Elizabeth Richards

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Elizabeth Richards, Social Inquiry

1. Why did you choose Lang?
I chose Lang because of its small, seminar style classes. I think that discussion among peers, guided by a professor, is the best way to analyze texts. In seminars, students learn how to verbally express themselves which prepares them for written expression. It both teaches and allows students to focus on creating unique arguments supported by strong evidence, which ultimately is the goal of good writing.

2. What makes Lang unique?
Lang is unique because of its interdisciplinary approach to learning. Lang is not a traditional college and it is appropriate that its approach to learning crosses the boundaries of traditional academic disciplines. My academic interests are constitutional law, American history, civil liberties/human rights, and the construction of race in the United States. It is impossible to isolate race, the Constitution, civil liberties, and American history from one another. They are all interconnected. To explore these areas of study in a vacuum would detract from a true understanding of each.

I am a social inquiry major which allows me to explore and connect my interests through various disciplines such as political science, history, literature, and sociology.

3. Tell us about a memorable or interesting class experience.
One of my favorite Lang experiences happened last semester in a literature class. That week we were discussing Gertrude Stein’s Three Lives, and on that particular day we were exploring portraiture and Stein’s relation to Pablo Picasso. Since we were such a small class, approximately six students, the professor suggested that we go to the MoMA and have our discussion while we looked at some of Picasso’s work. It was liberating to cast off the fetters of the classroom, and our discussion definitely benefitted from the new environment that day.

Favorite Books? Ulysses, by James Joyce; Invisible Man, by Ralph Ellison; and Things Fall Apart, by Chinua Achebe, to name a few.

Favorite films? Paths of Glory; Top Hat; The Silence of the Lambs; Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels; Rushmore; Halloween; and But I’m a Cheerleader.

Favorite TV shows? 30 Rock, House, Oz, The Wire, Lost, Arrested Development.

Favorite museum? Neue Gallery or the Whitney.