Friday, September 24, 2010

Internship Available at Non-Profit: Bolder Giving

Bolder Giving, a nonprofit working to inspire and support donors to give at their full lifetime potential (, seeks a responsible student to collaborate with its Executive Director on a research project leading to a book-length academic text focused on the role of philanthropy in social change. The internship is for 8 or more hours/week. Hours and schedule are flexible, some work may be done off-site. A meal and travel stipend of approximately $650-900 will be provided, depending on days/month. Main tasks include entering data into RefWorks, reviewing scholarly texts and writing abstracts/summaries, and conducting online research through a range of reference databases to identify additional resources. Other clerical work and errands may be required. This is a great opportunity for anyone interested in learning about contemporary philanthropy and policy change and to build skills in academic research and data management. Please email your cover letter and resume by October 20th to:

Smithsonian Museum Day

Draper student Emily Miranker wrote to share information about Smithsonian Museum Day, which allows registered participants free entrance to participating museums. More information is below. Thanks, Emily!


Museum Day is an annual event hosted by Smithsonian Media in which participating museums across the country open their doors for free to anyone presenting a Museum Day Ticket. If you go to the link below and enter, you can receive a free admission chit to a participating museum of your choice for tomorrow, Sept. 25th.

NYU Starts Bike Share Program

NYU now has free bikes available for students, faculty, and staff to borrow at five locations around campus. For more information, see the Sustainability website, here:

Thursday, September 23, 2010

NYU Office of Sustainability Green Grants Program- Intern Needed

NYU Office of Sustainability Green Grants Program- Intern Needed

The Office of Sustainability is seeking an unpaid Intern for the Fall 2010 semester to aid in the strategic revitalization of its Green Grant Program, a unique granting system that supports NYU student, staff, and faculty projects to improve NYU's environmental performance. The student will be working closely with Max Liboiron, the Green Grant Program Coordinator, to research, analyze and make thoughtful recommendations for the program.

Skills Required:

* experience in interviewing stakeholders and/or creating and analyzing surveys
* operational analysis skills
* quantitative and qualitative analysis skills
* the ability to work independently
* interest in and familiarity with environmental problems and solutions
* clear, concise and articulate writing skills
* expertise with Microsoft Office Suite

5-10 hours a week, somewhat flexible schedule

Tasks will include:
* survey former and current Green Grantees (of both successful and unsuccessful projects)
* survey the larger NYU community to see what students, staff, and faculty expect from a granting body
* analyse successful and unsuccessful projects for major trends
* do a quantitative analysis of NYU's Green Grant program compared to other citizen (non-expert) environmental grants from post-secondary institutions, including a comparison of rates of completion
* make recommendations for how to brand/outreach the program
* recommend a new strategy for how the grants are run so as to have the highest completion rate possible while maintaining accessibility for all members of the NYU community

To learn more about NYU and sustainability, visit

Interested candidates should send a resume and cover letter to Max Liboiron at

Interviews will begin Tuesday, October 19th, 2010.

Max Liboiron
PhD Candidate
Media, Culture and Communication
New York University
Program Assistant, Green Grants
NYU Sustainability Initiatives

Upcoming Museum Studies Lecture: "Remediating Ethnographic Collections: Between Art Practice and Museographic Display" (Sept. 27)

Draper students are invited to attend a lecture entitled "Remediating Ethnographic Collections: Between Art Practice and Museographic Display" hosted by our friends in the Museum Studies Department. Details are below.

Dr. Clementine Deliss
Director, The Museum of World Cultures, Frankfurt am Main

"Remediating Ethnographic Collections: Between Art Practice and Museographic Display"

Monday, September 27
5:30 PM
Silver Center, Room 300

This lecture is sponsored jointly by the Program in Museum Studies, Department of Art History, and Department of Anthropology

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

"Be the Pathologist": An Interview with Draper Alumnus, Scott Bankert

Scott Bankert graduated from Draper in May 2010. As an instructor of filmmaking and urban arts in Tisch, a fiction writer, an active volunteer for an NGO, and a husband and father of two, Scott leads a life which not only reflects the varied nature of his academic work, but also some of the many diverse ways in which our graduates are consistently putting their scholarly research into creative and productive practice.

