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Summer Opportunities

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Photo of a decorative arch and palm trees on the Stanford campus.

Looking for inspiration this summer? Practice your skills, learn new ones, hear from amazing speakers, or simply come to connect with your Stanford community. We've gathered lots of options to help you make the most of sheltering in place.

Pop-Up Classes

Dive into interesting areas you may never have had the time to explore before. Fun, free, and experiential, they let you try something new or expand your practice in a hands-on way.


These opportunities put you in the driver’s seat. While they don’t offer credit, these courses provide the chance to navigate a rich collection of content, with a clear roadmap in hand.


Want to hold yourself accountable or remain connected during these unprecedented times? These communities meet regularly, allowing you to learn and grow amongst a small group of your peers.

We’re bringing 5 amazing speakers to the Stanford Community this summer. 

August 3 at 5 pm PDT

Meet the Screenwriters of Mulan and Hidden Figures

Join us for a panel discussion with the writers behind Hidden Figures and the live-action Mulan, and co-chairs of the Women's Writers Committee of WGA, Allison Schroeder, Elizabeth Martin and Lauren Hynek. Moderated by Lauren Clark (American Studies, '20). Presented in partnership with the Office for the Vice President for the Arts. Co-sponsored by Stanford Students in Entertainment and American Studies

A photo of Allison from the chest up looking directly at the camera.

Allison Schroeder, '01, is best known for her Academy Award nominated screenplay Hidden Figures (2016). She has since worked on Christopher Robin (2018) and Frozen II (2019). 

A photo of Elizabeth and Lauren together

Elizabeth Martin, 'XX, & Lauren Hynek are an impressive screenwriting team who wrote the original screenplay for Disney’s live action remake of Mulan. Elizabeth and Lauren are also known for Grace Hopper, The Christmas Ball (2020), The Kennedy Women.

August 6 at 4 pm PDT

A Concert with Lizzie No

Enjoy a concert from your living room, with contemporary folk musician—and Stanford alum—Lizzie No. With the release of her debut album, ‘Hard Won,’ in March 2017, the singer-songwriter, harpist, and guitarist established herself as an exciting new voice in music. Billboard Magazine called 'Hard Won,' “simultaneously understated and fervent” and Paste Magazine dubbed her “the best of what’s next.” She followed up the album with the release of “Sundown,” a benefit track for Black Lives Matter.

Photo of Lizzie No from the chest up..

Lizzie No's most recent album, ‘Vanity,’ was released August 2, 2019. Rolling Stone called the single “Narcissus” a “crisp alt-rock gem” and a “song you need to know.” Lizzie has showcased at Americanafest, South by Southwest, and the Mile of Music Festival. Classical arrangements of her songs have been performed at the Louisville Orchestra's Festival of American Music and the Downtown Chamber Series. She is also a winner of the American Songwriter Magazine Lyrics Contest.


July 2 at 4 pm PDT

Technology in Search of the Sublime

Why do we design?  How might the shaping of technology make our lives richer and more meaningful? This presentation (with live demos) is a journey through the design of everyday tools, musical instruments, games, and social experiences—working at the intersection of Human Computer Interaction (HCI), design, art, the humanities and social science.  It’s a story of how we shape technology, and how technology, in turn, shapes us.

Photo from the neck up of Ge Wang

Ge Wang is an Associate Professor at the Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics (CCRMA), in the Departments of Music and Computer Science. He is the creator of the ChucK music programming language, the founding director of the Stanford Laptop Orchestra (SLOrk) and the CCRMA VR Design Lab, the Co-founder of Smule (reaching over 200 million users), the designer of the iPhone's Ocarina and Magic Piano, and a Guggenheim Fellow.

July 9 at 4 pm PDT

Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Tells Your Story: Hamilton and the Re-staging of America's Past

"Hamilton" is one the most popular and most celebrated musicals in American history. It has received 11 Tony Awards, and 16 Tony nominations- the most nominations in Broadway history. It also won the Pulitzer Prize and a Grammy Award. The musical draws on the language and rhythms of hip-hop and R & B, genres that are underrepresented in the musical theater tradition. "Hamilton" has redefined the American musical, particularly in terms of sound, casting, and storytelling. What explains the deep cultural impact and acclaim for this play? This talk examines Alexander Hamilton and his world, as well as Hamilton: An American Musical.

Photo from the shoulders up of Allyson Hobbs

Allyson Hobbs is an Associate Professor of United States History, the Director of African and African American Studies, and the Kleinheinz Family University Fellow in Undergraduate Education at Stanford University. She is a contributing writer to The New and a Distinguished Lecturer for the Organization of American Historians.  Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Nation, The, The Guardian, and Politico. She has appeared on C-SPAN, MSNBC and National Public Radio.

July 16 at 4 pm PDT

How Constraint Unleashes Creativity

Imagine learning to code with no internet connection. Or creating a business plan from behind bars. Often a lack of resources is just what is needed to spark real innovation. Abundance—of money, time or energy—is not what makes an idea succeed. A lack of resources can be a source of great inspiration. And sheltering in place might be just the spark to bring creativity out to play. Come talk creativity in the time of coronavirus, with one of Stanford's brightest lights.

Photo of Tina Selig from the shoulders up

Tina Seelig is Professor of the Practice in Stanford University’s Department of Management Science and Engineering, and is a faculty director of the Stanford Technology Ventures Program. She teaches courses in the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design ( and leads three fellowship programs in the School of Engineering that are focused on creativity, innovation, and entrepreneurship. Dr. Seelig earned her PhD in Neuroscience at Stanford Medical School, and is the recipient of the Gordon Prize from the National Academy of Engineering, the Olympus Innovation Award, and the Silicon Valley Visionary Award.

July 23 at 4 pm PDT

Living Together in Times of Crisis: Pandemic and Racism

This lecture will focus on our contemporary moment, when we are facing two immense crises that call upon us to think together about our common fate.  The pandemic, and another crisis closely related to it--climate change--call on us to think of the inter-dependency of life and environment.  The protests against anti-Black violence demand that we rethink ideas of justice and social togetherness.  This talk draws heavily on human rights, philosophy, environmental studies, studies in race and ethnicity, and literature.

Photo of David Palumbo-Liu in black and white from the shoulders up leaning his cheek on his fist.

David Palumbo-Liu is the Louise Hewlett Nixon Professor and Professor of Comparative Literature at Stanford.  Besides publishing six books on the topics touched upon in this lecture, he has written for The Washington Post, The Nation, The Guardian, Jacobin, Al Jazeera, Buzzfeed, Salon, and several other media.  He is currently writing a book on the idea of political voice.  You can follow him on Twitter @palumboliu