Spring 2015

Making Sense of the City

This course starts from the premise that to engage the spatial politics of cities of the Americas, we must engage with the senses. We will ask how vision, affect, and smell shape our understandings of and connections to urban space. And conversely, how different spaces condition our sensorial experiences. Employing the critical, interpretive and theoretical knowledge of the humanities, we examine how these sensorial markers of belonging in urban spaces relate to and expand social markers of citizenship, political boundaries, gender, class, race, and ethnicity.

Instructors: Johana Londoño, Mariana Mogilevich
Photo, Urbanism and Civic Change between 1960-1980

In conjunction with the concurrent exhibition The City Lost and Found, this course focuses on an extraordinary period of visual responses to the changing fabric of America's three largest cities: New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles. We explore their seismic transformations, from political protests to urban renewal projects. Students assess original artworks, films, texts, photographs, and a variety of print media (all on view in the Princeton University Art Museum) and analyze readings from disciplines as diverse as cultural geography, urban planning, urban theory, and art history.

Instructors: Katherine Anne Bussard, Aaron Peter Shkuda
Princeton Atelier: Performing Environmental Stories

The term "social practice" refers to an increasingly popular form of public art that takes a participatory and often lighthearted approach to urgent social and political issues. In this Atelier, we will create an eco-corps that focuses on environmental issues. Students will design interactive projects--for example, tours, games, hoe-downs, dances, podcasts, installations--that encourage the audience to experience, perform, and reimagine environmental problems and solutions.

Instructors: Kelly Christine Baum, Jenny Price
The Artist at Work

What are the environments, fictions, fantasies, and ideologies that condition the artist at work? This course takes as its investigative locus the artist's studio, a space of experimentation and inspiration, but also of boredom, sociability, exhaustion, and critique. Structured around visits to the studios of multiple practicing artists in New York City, the course tracks the trope of "the studio" from the Renaissance to the present, with emphasis on the concept's reconfiguration and reanimation in contemporary art. Lecture with discussion and field trips.

Instructors: Irene Violet Small
Topics in American Literature: Mapping NYC Modernism: Lit. and Art

The years 1880-1930 overturned much of the settled ground of art and literature. Cities accelerated these changes by bringing together disparate racial, ethnic, and artistic communities, nowhere more so than in New York. Through a study of multicultural literature and the arts, we will begin to map the role the city itself played in these transformative years. We will also travel to the sites that made these narratives possible--including extensive study of the holdings from our own museum collection--engaging in experiential learning about the modern period and studying the lasting aftereffects of modernism on the city in the 21st century.

Instructors: David M. Ball