Monday, June 19, 2017

#BarnardReads List 2017!

Here is the official list for #BarnardReads 2017! Take a look and start to think about which one might interest you the most!

"Woman of Valor" from Proverbs (Bible) "Phenomenal Woman" by Maya Angelou, and Barnard Commencement Address 2017 by Joanne Liu

[“Woman of Valor”] is a praise of the good wife, a definition of a perfect wife or "ideal woman" in Judaism. This "Woman of Valor" has been described as the personification of wisdom, or in some sense as a description of a particular class of Women in Israel, Persia, or in Hellenistic society.
(taken from

Angelou was an Afro-American and because of her nationality she experienced discrimination and was aware of the way the society looked at people like her. But Angelou was very proud of herself and wanted the world to see it. She was not afraid of speaking in public, she used to do so to help others that were the victims of discrimination. She was also fighting for the women, she wanted women to have the same rights as men. In her poem „Phenomenal woman” Angelou speaks as a self-confident woman, she wants to show the world what makes her beautiful and she expresses it in a various ways.
(taken from,_%22Phenomenal_Woman%22/Analysis_and_interpretation)

Dr. Joanne Liu, the international president of Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders) and associate professor of medicine at the University of Montreal, delivered the keynote address before an audience of more than 4,000 people, including Barnard’s 614 graduates along with faculty, trustees, staff, family, and friends.
(taken from

“We Should All Be Feminists” by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

The highly acclaimed, provocative New York Times bestseller—a personal, eloquently-argued essay, adapted from the much-admired TEDx talk of the same name—from Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, award-winning author of Americanah. Here she offers readers a unique definition of feminism for the twenty-first century, one rooted in inclusion and awareness. Drawing extensively on her own experiences and her deep understanding of the often masked realities of sexual politics, here is one remarkable author’s exploration of what it means to be a woman now—and an of-the-moment rallying cry for why we should all be feminists.
(taken from

“A Room of One's Own” by Virginia Woolf and “Many Rivers to Cross” by June Jordan

“A Room of One's Own" is an extended essay by Virginia Woolf. First published in 1929, the essay was based on a series of lectures she delivered at Newnham College and Girton College, two women's colleges at Cambridge University in October 1928. While this extended essay in fact employs a fictional narrator and narrative to explore women both as writers of and characters in fiction, the manuscript for the delivery of the series of lectures, titled "Women and Fiction", and hence the essay, are considered non-fiction. The essay is generally seen as a feminist text, and is noted in its argument for both a literal and figural space for women writers within a literary tradition dominated by patriarchy.
(taken from

“Many Rivers to Cross” written by June Jordan is autobiographical essay that tells the story of June’s painful past as a single mom with her eight year old son. Jordan herself serves as a narrator and describes the complexities of her own life at home, which include her mother’s sufferings and suicide. She constructs her identity that develops to stand up and guard her self-respect against anything that would seek to undermine it. She does this by telling the story by “I” perspective with resolute tone and presenting female characters that empower her; female characters are starkly juxtaposed with male characters that continue to victimize the narrator over the course of the story
(taken from

“Autobiography of Malcolm X” by Malcolm X (as told to Alex Haley)

With its first great victory in the landmark Supreme Court decision Brown v. Board of Education in 1954, the civil rights movement gained the powerful momentum it needed to sweep forward into its crucial decade, the 1960s. As voices of protest and change rose above the din of history and false promises, one voice sounded more urgently, more passionately, than the rest. Malcolm X—once called the most dangerous man in America—challenged the world to listen and learn the truth as he experienced it. And his enduring message is as relevant today as when he first delivered it.
In the searing pages of this classic autobiography, originally published in 1964, Malcolm X, the Muslim leader, firebrand, and anti-integrationist, tells the extraordinary story of his life and the growth of the Black Muslim movement to veteran writer and journalist Alex Haley. In a unique collaboration, Haley worked with Malcolm X for nearly two years, interviewing, listening to, and understanding the most controversial leader of his time.
The Autobiography of Malcolm X defines American culture and the African American struggle for social and economic equality that has now become a battle for survival. Malcolm’s fascinating perspective on the lies and limitations of the American Dream, and the inherent racism in a society that denies its nonwhite citizens the opportunity to dream, gives extraordinary insight into the most urgent issues of our own time.
(taken from

“The Ohio State Murders” by Adrienne Kennedy

Adrienne Kennedy’s “Ohio State Murders” could almost be mistaken for simple storytelling. A woman rises from a table, and for 55 minutes she recalls a vicious, race-related crime she endured 50 years ago. Ghosts of the past move around her, but she stands in the present, safe and free. Or so it seems. However, then and now fuse together, and the dream-like result is not a mere monologue, but a complex drama. Despite some slips, Theater for a New Audience succeeds in evoking the ongoing threat of the script’s ancient crimes.
(taken from

