Alisa is a professor at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism where she directs the Arts & Culture Concentration in the MA Program. She came to Columbia to launch the program in the fall of 2005 after teaching for 18 years at the City University of New York — in the English/Journalism department at Baruch College and in the Ph.D. Programs in Theater and in English at the CUNY Graduate Center, where she also directed the Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies for four years.
At the Columbia J-School, each year Alisa teaches one semester of the year-long Arts & Culture Seminar in Major (trading semesters with her colleague, David Hajdu), a wide-ranging, intensive course that is the heart of the MA program. In addition to tons of reading of material historical, theoretical, scholarly, journalistic, and artistic, students also cover the current arts and culture scene here.
Alisa also advises a number of MA Masters Theses each year in one-on-one tutorials. Here’s a sample of some that have been published (usually in condensed form):
Christopher Carbone, “The Velvet Silence: Mentoring Across the AIDS Queer Artist Gap,” slate.com
Torie Rose DeGhett, “The War Photo No One Would Publish,” Atlantic.com
David Freedlander, “Urban Folk Art: Performance, Politics and the Right to the City,” Theater magazine
Delaney Hall, “Circle of Care” (audio), WBEZ, Chicago (Third Coast Int’l Audio Festival)
Bhavna Patel, “A Verse to Go, Please: Street Poets and the Lives They Touch,” atlantic.com
Vanessa Quirk, “The Lowdown on the Lowline, the First Underground Park,” Atlas Obscura
Laura Raskin “Turbulent Stillness: Jorge Otero-Pailos and Experimental Preservation,” designobserver.com
Natasha del Toro, “Cuba: The Art Revolution” (video) Frontline/World, PBS
In the MS program, Alisa teaches the core Reporting course, a Criticism Workshop, and the Ethics course (one of four courses in the Journalism Essentials group). Toward the end of this video, she talks about the effectiveness of the case method in this course: