Fall 2021 – Humanities and Media Studies Electives  


HMS 203A – World Literature Survey I – GenEd Post-Core Elective

01 – Steven Doloff; M/W (11:00 AM - 12:20 PM) ONLINE
02 – Maria Damon; M/W (11:00 AM - 12:20 PM) ONLINE

3 credits

Students investigate a selection of major early Mesopotamian, European, Middle Eastern, Indian, Asian and African literary works of mythology, epic poetry, drama and religious poetry, extending up to the early 17th century. These works are examined within a context of both lecture and class discussion.

HMS 215 – Writing for the Professional

01 – Melissa Milgrom, Manhattan Campus; M/W (5:00 PM - 6:20 PM); In Person, Restricted to CM students

3 credits

Students learn effective business communication. The use of professional language and the principles of organization are stressed in the resume, cover letter, proposal, letter of refusal, memo, presentations, research report, and other documents. The course also includes a focus on the electronic workplace and professional communication norms related to the workplace.

HMS 232A – Horror and Monstrosity – GenEd Post-Core Elective

01 – Saul Anton; Th (9:30 AM - 12:20 PM) ONLINE

3 credits

This course will serve as a general introduction to the issues of horror, monstrosity, and the abject in literature, film, and theory. Topics may include: the uncanny, the fantastic, catharsis, the sublime, the gaze, liminality, trauma, return of the repressed, projection, splitting, Freud's analysis of dreams, the gothic, etc. Materials will include historical materials, literary texts by authors such as Hoffman, Kafka, Gilman, etc., and films by Wiener, Hitchcock, Powell, Romero, Polansky, Argento, Barker, Scott, Jeunet, Gans, Park, etc. Specific texts and films may vary.

HMS 261A – Public Speaking – GenEd Post-Core Elective

01 – Adeena Karasick; W (2:00 PM - 4:50 PM) ONLINE

3 credits

This course is an introduction to effective public speaking as well as effective communication in small groups. All students will develop, organize, and deliver several types of speeches; study in workshop form the dynamics of various interpersonal communication situations, such as conflict management, job interviews, body language, and cross-cultural exchanges; and improve critiquing and listening skills. Students will complete research papers and lead mini-workshops about further aspects of interpersonal communication.

HMS 262A – Introduction to Acting – GenEd Post-Core Elective

01 – Don Andreasen; M (9:00 AM - 11:50 AM) ONLINE

3 credits

The essential element desired in acting is to be truthful, to be believable.  This course will develop in the actor the ability to be genuine, to listen and respond in the moment.  The goal of the class is to develop fundamental acting skills including: voice, movement, expression, imagination, character development, trust and relaxation. Students will perform memorized scenes and monologues.  Additionally, we will work towards knowledge and growth in the Stanislavski and Meisner systems as well as the balance between truth & technique and the performance process itself.  

HMS-300D – SatireGenEd Post-Core Elective

01 – Evan Rehill; T (2:00 PM – 4:50 PM) ONLINE

3 credits

This course reflects on art's exaggerations, incongruities, reversals, and parodies. Looking into these forms through lenses of popular (and unpopular) culture—science fiction, mystery, horror, camp, performative personae—we'll ask what satire reveals. What we have to say about it will manifest in a writing portfolio designed to continue/discontinue satire's traditions. 

HMS-303S – Narratives of LiberationGenEd Post-Core Elective

01 – Arlene Keizer; M (2:00 PM – 4:50 PM) ONLINE

3 credits

Projects of liberation have been a driving force in literary works from around the world and across centuries. This course will examine a variety of narratives that foreground the attainment of physical, spiritual, sexual, and political freedom for individuals and groups. Beginning with the Book of Exodus and traveling through African American slave narratives, Asian American fiction, a Holocaust testimonial, literary and theoretical essays, and contemporary films, we will explore the ways in which a wide range of writers and filmmakers have conceptualized the goal and process of liberation in their literary works.  You’ll have the opportunity to research and analyze a contemporary narrative of liberation that you’ve selected for yourself.

