Academics & Programs

Summer Programming

Summer is a great time to take interesting hands-on courses through one of our summer program offerings. Scroll through and see what might appeal to you! 

A Living History Experience

Immerse yourself in the history, culture, and interpretation of American rural life of the nineteenth century in classes taught on the RIT campus and at the Genesee Country Village & Museum.  

1st Summer Session: May 30th-June 30th, 2017

All three courses can count toward an Immersion in Museum Studies! Finish your Immersion in just five weeks!

All classes will also meet on Wednesdays from 12-4pm at Genesee Country Village & Museum

HIST 322: Monuments & Memory (J. Decker; Tues/Thurs 8-10:30am on RIT Campus)
How do individuals and social groups construct memory? How do memory and visual markers—i.e., monuments, memorials, and other parts of the built environment—play a part in the construction of identity within and between such groups? To answer these questions, we will examine the culture of commemoration by investigating such works in the United States, with attention paid to the Rochester area. In addition to considering the ways in which built structures have forged commemoration both in and for the public, we will consider how interpretations of the past have changed over time.

HIST 325: Museums & History (D. Cody; Tues/Thurs 11am-1:30pm on RIT Campus)
This course focuses on exploring the relationship between objects and history. Why do we collect objects from the past? When do objects become artifacts? What happens when we visit a museum filled with artifacts from the past? How do these artifacts and the museums that collect them reflect and shape American culture? By studying authentic artifacts from the 19th century housed in regional collections, students will develop an awareness of how history is learned, understood, and appreciated.

MUSE 449: Museum Theatre (A. Head; Tues/Thurs 2-4:30pm on RIT Campus)
This course focuses on exploring the intersection of museum exhibition and theatrical performance, and how the two can be fused to create more robust engagement between museum content and museum visitors. Students in this course will conduct historical research, and then apply their findings to theatrical character-building exercises. After a process of development, rehearsal and revision, students will perform their original museum theatre pieces at the Genesee Country Village and Museum.

For more information, contact Dr. Tina Lent at or talk with your Academic Adviser!


Field School in Deaf Geographies

May 30-June 30, 2017

The only school of its kind, the Field School in Deaf Geographies (FSDG) is an intensive five-week, six-credit program. FSDG is a research project-based learning experience, allowing students to engage with analytical and theoretical frameworks within Human Geography, Social Science Research Methods, and Deaf History. Our learning approach is grounded in experiential and transformative learning. To that end, students participate in the on-going research initiatives of leading researchers. Students also have the opportunity to tour and conduct research in multiple venues. Research specialists in the field of Human Geography and Deaf History provide instruction.

Goals of the Field School

·  To thoughtfully and critically engage with Human Geography from a Deaf cultural perspective
·  To encourage the enthusiasm and efforts of new researchers at all levels of study in this exciting new area of research
·  To foster an enriching and cooperative learning environment for both students and staff
·  To share our research with as wide an audience as possible using both new media and traditional methods

The Courses

The school is comprised of co-requisite courses (3 credits each):

HIST-430 Deaf Spaces
This course will provide students with the skills to identify and describe the different spaces - produced by both Deaf and hearing people - that have contributed to a 'history of the Deaf community'. It will equip them with the ability to not only identify and describe the histories of the Deaf community, but also enable them to critically explore the meta-historical narratives that shape those histories, allowing them to situate them within the wider evolution of social and cultural representation.

HIST-431 Theory & Methods of Deaf Geographies
While this course will be driven by the school’s annual Deaf Geographies research agenda, it provides students with the opportunity to engage with a range of theoretical and qualitative research methods available in Human Geography, by working with Deaf communities. While core qualitative methods will be taught annually, emphasis on topics will vary yearly and may be examined from a variety of perspectives: historical, sociological, cultural or within a multidisciplinary framework. 

Both courses will be delivered through a combination of lecture and seminar formats. Simultaneously to this classroom experience, students will actively participate in primary research fieldwork projects, a part of which includes fieldtrips to relevant sites. 

Participant Profile
This Field School is appropriate for undergraduate students in their third or fourth year.

The Field School runs from May 30-June 30, 2017.

School Meeting Times
To Be Announced. Please check back.


RIT Students may register directly for the courses.
Non-RIT students may fill out the application form here, or contact Dr. Kitzel for additional information.

ASL Interpreters available on request.

For further details, check our website or contact:

Mary Beth Kitzel, PhD
Field School of Deaf Geographies
Department of History
College of Liberal Arts
Rochester Institute of Technology
92 Lomb Memorial Drive
Rochester, NY 14623
+1 (585) 475-4159 (v)

The deadline for application is 30 April 2017. There are only 15 spaces available, so apply early.

See our FB page at:

For more information about this exciting new area of research see: