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Course Descriptions

Newcomb Summer Session offers three different week-long courses; students may take one course (one week) or two courses (two weeks). Students may take only one course at a time, but may return for the second week to take another course. Students in different courses will come together for daily lunches, select workshops, and a closing reception for families.

Women’s Literature
Prof. Molly Pulda
June 18-22 or June 25-29 
Why haven’t we heard of more women writers in literary history, and what kinds of obstacles do women writers face today? In this course, students will read, analyze, and write about classic and contemporary works of women’s literature, including fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. Discussions will cover the literary “canon” and how it influences what we read and study; the themes and styles of feminist literature; and how reading makes us better writers, and writing makes us better readers. Students will gain strategies for planning and writing the most important essay of their high school years: the college application essay. Students will collaboratively write and produce an original, creative “zine” to take home at the end of the week. 

Women’s Advocacy
June 18-22
Prof. Aidan Smith
How do women actively address issues in their own community? In this course, students will learn the strategies and tactics of persuasive communications necessary to advocate for change. In independent and collaborative projects, students will practice these methods, from effective public speaking to strategic social media, to create oral, written, and visual communications to advocate for policy change on campus and in their community. Seminar discussions will focus on contemporary issues of gender, politics, and advocacy work.

Women Decision-Makers
June 25-29
Prof. Anna Mahoney
How do women leaders make decisions in the real world, where there’s sometimes no right answer? This course, which follows the Harvard Business School model of teaching through case studies, puts students in the shoes of women leaders facing real-life issues in the public and private sector. In independent and collaborative projects, students will use their critical-thinking skills, problem-solving abilities, and old-fashioned “grit” to develop their own “roadmaps to leadership,” gaining the skills and mindset to achieve their goals. 


Here is what former students have to say about the Newcomb Summer Session:

“I met people like me who want to make a change, grow together to create conversations and ideas that will last for years and maybe make a big change one day.” – Clara Gibbs, 2017 Newcomb Summer Session student

“From the program, I deepened my knowledge of literature and history, but I also discovered how to apply that knowledge to our society.” – Laura Arenas, 2017 Newcomb Summer Session student

“The Newcomb Summer Session was one of the most rewarding programs I have participated in. Getting to know so many like-minded people and learning about women’s literature and that it affects all women really inspired me.” – 2017 Summer Session student

“The seminar was incredible and made me look forward to college even more!” – 2017 Summer Session student

“The highlight of my summer.” – 2017 Summer Session student


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