“The Wretched of the Earth” by Frantz Fanon

A distinguished psychiatrist from Martinique who took part in the Algerian Nationalist Movement, Frantz Fanon was one of the most important theorists of revolutionary struggle, colonialism, and racial difference in history. Fanon’s masterwork is a classic alongside Edward Said’s Orientalism or The Autobiography of Malcolm X, and it is now available in a new translation that updates its language for a new generation of readers. The Wretched of the Earth is a brilliant analysis of the psychology of the colonized and their path to liberation. Bearing singular insight into the rage and frustration of colonized peoples, and the role of violence in effecting historical change, the book incisively attacks the twin perils of postindependence colonial politics: the disenfranchisement of the masses by the elites on the one hand, and intertribal and interfaith animosities on the other. Fanon’s analysis, a veritable handbook of social reorganization for leaders of emerging nations, has been reflected all too clearly in the corruption and violence that has plagued present-day Africa. The Wretched of the Earth has had a major impact on civil rights, anticolonialism, and black consciousness movements around the world, and this bold new translation by Richard Philcox reaffirms it as a landmark.
(taken from

“Gender Stereotypes About Intellectual Ability Emerge Early and Influence Children’s Interests” by Lin Bian, Sarah-Jane Leslie, Andrei Cimpian

Common stereotypes associate high-level intellectual ability (brilliance, genius, etc.) with men more than women. These stereotypes discourage women’s pursuit of many prestigious careers; that is, women are underrepresented in fields whose members cherish brilliance (such as physics and philosophy). Here we show that these stereotypes are endorsed by, and influence the interests of, children as young as 6. Specifically, 6-year-old girls are less likely than boys to believe that members of their gender are “really, really smart.” Also at age 6, girls begin to avoid activities said to be for children who are “really, really smart.” These findings suggest that gendered notions of brilliance are acquired early and have an immediate effect on children’s interests.
(taken from

FAQ: science laboratory courses

Every Barnard student will take at least two science classes during your years at Barnard, at least one of which must be accompanied by a laboratory. These courses do not need to be in the same science.  Whether you decide to include a science laboratory course in your first semester will depend on why you plan to take a science course:
  • You may be interested in pursuing a science and want to start the foundational work right away.
  • You may be interested in preparing for graduate work in a health profession, which will require you to take several different science laboratory classes.
  • You want to get started on fulfilling the Science requirement (a distributional requirement for all students).
If you plan to take science courses only to fulfill the Science requirement, you could choose to do so earlier or later in your Barnard career.

If you plan to pursue a pre-med or other pre-health professional track, then you could start with Biology, Chemistry or Physics. You can learn more about the introductory sequence of courses in each department on their websites:

Note: Students sometimes ask about science laboratory courses offered at Columbia. In general, we strongly encourage Barnard students to consider Barnard classes for their laboratory science requirements. Barnard science classes are often somewhat smaller than Columbia classes, Barnard science professors are very accessible, and Barnard science departments offer a great deal of support through help rooms, tutoring, office hours, etc. Columbia science courses are open to Barnard students, but typically the support for these classes is more limited. Also, in some cases, the sequence of the introductory courses is different from that offered at Barnard. If you are interested in pursuing science classes at Columbia, you are encouraged to discuss them during Orientation with your academic adviser and with faculty from the relevant Barnard department to make sure that you understand the options available to you.

Welcome & some advice from the Dean for Health Professions Advising

Dear First Year Students,

I am thrilled to welcome you to Barnard. My name is Melinda Cohen, and I am the Dean for Health Professions Advising. At Barnard, we encourage students to explore and pursue all health professional fields, including medicine, dentistry, physician assistant, nursing, physical therapy, etc. We use the term "pre-health" to encompass all health professions, which includes "pre-med."

I feel fortunate to have the opportunity to guide and support you on your journey as you explore and prepare for a career in the health professions. I know it can be overwhelming to select your courses for your first semester, and even more daunting to consider what might be the "right" courses to take as a pre-med student. The good news is that is no "right" answer, and there are many options out there!  I hope you will take advantage of the information we have available for you on our Barnard Pre-Health website, our Pre-Health Blog, and on pp 17-19 of the First-Year Guide.

During their first year at Barnard, pre-med students typically take a laboratory science course. It's common for new students to start either with Biology (with laboratory) or with Chemistry (with laboratory). Students who have recently taken AP Biology may choose to begin with Biology for continuity, while students who have recently taken Chemistry and/or who feel comfortable with their quantitative (i.e. problem-solving) skills may choose to begin with Chemistry in order to begin the 5-semester Chemistry sequence. Either choice will work for you, so base your decision on your background and your interest. You should also consult the Biology and Chemistry department websites to determine the class most appropriate for you. 

During her first semester at Barnard, a pre-health student's academic program will likely include:

  • A First-Year Experience course (first year seminar or first year writing) 
  • An introductory science course with laboratory
  • Two courses that allow you to explore your academic interests and also count for at least one Foundations General Education Requirement
Note: Students may choose to explore a math course (e.g. Calculus I), but this is not required for your first semester. If appropriate, see information about using AP mathematics credit on our pre-health website.

For more information and guidance related to selecting courses, we encourage you to visit our pre-health website's 'Academic Preparation page

During Orientation week, I will hold Pre-Health Orientation session. Any student who may be interested in exploring and preparing for a career in the health professions is strongly encouraged to attend. I will also be available to meet individually with students during orientation and throughout the school year. 

I wish you all the best!
Dean Cohen