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Cornell University School of Continuing Education and Summer Sessions

Adult courses

Gossip: A Scandalous Theatrical Art

Week 1:

This program is no longer available.
Please contact us if you have any questions.

Despite being routinely deprecated or derided, gossip spans the centuries, exercised in one form or another in just about every culture of the world. A stubbornly persistent behavior that produces unsanctioned pleasures, gossiping is also, as one literary critic has dubbed it, a "devalued art." Nick Salvato, assistant professor in the Department of Theatre, Film, and Dance, will direct our study of the value of the art of gossip in the creative field it most powerfully shapes: the theater. Taking seriously the truism that the theater furnishes the best gossip, we will trek across three continents and four centuries, reading such globally influential plays as Sheridan's The School for Scandal and Ibsen's A Doll's House, which put gossip center stage. What does the theater teach us about gossip's ethical affirmations alongside its toxic dangers, about its creative as well as its destructive power? Pssst! You didn't hear it from me, but gossip may disclose some of the most salient aspects of human relations.


Registration is closed for this class. Please contact CAU if you have questions.

Program charges

Below are the program fees and housing choices for the on-campus summer programs. Please contact us if you have questions.

For those staying on campus, the program fee (per adult, per week) covers the course, lodging, sixteen meals, coffee breaks, hospitality hours, welcome and farewell parties, conference-lot parking fees, and use of most of Cornell’s campus facilities. Some courses have additional fees. Wednesday supper is on your own. Some campus facilities, such as the golf course, also charge specific user fees. Weekly program rates vary with the accommodation you select:

Program fee including on-campus housing and meals

  • Court/Kay Hall: double occupancy per adult $1,932, single supplement $100
  • Room w/private bathroom: double occupancy per adult $1,990, single supplement $150

Program fee for commuters and for those staying at Hilton Homewood Suites*: $1,115

*This fee does not include housing or meals. If you wish to stay at Hilton Homewood Suites, please call 607.266.0000 to make a reservation in the CAU block.

Commuter meal plan option: $425. Most CAUers staying at Hilton Homewood Suites select our meal plan for the week in order to enjoy the full CAU experience.