Course Catalog and Auditor Only Series

Course Catalog

Community auditors are not eligible to take Visual or Performing Arts courses or Writing courses. Very few courses are offered in the evening. Courses are not offered during the summer.

To view and print the spring 2023 course catalog click on the document link provided. Spring 2023 CAP Lecture List

Auditor Only Series - Fall 2023

ASC100 Exploring the Masterpieces of U.S. Ethnic Literature

Professor: Alfred Bendixen, Professor, Department of Gender and Sexuality Studies

Description:  Our course explores four critically acclaimed novels that illuminate the experiences of specific American ethnic groups:

September 20: Sherman Alexie, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian (2008)

October 4:        Gloria Naylor, Mama Day (1988)

October 25:      Chitra Banerjee Divakruni, The Palace of Illusions (2008)

November 8:    Rudolfo Anaya, Bless Me, Ultima (1972)

Our discussion of the themes and techniques of these works will pay appropriate tribute to the literary artistry that marks these novels in addition to detailing the ways in which these books challenge conventional stereotypes about multiple aspects of minority experience in the United States.

Our exploration begins with Sherman Alexie’s young adult novel, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, which was based on his own experiences growing up on the Spokane Indian reservation.  The treatment of the protagonist’s aspirations and frustrations is both moving and comic, clearly demarcating the specific problems of native life in the United States while also rejecting any cult of victimhood in favor of an appreciation of our shared humanity.  Gloria Naylor’s book moves between male and female perspectives as we join her in exploring both the island of New York City and a more mythic island landscape that emphasizes the spiritual and supernatural power of a Black and African feminist tradition. Mama Day is both the culmination of a long African American tradition going back to 19th-century stories of conjure women and the beginnings of Afrofuturist speculative fiction.  It is also an amazing read.  Our sense of the supernatural and the mythic receives a very different perspective in Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni’s The Palace of Illusions, which retells part of the Mahabharata from the perspective of Panchali, the blue goddess. Finally, Rudolfo Anaya’s Bless Me, Ultima offers a loving but realistic depiction of rural life in Hispanic New Mexico while it traces the impact of a curandera, a female healer, on a young boy’s journey to adulthood.  These four books enlarge our sense of the mythic elements that shape much of U.S. ethnic literature and introduce us to a fuller view of the diversity, possibilities, and realities of American life.  These texts provide new and very different ways of looking at race, class, sexuality, gender, and the whole process of discovering and defining the meaning of identity in American culture.

Dates: September 20, October 4, October 25, & November 8, 2023 

Time: Wednesday's, 10:00am-11:30pm  

Location: Zoom

Alfred Bendixen received his Ph.D. in 1979 from the University of North Carolina and taught at Barnard College, California State University, Los Angeles, and Texas A&M University before joining the Princeton faculty in 2014.  Much of his scholarship has been devoted to the recovery of 19th-century texts, particularly by women writers, and to the exploration of neglected genres, including the ghost story, detective fiction, science fiction, and travel writing. His teaching interests include the entire range of American literature as well as courses in science fiction, graphic narrative, and gender studies. Professor Bendixen may be best known as the founder of the American Literature Association, the most important scholarly organization in his field, which he continues to serve as Executive Director and as a frequent director of its national conferences. His most recent books include A Companion to the American Novel, (Wiley-Blackwell, 2012), The Cambridge History of American Poetry (co-edited with Stephen Burt; Cambridge University Press, 2015), and The Centrality of Crime Fiction in American Literary Culture (co-edited with Olivia Carr Edenfield); Routledge, 2017). His Library of America edition of the fiction and poetry of Charlotte Perkins Gilman will appear in August 2022.

ASC200 Bulrusher At McCarter

Instructor: Debbie Bisno, Director of University and Artistic Partnerships, McCarter Guest Guests Artists/Speakers: Director Nicole A. Watson + Show and McCarter Creative Team Members (TBD)

DescriptionFrom PAGE TO STAGE with McCarter: Producers, Artists and Industry leaders take you behind the scenes of bringing a contemporary Pulitzer Prize Finalist in drama to life: BULRUSHER

About the Play: McCarter’s 23/24 season opens in September with Bulrusher, playwright Eisa Davis’ Pulitzer Prize finalist, which tells the captivating story of a multiracial orphan girl’s journey of self-discovery and her gift of clairvoyance. Directed by Nicole A. Watson, McCarter’s Associate Artistic Director, the play— “a gleaming marriage of poetry and myth,” according to the Star-Tribune—introduces audiences to a riveting story rich with compassion and thrills. A Co-Production with Berkeley Repertory Theatre. 

Find out what it means to produce an original theatrical work, how playwright, director, designers and producers collaborate, and what “co-producing” means between two nationally renowned theaters. 

Date: Friday's September 22, September 29 & October 6, 2023

Class Time: 2:00 pm - 3:30 pm

Show: Wednesday, September 20, 2023, 7:00 pm

Format: This is a hybrid class. Auditors will attend the performance on September 22, 2023 at McCarter Theater. Two classes will be held on Zoom and 1 class along with the performance will be held in-person.

Debbie Bisno (Resident Producer) joined McCarter in 2016. Her experience spans Broadway, Off-Broadway, West End, regional and nonprofit theater. Broadway highlights include the 2019 revival of Terrence McNally’s Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune starring Audra McDonald and Michael Shannon. Other Broadway: Grace, War Horse, HAIR, Merchant of Venice, Annie, Priscilla Queen of the Desert. Off-Broadway and London: Ingmar Bergman’s Through a Glass Darkly starring Carey Mulligan, Passion Play, and Merrily We Roll Along. Debbie was Founder and Producing Artistic Director of Chicago’s Roadworks Productions with residencies at Steppenwolf and Victory Gardens theaters, producing over 20 Midwest and World Premieres by playwrights including Mike Leigh, Kenneth Lonergan, Chuck Mee, Eric Bogosian, Phyllis Nagy, and more. She’s an Advisory Member of NYC’s Playwrights Realm and on the Board of FASPE (Fellowships at Auschwitz for the Study of Professional Ethics(link is external).) Debbie lives in Princeton with her husband David and their Portuguese Water Dog, Bernice. 

ASC300 Responsible AI

Professor: Manail Anis, Visiting Professor, School of Public and International Affairs

Description: This 4-week long course on Responsible AI will introduce participants to the technology involved in the development of Artificial Intelligence. Touching on the ethical, compliance and risk aspects of AI, and understanding its application across diverse domains such as art, health, climate and education, participants will be exposed to various use cases of AI before arriving at an understanding of what responsible AI is, and how its evolution can be made possible.

Week 1: What is AI? How did it develop? How does it 'learn'? How does it work? (prompt engineering, LLM's)

Week 2: Ethical, compliance and risk aspects of AI

Week 3: How can AI be applied across varied areas such as art, health, climate and education?

Week 4: Can AI actually be 'responsible'? Can we play a role?



Location: tbd