology taught in the course.
The Humanities course helps cultivate the skills and dispositions of critical and creative thinkers who can communicate clearly (in spoken and written English) about their emerging questions, ongoing discoveries, and future inquiries.
Performance Coursework
The Performance component brings students together as creative collaborators to re-imagine reading, writing, listening, and speaking through multiple modalities. The coursework integrates reading, writing and discussion with artistic experimentation through drama, music, dance, film, and visual art. With the help of guest teaching artists, students step into reading and writing through improvisational sound and movement and experiment with the layering of mode and medium, the interplay between physical and virtual space, and the remixing of texts. Challenging the long-standing divide between critical and creative thinking, the Performance strand demonstrates that intellectual rigor ultimately requires both.
Daily Schedule
Required Materials
Application Requirements