Within his responses, Scott raises some interesting thoughts on the difficulties and complexities of interdisciplinarity in scholarship. If you have thoughts about this subject--we'd love to hear them! Feel free to add them in the comments section below.


When did you graduate from Draper?

May 2010.

Did you attend as a full or part-time student?

Part time.

Do you still live in New York?

Yes: in Jackson Heights, Queens.

What was the topic of your Master’s thesis?

My thesis was entitled "Impossible Cities: Personal Accounts of Wonder in the Global Everyday," a participant observation-driven analysis of urban social space in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Why did you choose to pursue an interdisciplinary degree at Draper?

Like the majority of Draper students, my scholarly interests are varied, necessitating a multi-disciplinary approach to shepherd them in a meaningful way toward their common essence. I understand that the traditional academic paradigm of single-discipline inquiry is still very much practiced and protected at most universities, even as we hear promotional claims about departmental collaboration and interdisciplinarity in packaged press releases. The inevitability, however, of interdepartmental, hybrid scholarship as an essential and necessary form of scholarship is fast becoming a reality.

The tricky part, however, for any interdisciplinary exchange, is that we not tread too lightly on any single area--that we not simply extract bits and pieces of knowledge for use elsewhere, which could unravel these principles once they’re uprooted from the literature of their field. It’s a combinative process with cumulative results; it’s about bringing our ideas under control and shaping them into a coherent body of knowledge. This requires that we always be attentive to what is working and not working. And when it’s not, to abandon ship and move onto the next experiment. It’s all about experimentation – about testing the limits not only of our subject matter but also how we think about it.

What I have so often been surprised by regarding interdisciplinarity is the richness of meaning embedded along the peripheries of disciplines, where ideas are always freely flowing back and forth providing incredibly fresh and compelling insights. I am speaking here not only of content sharing but also of methodological exchanges, wherein lies the sympathetic contextuality of multiple perspectives. For example, our aim must be to not only adopt, for instance, pathologic concepts, but to also think like a pathologist, to be the pathologist – here is where we strike gold! This is the new frontier for scholarship. How else, I ask, could a scholar navigate so many hectic and disparate points of entry? To rarify them. And expose the world in a striking new way. This is why I chose to do my postgraduate studies at Draper.

Are you still in academia?

Yes, I teach filmmaking and urban arts at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, both in New York and around the world, while also continuing to pursue my research interests and presenting regularly at conferences.

What special activities or projects do you enjoy outside of your academic work and/or career?

For one, I write poetry and fiction. I was even lucky enough to get one of my short stories, “A Strange Little Problem,” published in Anamesa’s Spring 2010 volume. I also volunteer at an NGO called Instituto Criar in Brazil where I regularly travel to teach socially responsible filmmaking to street kids as well as serve as director of curriculum. But most of all, outside work, I enjoy spending time with my wife and two daughters – the three of them teach me something wondrous and new every day.

What do you like best about New York City?

What I like most about New York is that it keeps coming back for me, as if to say: hey, I’m not done with you yet… This city, even after twenty years, constantly has something else it needs to say to me; it’s inexhaustible.

What do you like least about New York City?

When I arrived in New York, I fancied the city as one terrific protoplasmic entity. In time, I have come to see the inner orbits of its inhabitants and now have a much different take. The reality is that New York possesses many of the same social and spatial predicaments any other megacity might have around the world. I have come more and more to relate New York to Lagos, Douala, São Paulo, Mexico City and so on. Sure, it’s not quite as extreme perhaps in certain respects, but it's well on its way.

What was the last book you read for fun?

I just finished Jean Baudrillard’s Fragments. If there could ever be a “holy spirit” of the Draper Program, then so be it Baudrillard.

“By contrast with the cosmic evolution of matter, which seems to pass from the wave state (the first phase after the Big Bang) to the gaseous, and then to form liquids and solids, our social mechanics, the mechanics of the masses, seems to move from the solid (our primitive notion of the mass is of something solid, compact, and inert) to the liquid (the mass of flows and networks, a fluid, viscous, floating mass), and then to the gaseous state (the mass of even higher dilution, an intangible substance, scattered, infinitesimal in its density, but one which still makes up the main part of cosmic matter), to end up as a pure wave form, where the very concept of mass disappears. In short, the social concept of the mass in a sense travels a path opposite to that of cosmic matter – from solid mechanics to wave mechanics, from matter to total immateriality.”

Jean Baudrillard, Fragments (pg 56)

If you could change anything about ______ [fill in the blank: New York City, the world, the economy, your hair…] what would it be and why?

If I could change anything about the world… That each of us could begin to participate in the battle to save ourselves from ourselves: to educate ourselves to understand what is truly the matter with our way of living hopefully in time to stop the planet from melting and to stop so much suffering and injustice. But with what can we make it happen? How can we focus our attention? A great cultural séance? Herein lies the central downfall of life in the 21st century; we are too distracted, lazy, selfish and ignorant to take action. Don’t worry, just keep on consuming; that’ll make you feel better. It’s what the corporations and politicians that serve them are counting on, after all. Alternatively, we could each select a single mission, such as prohibiting the use of Styrofoam or volunteering at a community center. It’s all about taking action. We should always consider using our advanced degrees to make a real and lasting difference. Publishing a paper sure feels good, but who is it really serving in the end? This is the challenge each of us faces – to commit to making a difference.

How do you feel about social media and which, if any, do you use most?

Of course social media has great potential for exchanging information and knowledge on an astronomical scale. Technology, however, is neutral, indifferent. The culture that emerges around it is what determines its faults or virtues. I fear the culture that has formed in this case is largely vapid and narcissistic. We are simply paying too much attention to ourselves instead of focusing on the important issues of the day.

Do I use any of it?

You’ll find me here everyday: 40.709792,-73.99292

At least that’s what my network is telling me.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

"The European Union and the Middle East Peace Process" conversation tomorrow, 9/22

The Center for French Civilization and Culture
The King Juan Carlos I of Spain Center
New York University

cordially invite you to

"The European Union and the Middle East Peace Process"

a conversation between:

Bernard Kouchner
French Minister of Foreign and European Affairs
Miguel Angel Moratinos
Spanish Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation

Wednesday, September 22 at 6:00 p.m.

Kimmel Center, New York University
60 Washington Square South (at La Guardia Place) - 10th Floor (Rosenthal Pavilion)

Free and open to the public. Valid photo i.d. required for entry to the Kimmel Center.

Tamiment Library talk: “Beyond the Marshall Plan: The World Bank and Italy During the Cold War”

Michele Alacevich, Harvard University
“Beyond the Marshall Plan: The World Bank and Italy During the Cold War”

Comment: Mary Nolan, NYU
Thursday, September 23, 2010
5:00PM-6:30PM (with reception to follow)

The Tamiment Library is located at 70 Washington Square South
(between LaGuardia and Green) 10th floor

For a copy of the paper please email

A Draper alumna and a film about the Nuremburg trials

Draper alumna Kym Harris is currently involved in the educational component and outreach for a film about the Nuremberg trials that will be premiere in New York next week. It sounds like something that would interest a lot of Draper students, and we definitely love hearing from our alumn! All the info is below.

“Nuremberg: Its Lesson for Today” is a documentary that was produced in 1948 for the War Department & U.S. Military Government by the filmmakers who had collected the Nazi footage that was used by the prosecution in the trials. It was shown widely in Germany in 1948/49 as part of the U.S. de-Nazification campaign, but because of Marshall Plan politics was never shown in the U.S.A. or in any other country.

Over the years, the original picture negative and sound elements were lost or destroyed.

Now, more than 60 years later, the newly restored film can be seen around the world for the first time.

It is truly a message in a bottle – a film of great historic value that also has a striking contemporary resonance. The film ends with Justice Jackson’s stirring words: “Let Nuremberg stand as a warning to all who plan and wage aggressive war.”

It has been shown in The Hague, Berlin, Toronto, and Uganda, and will be shown in Iran, Guatemala, Washington D.C., California, Dominican Republic, Mexico, Warsaw, and elsewhere in 2010/11. It will be playing in New York City for one week only. It is premiering at the New York Film Festival on September 28 (Sold Out) and will run:

Sept 29 - Oct 5, at Film Forum Cinema, 209 West Houston Street, New York, NY 10014 Tel: (212) 727-8110 Showtimes Daily: 1:00 2:45 4:30 6:15 8:00 10:00

Online ticket purchase:

Non-profit/educational/synagogue group rate available: $6 per ticket for groups of 12 or more. To book group sales: or call (212) 727-8110

For more information, including the fascinating story behind the film, go to: