Department of English and Philosophy Summer Internships

Department of English and Philosophy Summer Internships

Summer 2024 Academic Individual Advanced Development (AIAD) Opportunities

For more information on AIAD opportunities, contact MAJ Stephen DiLorenzo stephen.dilorenzo@westpoint.edu

Writing Today:

During their two-week trip to Washington, D.C., cadets research cutting-edge ideas about writing and strategic communication in seminars with faculty from elite peer institutions as well as a wide range of top professionals – journalists, curators, Congressional aides, speechwriters in the White House and Pentagon, and intelligence analysts, among others.

Fire: Harlem and the New Negro Movement: 

The New Negro Movement represents both a physical and mental escape from the Jim Crowe South. Literature is key to this cultural and intellectual revival in that it allowed writers to express their ideas about their new place in society. Although this rebirth also occurred throughout much of the northeast and midwestern states, Harlem emerged as one of the most important contributors. In 1926, Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston, and five other young African American writers met in Harlem to create a literary journal called Fire—which was to represent the “burning up” of old ideas. This AIAD will ask students to explore the ways in which Harlem, in particular, served as the backdrop for Fire and other literary works that contributed to the New Negro Movement. The program will include a 10-day immersion into the history and culture of Harlem, followed by four days of intensive work on a project that modernizes and responds to Fire.

Ethics and Literature at the Cross-Roads of European History:    

This two-week AIAD in the Central European city of Prague, Czechia, has a two-fold purpose: to focus on the morality surrounding why and how wars should be waged, as well as to achieve a better understanding of how literature gives meaning to the human experience of war. Prague was the backdrop for two of the deadliest wars in European history, the Thirty-Years War and World War II; it was also the home of many Hapsburg Emperors following the Protestant Reformation, as well as the last territorial expansion by Hitler prior to the start of World War II. We will examine the similarities and differences between the causes and effects of these wars on the people who suffered through them and their lasting impacts on us today.

Shakespeare Across England:

This 16-day AIAD will give cadets the opportunity to delve into the world of Shakespeare by visiting key sites associated with the life of Shakespeare and his plays. Cadets will fly into London and spend several nights in key cities throughout England, cities like Bristol, Stratford-Upon-Avon, Leicester, York, King’s Lynn, and London. Sites of interest include sites like the reconstructed Globe Theater and Shakespeare’s home in Stratford-Upon-Avon. While visiting key sites throughout England, cadets will watch performances of his plays in various theaters, including the reconstructed Globe Theater, and watch adaptations of his plays on film, while also reading key plays and sonnets associated with trip locations.

Ethics and Emerging Technology:

This AIAD will examine the ethics of artificial intelligence in decision making. AI and machine learning algorithms can provide enhanced decision making and efficiency in our personal lives, within the military and other government agencies, and across corporations. While these systems seem to be effective, what is the cost and are these systems and the decisions they produce aligned with our values? Explore these issues during a two-week trip to London and the University of Oxford, where we will engage with scholars and practitioners working in the fields of ethics, AI, and machine learning. The trip will culminate with a two-day workshop of cadet presentations at the University of Oxford.

Culture, Narrative, and Civil-Military Operations in Italy:

In this 18-day AIAD, cadets will learn about Civil Affairs in a civil-military cooperation (CIMIC) course run by the Italian Army in Motta di Livenza, Italy. Cadets will strengthen relationships with NATO partners, explore complex socio-historical landscapes, and participate in actual civil-military training. This three-phase AIAD begins with online training and study of philosophical texts centered on living the virtuous life both civically and militarily. This then informs cadets' inquiry into the duties, obligations, and practices of civil-military processes in the course. Finally, cadets will edit and publish their cultural immersion notes and experiences in a digital reflective journal.

Visual Narratives and Leadership:

Filmmaking is its own leadership lab of various pressures requiring timely decisions to achieve a vision. In this two-week experience, cadets will travel to Los Angeles and work with a 1997 USMA graduate and other filmmaking professionals to complete an original, cadet-written short film. Cadets will have a script prior to departure and will familiarize themselves with a written narrative before traveling to LA. Then, from page to screen, cadets will be immersed in various principles to create a visual narrative. Cadets will serve as director, cinematographer, and editor to collaborate on how best to execute the given script. Ultimately, this experience will require cadets to refine their leadership and team building skills within a creative environment.