Sophomore Seminars

Art in the Metropolis

Please note: This IntroSem has a special application process and deadline due December 1 (not in the IntroSems' VCA). See the bolded section in the course description on the seminar's page for details and links.

This seminar is offered in conjunction with the annual "Arts Immersion" trip to New York that takes place over spring break and is organized by the Stanford Arts Institute. Participation in the trip (March 19 – March 26, 2022) is a requirement for taking part in the seminar (and vice versa). The trip is designed to provide a group of students with the opportunity to immerse themselves in the cultural life of New York City, guided by Stanford faculty. Students will experience a broad range and variety of art forms (visual arts, theater, opera, dance, etc.) and will meet with prominent arts administrators and practitioners, some of whom are Stanford alumni.

In the seminar, we will reflect on the plethora of experiences the trip affords and develop individual projects related to particular works of art, exhibitions, and performances encountered during the stay in New York. The urban setting in which the various forms of art are created, presented, and received will form a special point of focus. A principal aim of the seminar will be to develop aesthetic sensibilities through writing critically about the art that interests and engages us. After developing their projects with the seminar leader and instructors from other art departments, students will have a chance to present their work in the symposium with which the course will conclude.

The Arts Immersion trip is subsidized by an Arts Institute endowment, but students are responsible for some minimal on-site costs (lunches and dinners, subway fare). Details on this and the required deposit are available on the Arts Immersion website.


Please visit the Arts Immersion website to learn more and subscribe to the Arts Update for information about our upcoming info session on November 18 (noon to 1pm). RSVP for the info session here.

Apply here by December 1, 2021 to be considered for the trip and enrollment in the Spring Quarter IntroSem. If admitted, students must reserve 3 units of space on their Spring study list for the IntroSem.

Acceptance Notification: December 10.

Travel to New York: Saturday, March 19 – Saturday, March 26, 2022.

Meet the Instructor(s)

Charles Kronengold

Charles Kronengold has written on twentieth-century Western art music (Elliott Carter, Morton Feldman, John Cage, Debussy, Schoenberg, Varèse), popular-music genres (funk, soul, disco, bossa nova, pop), film, and such philosophical subjects as composers’ intentions, the roles of accidents in theory, and the relevance of African American music to current debates about the “post-secular.” His recent research has concerned the ways that modern artistic genres condition, depict, embody and help to transform the activity of thinking. He is the author of the forthcoming Living Genres in Late Modernity: American Music of the Long 1970s; a book-in-progress, Crediting Thinking in Soul and Dance Music; and, with Adrian Daub, The James Bond Songs: Pop Anthems of Late Capitalism. A new book-project, tentatively titled Sensing Thinking in Urban Cinema,focuses on the audiovisual depiction of nonverbal thinking. He received his B.A. from Yale and his Ph.D. from UC San Diego, and was a Society for the Humanities Fellow at Cornell. At Stanford he is Assistant Professor of Music and affiliated faculty in the American Studies Program.