Staff Recommendations: NYU courses

See what our staff recommends you add to your schedule next semester.

Elementary Arabic
by Bailey Evans, Digital Director
This class does not have a riveting title like “The Science of Happiness” or “Narrating Seduction,” but “Elementary Arabic” is the best class I’ve taken at NYU, hands down. It all lies in the professor, Nader Uthman. It’s difficult to learn a foreign language from scratch, but everyone in this class, including professor Uthman, wants to be there. Uthman’s funny, straightforward and engaging teaching style makes the coursework worth it. I’m recommending a class that meets four days a week with homework every nightthink about how good it must be.

Language & Mind
by Thomas Devlin, Managing Editor
If you’re interested in language or the mind, you should take this class. It covers a wide range of psycholinguistics, and teaches you about language from the simplest sounds to the most complex meanings. Maybe not the most complex, but complex enough for an intro course. And unlike the usual language course, this class talks about how the brain actually understands language in a way that is not incredibly boring. Not that it’s ever boring. “Language & Mind” convinced me to pursue linguistics, so hopefully that proves that I am not exaggerating. And at the very least you can learn how to make syntax trees, which is a skill everyone should have.

Acting I and Acting II (Tisch Open Arts)
by Joseph Myers, Theater/Books Editor
This class is geared toward non-acting majors and caters to students with varying levels of experience. Professor Judy Del Guidice takes her students through the fundamentals of improv, monologues and scene work using Milton Katselas’ “Checklist.” Del Guidice is helpful and encouraging, which makes for a fun class environment where students can feel comfortable trying out new acting techniques without fearing mistakes. Professor Del Guidice’s hands-on technique teaches how to take life experiences and apply them to acting. Whether you are returning to the stage or are just getting your feet wet, this is a class that I would definitely recommend.

Dante’s Divine Comedy
by Audrey Deng, Arts Editor
Taught in the cozy Casa Italiana on 12th Street, the syllabus of “Dante’s ‘Divine Comedy’” contains just one book: “Divine Comedy.” The course may be light on books, but is intensive in literary theory and Italian literature. It draws from the history of 13th century Italian politics, Greek philosophy and modern literary theory to create a multi-faceted reading of Dante Alighieri’s infamous “Comedy.” Since this is an English course taught from the Italian Studies Department, expect daily readings and a strong focus on historical context. It is rare to have an entire course dedicated to one, single book. Take advantage of this course to delve into one of literature’s greatest comedies, starting with the circles of hell in “Inferno.”

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