Ana Novak received her Master's Degree in Arts in Education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education in 2016. Her research interests are in arts education, interdisciplinary curriculum, dance as a mode of understanding, and the crossroads between science and visual art.
As a Media, Literacy, and Visualization Fellow at the Bok Center, Ana has worked closely with fellow MLV fellow Grace Chen to produce an advisory report on the incorporation of interdisciplinary curriculum into the revised General Education Program. Additionally, she has helped organize a Learning Lab Workshop exploring how dance might be used as a tool for teaching, and she has collaborated with undergraduate students on a new publication entitled Ecdysis, which publishes art and other visual content inspired by science.
Consultant for Gen Ed
As a consultant for the General Education program, Ana worked with fellow MLV Fellow Grace put together an involved report on the incorporation of interdisciplinary studies into the Gen Ed program. She traced the history of interdisciplinary studies from the inception of the term, which developed in response to the division of subjects that begins in middle school education, and up to the current trend of interdisciplinary studies in the college setting. Additionally, she interviewed undergraduates and Faculty in FAS and graduate students at HGSE in order to understand their personal perspective on the successes and shortcomings of the Gen Ed program currently in place. In the process of developing the report, Grace and Ana also hosted a reading group at the Bok Center entitled “Interdisciplinary Hope or Hype,” that discussed the role of interdisciplinary approaches in higher education, while trying to pare away some of the current “trendiness” of the word and the sour associations that have developed alongside its growing popularity. The resulting report proposes a set of guidelines for how to pair two or more disciplines in a way that enhances each discipline rather than devaluing them.
Learning Lab Workshop in Dance and Movement
Over the course of the past academic year Ana, in collaboration with fellow fellow Ilya, held multiple learning lab sessions in which undergraduates, graduate students, faculty, and staff, engaged in movement exercises and subsequent discussion about the role of the body in the classroom. The sessions illuminated productive organizations of classroom as well as a set of practices that teachers can observe in order to establish an inviting and efficient learning space.
Ana conducted several interviews with various members of the Ecdysis team, a new undergraduate arts-science journal, concerning the origins and motivations of the journal, the process of actually forming the journal, the challenges that they encountered, and their hopes for the future of the magazine.
Dance, Visual Art
Analytical/argumentative essay: The straightforward advancement of argument through film that makes standard use of text and voiceover. The argumentative essay developed on the internet and remains a form favored by many online filmmakers.
The Scene Study: A “close reading” of an individual scene. The Scene Study is a form intrinsic to traditional film studies courses.
Oneiric/exploratory essay: The poetic essay. The Oneiric Essay is not interested in making a clearcut argument, and tends to more focused on visual aesthetics. It often asks more questions than it answers.
Essay film: A more experimental form of representing an argument. The Essay Film intends to stretch the boundaries of the medium while simultaneously utilizing scholarship and critical sources to advance a specific argument. It is a form favored by academics.