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Course Descriptions

Newcomb Summer Session offers five different courses. Each week-long course features full days of seminar discussions and collaborative projects. Students in different courses come together for select workshops, lunch breaks, and a closing reception for families. 

We strongly encourage residential students to stay for two weeks. The weekend between courses will consist of supervised activities, cultural field trips, and socializing with other students on campus. Students who can only attend a one-week residential session must call Tulane’s Strategic Summer Programs office to apply: (504) 314-7619. 

Students may take any course or pair of courses; all courses work synergistically to deepen students’ understanding of gender, leadership, and social change. Women Writing Out Loud is offered both weeks, but students can only take it once. 

Women Writing Out Loud
June 17-21 or June 24-28
Prof. Molly Pulda
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 and write about women’s agency in literature: as authors and characters, and as subjects and objects. During the morning seminar, students will discuss the themes and styles of classic and contemporary literature, including fiction, nonfiction, and poetry, and practice analyzing texts from a feminist perspective. During the afternoon workshop, students will write, share, and critique their original works of expository and creative writing. By writing with confidence in the first-person “I,” students will gain concrete strategies for planning and writing the most important essay of their high school years: the college application essay.

Women in Technology
June 17-21
Prof. Jacquelyne Howard
How have women shaped the history and present-day of technology, as developers and as consumers? In this course, students will investigate historical and contemporary narratives and definitions associated with technology, and they will analyze how those tech myths reinforce gender norms. Seminar discussions will include topics relating to computing, the internet, FEMtech, Artificial Intelligence (AI), and the technologies we use every day at school, at home, and at work. Students will analyze gender issues relating to technology from pre-industrial eras to the internet age. In collaborative projects, students will contribute original research and interactive media to the Women in Technology History Project. No specific computing skills are required for this course.

Women’s Advocacy
June 17-21
Prof. Aidan Smith
Students are passionate about social issues in their communities – but how can they get the word out and effect change? In this course, students will learn the strategies and tactics of persuasive communications necessary to advocate for the causes they believe in. 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 Leading New Orleans
June 24-28
Prof. Clare Daniel
From non-profit organizations to government, social movements to Mardi Gras, and restaurants to boardrooms, women have led and continue leading New Orleans. What can students across the country learn from this city’s women leaders? This course explores how personal, organizational, and institutional factors affect women’s practices of leadership. Students will read and discuss research on gender and leadership while examining historical and contemporary examples of women practicing leadership in New Orleans. The course begins with a brief introduction to theories of gender as a social construct and intersectionality – foundational concepts of the course – and moves into discussions of how and why women lead, as well as barriers they encounter to leadership. Guest speakers and collaborative projects will prompt students to think broadly and analytically about what leadership is, what it means to them, and how identities and institutions shape the experience of leadership. Click here for a news story about the undergraduate version of this course.

Dismantling Rape Culture
June 24-28
Prof. Sally Kenney, Director of Newcomb Institute, and Laura Wolford
This course models a “think-tank” approach to addressing an urgent social issue: ending sexual assault. Although #MeToo has shed new light on the issue, there is much work left to do in order to dismantle a culture that normalizes, excuses, and enables gender-based violence. Students will learn about the scope, causes, and consequences of rape culture, and they will develop evidence-based strategies for peer education, prevention, and intervention. Sally Kenney, co-professor of this course and director of Newcomb Institute, is a national campus leader on this issue. Among other initiatives, she worked with the White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault to develop a report that says universities need to do a better job of investigating and reporting sexual assaults.


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

“I had such a great time at Newcomb. It was amazing how much I learned in just one week, and how much my confidence improved as well. It’s still going to take some active practice of the leadership skills I’ve learned, and a serious effort to try to unlearn all of those gender biases that society has ingrained in me, but I truly believe that this program was the kickstart I needed to shift my focus to empowering women, myself included.” – Catie Mae Carey, 2018 Newcomb Summer Session student

"Newcomb Summer Session completely sent me head over heels for Tulane. Ultimately my experience at Newcomb became the deciding factor in my decision to apply to Tulane." – Hannah Pedersen, 2018 Newcomb Summer Session student, Tulane class of 2024

“I had such an amazing experience over the summer and it really solidified for me that I want to be a student of Tulane University. I feel ever fortunate for the formation of ideas and knowledge that the program fostered. I never would have known that Tulane is where I want to be had it not been for the time I spent in the classroom with other inspiring women.” – Artesia Harrison, 2018 Newcomb Summer Session student

“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 and 2018 Newcomb Summer Session student

“I feel so much more confident in my ability to participate in seminars and workshops. I can now definitively say that I am an intersectional feminist, and I feel empowered and ready to face challenges with all of these skills and mindsets.” – 2018 Newcomb Summer Session student

“I loved being in a collaborative space filled with women who all cared passionately about certain issues and would share their thoughts. I feel like my life got a full recharge and so did my passion for social change.” – 2018 Newcomb Summer Session student

“First-rate program. It energized my kid to start a feminist focused leadership club at school.” – 2018 Newcomb Summer Session parent

“My daughter really enjoyed the whole experience and learned so much. It was wonderful seeing her so passionate about what she was learning. This had a lasting impression on her development as a person and academic.” – 2018 Newcomb Summer Session parent

“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