The New Yorker: Contemporary Culture, Art, and Politics

Upper School

Grade 11, Grade 12

History and Social Science

Credits: .5

Students in this class will read and analyze the current issue of The New Yorker, a “weekly magazine offering a signature mix of reporting and commentary on politics, international affairs, popular culture and the arts, science and technology, and business, along with fiction, poetry, humor, and cartoons.”

Students will look at everything each week’s magazine offers, from reviews of current cinema to cartoon caption contests, comedy, and satire to in-depth essays on current events. Students will work over the course of the term to create their own version of the magazine: illustrating a front cover, reviewing current art, music, and cinema, writing profiles, short fiction and non-fiction (with a particular emphasis on analytical writing) – even drawing their own cartoons and writing letters to the editors.

Students will also pay particular attention to the way in which bias may be at work in the magazine and what role that plays in writing. When applicable, students may examine articles from other publications (ie: The National Review, The Economist, etc.) in an effort to look at issues from both sides of the political aisle.

The only text is a semester-long subscription to The New Yorker magazine.