IPHTI-UT 1060 | 4 units
Immerse yourself in Cuban culture while creating your own series of photographic essays.
21st century Havana is a city of contradictions — steeped in tradition but on the verge of a radical change in cultural direction. From rumba and salsa and Revolution-era art and literature to the recent opening of western influence, Havana is a landscape that is overflowing with possibilities for documentary storytelling — and it’s yours to discover.
“I learned in Cuba to always be analytical of different points of views, and to form connections with the people you are trying to represent with your art, even despite language or cultural barriers. Since Cuba, I’ve become wholly invested in documentary work, and it is there that I became close with the two friends with whom I am now starting a documentary production company."
In the photography program in Havana offered in collaboration with the Ludwig Foundation of Cuba, the Cuban National Institute of Film and Television (ICAIC), and the University of Havana, you will use the incredible street life of Havana, Cuba as your canvas to document the modern Cuban experience that most Westerners never get to see. This unique opportunity allows you to interpret through photography the shifting cultural experience of Cuba at this unique crossroads in its rich and turbulent history. You study photography and image making in a mixed media setting, presenting a series of photographic essays of your experience of daily Cuban life.
Outside the classroom, you live in a historic Cuban ‘casa particular’ with a Cuban family and other students. All casas are centrally located within walking distance to the campus of the Ludwig Foundation of Cuba and the University of Havana.
Your semester abroad consists of your core program course and three additional companion courses, completing a full-time, 16-18 unit semester.
IOART-UT 961 | 4 units
This course provides a multifaceted understanding of Cuban history, culture, and arts from the period of Spanish colonialism, through the wars of independence and the Revolution, and into the “Special Period” of the 1990s following the collapse of the Soviet Union. It examines the many political and cultural transformations and, consequently, how the country’s artistic legacy manifests the spirit of an era through literature, photography, music, dance, theatre, and visual arts.
In addition to class discussions and readings, students interact with the country’s leading artists, writers, and performers. Students also attend lectures, performances, and exhibitions at the Ludwig Foundation, ICAIC, and the National Theatre of Cuba.
IOART-UT 1959 | 6 units
Designed for beginners who need to acquire the basic language skills for functional and practical proﬁciency, the course introduces pronunciation, vocabulary, useful expressions, and fundamental grammar that allow communication and provide opportunities for expanding the range of one’s conversational ability.
Note: More advanced Spanish courses (IOART-UT 1960 or IOART-UT 1964) are available to students based on the results of a placement exam administered by the University of Havana.
IOART-UT 971 | 4 units
This course will use a wide cinematographic selection, the direct contact with visual artists and filmmakers, and the specialized bibliography and “life histories” of some of the protagonists, to study the cultural history and the main problems in the last fifty years of Cuban society.
A special emphasis will be placed on the cultural relationships between Cuba and the United States of America since the very beginning of the 20th century; as well as those from Europe and the so-called Third World Countries. Students will discuss the cultural processes and the artistic samples from different multiple perspectives such as race, marginality and social exclusion, the remarkable role of artists and intellectuals, and the cultural, gender and sexual identities.
The course will also analyze the Cuban model: the governmental support for culture. The course will explore the shaping of new cultural processes that conditioned iconographic and any other artistic creations, their evolution and the way they were experienced by individuals. The students will have to forge their own criteria taking in consideration the different perspectives of the available sources. Throughout the course there will be a “crescendo” on this viewpoint to provide a critical and multifaceted approach to contemporary Cuban reality, revealing the modifications on individuals and groups through time.
Thinking about the special nature of the consensus in the Cuban society students will face the transit of the “illusion of homogenization” that was generally accepted for more than forty years to the current “kaleidoscopic” society. The collective subject became invisible; the different individuals didn’t speak the same language anymore and couldn’t recognize their own reflection on an imaginary mirror. Therefore the possibilities to establish a new social consensus seem to be a utopian dream. Having a daily life almost immersed in the actual Cuban conditions the students will be in the privileged position of being able to understand the present crossroads of the Cuban society, its new contradictions and possible future paths.
All the students shall watch a minimum number of films, and reading the specialized bibliography will be mandatory. Students will work in teams and individually, and have to produce at least one written essay or an audiovisual material about any of the aspects included in the syllabus. Course includes artists and intellectuals as guest lecturers.
Spring 2017 (Tentative)
Charter Flight/Check-In: Sunday, January 22, 2017
Charter Flight/Check-Out: Saturday, April 29, 2017
Prerequisites: Photography I or equivalent experience. Please note: one college-level Spanish class is highly recommended in advance of the semester
Spring 2017: The application for spring 2017 is now closed.
For more information please view our Admissions Calendar.
Application: Please read the following admissions information before starting your application.
- Academic Year 2016-17 Full-time Tuition, 12-18 unit flat rate per term: $25,705
Additional Fees Include:
- Nonrefundable Registration and Services Fee: $1,236
- Program Fee: $640
- Media & Production Fee (Photography): $398
- NYU Housing (doubles, includes 2 meals per day): $6,714
- Flight to/from Havana from Miami: Approx. $500
- Meals: $950-$1,800
- CSI Insurance $155
- Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions about CSI
Please review the Tisch Special Programs cancellation policy.
Scholarships and Financial Aid
There are opportunities for financial assistance to study abroad.
Please review the Scholarships and Financial Aid for Study Abroad page for more information.
You will be housed in the Vedado district of Havana in home-stays (casas particulares). Students are provided with breakfast and dinner at their casas.
- Double bedroom
- Breakfast and dinner included in program costs
- Limited laundry facilities on-site
- No internet available in residence, but will be available nearby at additional cost
- Rooms furnished with linens and towels included
- No overnight guests allowed