HMS 308A – Shakespeare – GenEd Post-Core Elective

01 – Steven Doloff; M (5:00 PM - 7:50 PM) ONLINE

3 credits

Students analyze and interpret representative Shakespearean plays as works of dramatic art and as reflections of the Renaissance climate. A research project is required of those who opt for three credits.

HMS-308B – RomanticismGenEd Post-Core Elective

01 – Ira Livingston; M (2:00 PM – 4:50 PM) In Person

3 credits

This course explores how key paradigms of modern Western Culture emerged during the Romantic Period in Britain and Europe (in the late 18th and early 19th century).  Along with visual art, we'll focus on poetry and fiction, hoping to validate Romantic poet Percy Shelley's claim that "it is impossible to read the compositions of the most celebrated writers of the present day without being startled with the electric life which burns within their words."  We'll consider questions such as: What stories does Romanticism tell about change, growth, creativity, identity, art?  What does ongoing revolutionary change feel like?  What values and new ways of exercising power accompanied the rise of capitalism, and how did these transform the status of the human body and sexuality?  How are relationships established between drugs and the Romantic Imagination, and among writing, fashion, and addiction?  And what resources for our own creative work, thought and politics can we find in these explorations?

HMS 312 – Future Worlds & Other Science Fictions – GenEd Post-Core Elective

01 – Jayna Brown; Tu (9:30 AM - 12:20 PM) ONLINE

3 credits

Science fiction disorients us, unsettling our common sense notions of selfhood, nature, and progress; it can destabilize what we think we know about being human and about life itself. This course examines science fiction literature, film, and other media through the rubric of science studies, with three overlapping areas of exploration: biology, technology, and broader planetary ecologies. Though the focus of the course will be fiction, film, and media, we will use theories coming out of science studies and science fiction studies to analyze the course materials.

HMS-320A – Poetry WritingGenEd Post-Core Elective

01 – Liza Williams; F (9:00 AM – 11:50 AM) ONLINE

This section of Creative Writing introduces students to poetry writing as process and practice. Students will explore imaginative composition through directed exercises in writing poetry and poetic prose. These exercises will be supported by the close reading and analysis of short works by a variety of authors. Completed exercises will be presented to classmates for constructive comment.

HMS 320B – Fiction Writing – GenEd Post-Core Elective

01 – Evan Rehill; F (2:00 PM - 4:50 PM) ONLINE

3 credits

This course is an exploration of imaginative composition through analysis of passages from selected authors and regular creative writing.

HMS 320D – Screenwriting I – GenEd Post-Core Elective

01 – Don Andreasen; W (9:00 AM - 11:50 AM) ONLINE
02 – Mateo Sancho Cardiel; F (9:30 AM – 12:20 PM); IN PERSON

3 credits

This course introduces students to the fundamental techniques of screenwriting. Topics covered include formatting, setting, location, narrative structure, conflict, character development and dialogue. In the first half of the course, students write their own short scenes. In the second half, they develop and expand those scenes into a script for a 10-15 minute short film. 

HMS 325C – Reporting the City – GenEd Post-Core Elective

01 – Ellen Berkovitch; Th (2:00 PM - 4:50 PM) ONLINE

3 credits

The class will provide a hands-on chance for students to learn and adopt the emerging modality of collaborative journalism. With collaborative journalism, we will ascertain how to engage community members historically being reported “upon,” to co-create questions and become collaborators in the reporting process.  Through this process, students will improve reporting skills and produce narrative storytelling using a range of media from written word to podcast to photo-essay. 

Fall will be an extremely rich time to report the city. We hope to work with some nonprofit community groups in Brooklyn on subject areas including housing, community health and local economies. The protracted public-health coronavirus crisis or its waning aftermath will frame our inquiry. 

Students will have a chance to interview, attend public events and shape an investigative approach to the city at a historic interval without equal. As a class we’ll explore the challenges of what it means to critically question and to work as a journalist in the context of an evolving crisis, and solutions-oriented times. We’ll deepen the obligations of belonging in the larger city. We’ll practice appreciative inquiry in the interest of modeling how an ensuing collaborative journalism newsroom in Pratt Brooklyn might function.

HMS 330S – Photography and Social Control – GenEd Post-Core Elective

01 – Jon Beller; Th (2:00 PM - 4:50 PM) ONLINE

3 credits

This course considers the exponential expansion of photographic practices over the last two centuries through the lens of the most recent theoretical writings on photography. For the first few weeks we consider some foundational texts: Talbot, Bazin, Benjamin, Barthes, Sontag, before looking at the post-visual turn writings of Vilem Flusser, Nicole Fleetwood, Simone Browne, Tina Campt, Ariella Azoulay, Kaja Silverman, Jacquelyn Goldsby, Lorna Roth, Lily Cho, Michele Pearson Clarke, Aria Dean and many others. Particular attention will be paid to escalating role of the photographic image (the "technical image") in the political organization of society ranging from the experiential and the psychic to the geopolitical and genocidal. Our study entails a rigorous elaboration of the complex relationship between photography, racialization, imperialism, gender, sexuality, commodification, financialization and the ubiquitous cybernetic interface known as the screen. Final projects: A theoretically informed research paper and/or a photographic project.

HMS 331C – Critical Game Design – GenEd Post-Core Elective

01 – Basem Aly; W (5:00 PM - 7:50 PM); IN PERSON

3 credits

This course is designed for highly motivated active learners interested in exploring both the theory and practice of game design. You will rapidly prototype successive iterations of a game as you grapple with overarching ideas about play. Play is a fundamentally human trait manifested in spontaneous creativity, transgressive or appropriative actions, or the suspension of conventional norms. Playfulness is an attitude ideally suited to critical inquiry, while games are rule-based arenas for experimentation and social rituals of all sorts. Students will have ample choice in determining the focus of their classroom experience. You will mix theory and practice, analog and digital, theme and mechanics to your own specifications. No prior experience in game design or programming is necessary, and the extent of your technical, artistic or theoretical focus will be up to you. Ideally you'd be interested in exploring new ground, traveling just beyond your comfort zone, and prepared to have fun. 

Students will develop the ability to design, prototype and critique both digital and analog games through various lenses of critical theory. You will learn to use game design engines like Unity3D to rapidly prototype and play-test each others’ games. Students will deploy theories undergirding procedural rhetoric and playful engagement embodied in games such as enactments of power, fairness, narrative, and simulation. You will be assessed on the basis of your individual progress in learning implementing, and risk-taking as you develop games rooted in your own interests and experience. 

HMS 340B – Myth into Film – GenEd Post-Core Elective

01 – Dexter Jeffries; M (6:30 PM - 9:20 PM); IN PERSON

3 credits

This course explores analytic approaches to the mythic resonance of selected films, emphasizing classic motifs such as the Hero Quest, Origins, and Death and Rebirth, as well as myths of everyday living. Screenings are preceded by commentary on background information and followed by interpretations of the mythic and cinematographic contributions to the achievement of the films.

HMS 341B – Gender & Society in Japanese CinemaGenEd Post-Core Elective

01 – Ethan Spigland; T (5:00 PM – 7:50 PM); ONLINE
02 – Ethan Spigland; W (5:00 PM – 7:50 PM); ONLINE 

3 credits

new Japanese New Wave is currently taking the world by storm. With the international success of such directors as Hirokazu Kore-eda (Shoplifters), Sion Sono (Cold Fish; Noriko’s Dinner Table), and Kiyoshi Kurosawa (Tokyo Sonata, Charisma), interest in Japanese cinema is at an all-time high. However, these directors did not emerge from a vacuum, but from a long and rich film tradition. This screening class will present a historical survey of the major trends in Japanese cinema from the twenties to the late seventies. We will study and view classic works by such acknowledged masters as Akira Kurosawa, Yasujiro Ozu, and Kenji Mizoguchi, but also groundbreaking films by lesser known directors. Special attention will be given to the Japanese New Wave and Underground films of the sixties and seventies, made by such directors as Yasuzo Masumura, Shuji Terayama, Nagisa Oshima, and Shohei Imamura. We will also introduce and discuss such popular and cult genres as “pink”, “yakuza”, “violent” and “monster” films. These films represent a fascinating alternate history of Japanese cinema, one that’s missing from most official accounts. Beyond merely undertaking a formal analysis of works by great “auteurs,” we will examine the social, economic, politicall, and cultural contexts in which these films were made. There will be a special emphasis on portrayals of race and gender in Japanese cinema and media.

HMS 360C – Intro to Performance Practice – GenEd Post-Core Elective

01 – Jennifer Miller; F (2:00 PM - 4:50 PM); HYBRID

3 credits

This class explores the art, the play, the technique and the rigorous fun involved in bringing a strong presence to the unique space of performing. The class begins with a focus on physical and vocal training, moving through improvisation, generation material, and working with prepared material. Time and timing, space, tenderness, chaos, intention, perception, lying, and the imaginary are examples of the kinds of ideas w might use as tools to move us into exploratory spaces. This class is required for the Performance and Performance Studies minor but open to non-minors as well. 

HMS 360D – Intro to Performance Studies – GenEd Post-Core Elective

01 – Julia Steinmetz; Th (9:30 AM – 12:20 PM); HYBRID

3 credits

In this course, students will learn the fundamental concepts, terms, and theories in the field of performance studies. Students will learn how to use these frameworks to understand traditional performance arts as well as gain unique perspectives on their own major fields, on other art/design practices, and on everyday life, by learning to see the world performatively. This class is required for the Performance and Performance Studies Minor but open to non-minors as well. 

HMS 402 – Race, Performance, Media – GenEd Post-Core Elective

01 – Jayna Brown; M (9:30 AM – 12:20 PM) ONLINE

3 credits

This course explores the way intertwined concepts of race, gender, and sexuality are produced and contested through live performance, film, video, recording, and various internet incarnations. The circulation of images, ideas, memes, music, and iconography will be examined in historical perspective. These media will be considered not only as formations through which dominant cultures reinforce oppressive systems and structures of feeling, but also as formations through which racialized, gendered, and sexualized subjects contest these ideas.

HMS 404A – Democratic VistasGenEd Post-Core Elective

01 – Steve Doloff; M (2:00 PM – 4:50 PM) ONLINE

3 credits

This course looks at the first great age of American literature as it coincided with the country's greatest social upheaval, the Civil War. Representative authors will be examined as they express the intellectual contradictions of their times, from the most expansive social and metaphysical optimism to the darkest skepticism, and it is through this same split prism that America sees itself to this day.

HMS 404E – Photography and American LitGenEd Post-Core Elective

01 – Jeffrey Hogrefe; T (9:00 AM – 11:50 AM) ONLINE

3 credits

This course will investigate the impact photography has had on American literature and culture. Examining a variety of literary, visual, and cultural texts from the middle of the nineteenth century to the present, we will focus on the role photography has played in the construction of race, gender and contestations over American citizenship.

HMS 430A – Theory for Artists/WritersGenEd Post-Core Elective

01 – Emily Beall; Tu (9:00 AM - 11:50 AM) ONLINE

3 credits

How can we engage critical theory to help us contextualize, clarify, advance, or even inspire the work we do as writers, artists, and designers?  What are the channels of influence, currently and in the recent past, among critical theorists and artists, designers and writers?  More broadly, how can critical theory help us to understand the social and political contexts in which we live and create?  This course seeks to provide students with a grounding in some important texts of critical theory from the nineteenth century (Marx, Nietzsche, Freud), and a fluency with some of the important strands of critical theoretical thought in the twentieth century (Bergson, Barthes, Althusser, Haraway, Butler, Anzaldúa, hooks, Muñoz, among others).  Readings will be chosen with an eye to theorists directly engaging the arts, and those moments when theorizing and creating merge; throughout we’ll also sound out our readings by looking at bits of fiction, poetry, visual art and design.  During the course, students will have the opportunity to pursue research of their own interest, and to try out writing as a theorist in response to creative works of their choosing.

HMS 431A – Modernism and PostmodernismGenEd Post-Core Elective

01 – Ira Livingston; W (2:00 PM – 4:50 PM); IN PERSON

3 credits

This course examines literature, art, music, and architecture associated with modernism and postmodernism, along with their philosophical backgrounds. Topics covered include the aesthetic response to the rise of capitalism, differences between modernism and postmodernism, and concepts typically associated with postmodernism, including commodification, globalization, simulacra, pastiche, schizophrenia, paranoia, the decline of historical consciousness, challenges to the universal subject, and time-space compression.  Authors covered may include Nietzsche, Proust, Kafka, Mann, Joyce, Woolf, Pynchon, Borges, and Morrison.

HMS 431S – Cryptocurrency, Money and Design – GenEd Post-Core Elective

01 – Jon Beller; Th (5:00 PM - 7:50 PM) ONLINE

3 credits

This class reviews highlights of the history of the emergence of the money form and the social relations which constitute it in order to consider the importance of crytpocurrencies as a new medium. We will analyze existing and conceivably possible cryptocurrencies from the standpoints of both the theoretician/political-economist and the designer. Course keywords include: money, capital, value, production, circulation, representation, attention economy, post-fordism, cognitive capitalism, blockchain, securitization, derivative, colonization, racial capitalism, computational capital. Readings include Karl Marx, Rosa Luxembourg, Robert Miester, Benjamin Lee, Posner and Weyl, Satoshi Nakamoto, Vitalik Buterin, and contemporary publications in Medium, Coindesk, and other venues publishing on crypto. Crypto case studies include Bitcoin, Ethereum, Economic Space Agency (platform cooperative), Sphere (global performance), Smashboard (feminist/anti-patriarchy) and ArtWork (anti-racial-capitalist). Students are strongly encouraged to bring their own interests, knowledge, references and socio-political aspirations regarding this nascent field of endeavor. Final course project can be a theoretical paper or a crypto-economic design project.


HMS 431S – Mutating Cities – GenEd Post-Core Elective

03 – Youmna Chlala & Christoph Kumpusch; Tu (2:00 PM - 4:50 PM) ONLINE

3 credits

Mutating Cities is a spatial investigation of contemporary cities as sites of exchange. How is the periphery addressed in architecture film, art, performance and literature? How do we understand malleable and transient boundaries? What are the socio-economic and geo-political effects of cultural production? In this course, we will use research, drawing, video, discussion & writing to develop experiential work about historical, contemporary and future mutating cities.

HMS-431S – Black and Asian Solidarities: Feminist Theories and Practices  -- GenEd Post-Core Elective

04 – Mendi Obadike and Minh-Ha Pham; Th (9:30am – 12:20pm) ONLINE 

3 credits

This course was conceived as a timely response to two troubling social trends: (1) the spate of (verbal and physical) anti-Asian racist attacks throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and (2) the resurgence of the trope of the Black/Asian conflict in the same period. 

The course will provide students a critical framework for understanding how these “current events” are born out of longer histories of racialization—in legal, cultural, and labor/economic arenas—that have constructed Black and Asian people as dialectically opposed. Through weekly assignments and discussions, students will learn how the distinct and complementary racialization of Blackness and Asianness has led to instances of both conflict and coalition. Course materials will draw from a variety of textual and visual sources that take women of color feminist approaches to critical race theory and legal studies, African American studies, Asian American studies, comparative ethnic studies, cultural studies, and arts.

HMS 434S – Abolitionist LandscapesGenEd Post-Core Elective

01 – Jeffrey Hogrefe; W (9:00 AM – 11:50 AM) ONLINE

3 credits

The ongoing abolition of slavery and its aftermath in abolition feminism and prison abolition is interwoven in the landscape to encourage a world making and world shaping practice of liberation in communities of refuge, care and joy. In this course, we will read literature and view films that argue, from a variety of perspectives, that the monuments are written into the landscape of the African and Indigenous diaspora in ways that are still being revealed and practiced. While the maps of settler colonialism were drawn rectilinearly, the lines of flight are rhizomatic and fluid rather than hierarchical, linear and hegemonic; the map is not the territory. Through readings in Black feminist and liberation practices,  this is a course that investigates the ways in which the abolition movement worldwide deciphers the landscapes of the aftermath of slavery in new cosmologies and expanded ontologies. 

HMS 440E – Poetics of Cinema – GenEd Post-Core Elective

01 – Amy Guggenheim; T (2:00 PM – 4:50 PM) ONLINE

3 credits

In this course we will view films that invent a poetic cinematic vocabulary to represent the strange, unpredictable and counter-intuitive behavior we call reality.  We will also use exercises and creative projects to question and utilize the tools and perspectives of the same event, montage, blurring of memory, reality, past and present, etc. to become familiar with these possibilities in our own work as artists and designers.  Selected works include, Akira Kurosawa’s “Rashomon”, Cronenberg’s “The Fly”. Sally Potter’s 'Orlando', Hiroshi Kurosawa’s 'Bright Future', Bergman’s “Persona”, Michael Haneke,  "The Time of the Wolf" Claire Denis, "Intruder and Beau Travail", and Wong Kar Wai’s Chung King Express.  Class discussions will also be informed by readings from the Poetics of Cinema, and The Emergence of Cinematic Time.

HMS 440F – Women in International CinemaGenEd Post-Core Elective

01 – Amy Guggenheim; T (6:00 PM – 8:50 PM) ONLINE

3 credits

This course considers the vision of prominent and pioneering films, with particular attention to the gaze, subjectivity, ambivalence, multiplicity of perspective, identification and disruption, as cinematic vocabulary and subject. We will look at films-- in the works of artists such as Agnes Varda, Lois Weber, Claire Denis, Marguerite Duras and Alain Renais, Julie Taymor, Susanna Bier, Rainer Fassbinder, Wong Kar Wai, Ang Lee and Todd Haynes-- with an emphasis on identity, sexuality and gender.

HMS 440K – Int. Film Theory – GenEd Post-Core Elective

01 – Paul Haacke; W (2:00 PM - 4:50 PM) ONLINE

3 credits

This course provides an intensive introduction to film theory and philosophy, contextualized in relation to movements in international film history. Topics likely to include approaches to the cinematic apparatus, montage and mise-en-scene, gaze and spectatorship theory, and approaches drawn from media studies, sound studies, psychoanalysis, semiotics, feminist, queer, and post-colonial studies. The course is required for the Cinema Studies minor but is open to non-minors as well. 

HMS 440S – Deleuze, Cinema & BeyondGenEd Post-Core Elective

01 – Ethan Spigland; T (2:00 PM – 4:50 PM) ONLINE

3 credits

French philosopher Gilles Deleuze’s thought emerged almost as often in conversation with artists, filmmakers, and writers as in dialogue with other philosophers. This course will explore the intersection between Deleuzian philosophy, cinema, and the visual arts. It will especially focus on the conception of thought and signs elaborated by Deleuze in his books Cinema 1: The Movement Image and Cinema 2: The Time Image. Drawing on the ideas of Henri Bergson, Charles Sanders Pierce, and Friedrich Nietzsche, Deleuze develops a highly original logic of images and a taxonomy of cinematic signs that avoids a linguistic based approaches. Are his ideas relevant for describing innovations in digital and new media? How do the ideas explored in the cinema books relate to other aspects of Deleuze’s thought? Are Deleuze's ideas regarding cinema only applicable to cinema, or are they also pertinent the world itself conceived of as a meta-cinema? We will also read selections from Deleuze’s writings on painting and the arts, especially his work Francis Bacon: The Logic of Sensation and parts of A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia, written in collaboration with Felix Guattari. Deleuze often hoped that the concepts he created would prove useful and inspiring to nonphilosophers and artists, and hopefully you will find ways to apply his ideas in your own work. We will screen numerous excerpts and complete films by a wide range of filmmakers and media artists including Dziga Vertov, Jean Epstein, Alfred Hitchcock, Yasujiro Ozu, Jean-Luc Godard, Alain Resnais, Marguerite Duras, Chantal Akerman, Raul Ruiz, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, among many others. 

HMS 440S – Psychoanalysis and FilmGenEd Post-Core Elective

02 – Chris Vitale; Th (5:00 PM -7:50 PM) ONLINE

3 credits

This course will examine the ways in which psychoanalysis has been used to study the moving image. Starting with the work of Freud and the origins of psychoanalysis, the course will start by examining the modes of interpretation which psychoanalysis brings to bear upon therapeutic situations, literature, dreams, and more. From here the course will move to those who built upon Freud's legacy, and increasingly applied to these notions to the study of visual phenomenon in film and beyond. In the process we will work to understand the ways in which psychoanalysis changed throughout the century, how it became because appropriated by various thinkers and activists who sought to understand the ways in which film can be symptomatic of various individual and social anxieties, and how psychoanalytic tools can help dissect structures of power which intertwine with our seemingly infinite desire to consume moving images, even as these change in relation to the virtualities of the digital age. From film as fetish to mirror, screen of identifications to mechanism of defense, from seduction to repulsion, striptease to ob/scene, male gaze to oppositional gaze, desire in terms of sex, gender, sexuality, race, and beyond, from the "object a" to "desert of the Real," this course will work to problematize how and why we are drawn to produce and consume images. Theorists whose ideas will be studied include Sigmund Freud, Melanie Klein, Jacques Lacan, Slavoj Zizek, Laura Mulvey, Carol Clover, bell hooks, and more, with films by Robert Wiene, Luis Bunuel, Michael Powell, Alfred Hitchcock, Wes Craven, Pedro Almodovar, etc. 

HMS 441A – Global Cinema – GenEd Post-Core Elective

01 – Amy Guggenheim; T (9:30 AM – 12:20 PM) ONLINE

3 credits

In this course, we will explore visions of iconic contemporary filmmakers from global cinema notable for their innovative cinematic representation of modern life. Through their works, selected for their capability to go beyond national and cultural boundaries, we will examine how the invention of new cinematic language is used evoke poignant insight into human experience, and potentially bear influence on our perceptions of reality. In modules organized by genres, we will develop methods of analysis through in-depth formal and thematic study of several films, extend our investigation in small research projects by students, and based on these studies and integrate theory with practice in applied creative workshops. A guest filmmaker may be invited to hold a post-screening master class with students. Advance viewing of films is expected. Requirements include a midterm essay project and a final creative or theoretical project based on the films from the course.

HMS 460S – Between Self and Social WorldGenEd Post-Core Elective

01 – Karin Shankar; W (9:30 AM – 12:20 PM); HYBRID

3 credits

In this praxis-based course we consider autoethnography as both reflexive art practice and research methodology. Autoethnography engages personal story and experience (“auto”) to express and interpret (“graphy”) cultural and social practices, objects, relations, and encounters (“ethno”). Autoethnographers aim to show “people in the process of figuring out what to do, how to live, and the meaning of their struggles” (Bochner and Ellis, 2006). In this course we will experiment with different modes of making autoethnography, including writing, imaging, collage, movement, film, and embodied performance. Our semester long-practice of reading, reflection, and making from the material of our lives will generate a cross-media dossier of art objects, written texts, and artifacts, offering new ways to interrogate the intersections between self and social life. Writers and artists whose work we will consider include: Trinh T. Minh-ha, D. Soyini Madison, Dwight Conquergood, E. Patrick Johnson, Carrie Mae Weems, Renato Rosaldo, Xandra Ibarra, Mona Hatoum, Andrea Chung, Gloria Anzaldúa, Ana Mendieta, Guillermo Gómez-Peña, Norman Denzin, Wu Tsang, Kent Monkman, Narcissister, and others.  

HMS 460S – Artists' Sustainability – GenEd Post-Core Elective

02 – David Thomson; W (9:30 AM – 12:20 PM) ONLINE

3 credits

We have consistently seen that artists are lacking certain skill sets, tools and resources that would empower and strengthen their ability to create work, develop personal stability and envision longevity in a realistic way. How can we approach these issues in a holistic way that addresses the person and well as the artist? This course covers a range of topics that addresses the ability to create a quality of life, share access to resources, and redefine concepts of success. This class is open to artists in all artistic disciplines.  Covered topics include: Healthcare & Personal Wellness, