Cultural Studies is Project Rousseau's newest elective course, bringing together students from across all grades and partner schools. The course provides students with an opportunity to learn about and discuss a range of cultural topics, alongside an introduction to French and German. Through a combination of linguistic and cultural topics in each lesson, students begin to develop a sense of how and why cultural and linguistic understanding are intertwined, and in turn experience what a language and cultures class in college might be like.
So far we have covered topics as diverse as nationalism, the United Nations, and European art at the turn of the 20th Century, each combined with visits to cultural landmarks in New York. Thus a second aim of the course is to open students' minds to the linguistic and cultural opportunities available to them on their doorstep.
On our most recent trip, our students visited the Neue Galerie to see Gustav Klimt's Woman in Gold. Along the way they learned about using color theory to convey tone and the history behind the paintings. This is one way we connect what the students are learning inside the classroom to the real world.