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Central Park as a UVA Classroom Virtual Lecture
July 14, 2020 @ 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Join the Virginia Club of New York for a virtual conversation on Central Park. During the Fall 2020, Central Park was a classroom for 15 undergraduates enrolled in one of the College of Arts and Sciences’ Pavilion Seminars. Join the instructors, Professor Beth Meyer (CLAS 1978) of UVA’s School of Architecture and Allison James of UVA’s Center for Cultural Landscapes, in a lively exchange about the value of landscape studies and place-based learning within a liberal arts education.
New York’s Central Park, designed and constructed in the 1850s -1860s, is one of the nation’s most significant urban parks. It is a work of landscape art, and a physical register of social tensions and cultural practices in American society.
This illustrated conversation between the two course instructors will explain the Central Park course structure, experience and findings as well as share one of the final group projects. You will hear why a mixed-methods format for learning that included field work in Central Park, weekly seminar discussions, visits to UVA Special Collections archival research and a semester-long group project increased student motivation, interaction and capacity to “read” spaces for the underlying ideas and values that shaped them.
We’ll share some examples of interactions between the students (representing a diverse array of majors in English, Media Studies, History, Economics, Planning, Studio Art, Psychology, Kinesiology) and Elizabeth Barlow Rogers, the founding Director of the Central Park Conservancy (CPC) as well as the CPC senior staff—planners, designers, historians, “woodland gardeners” (conservation biologists). We’ll also describe how these encounters on site, catalyzed profound student insights into the relationships between human action and the “other than human” (natural) world as well as the revelations that the North Woods renovations and Lasker Rink redesign could be read as a “racialized topography” as well as a case study in restoration ecology.
Registrants will be emailed a Zoom link prior to the event. We ask that participants register by 12:00 p.m. the day of the event.
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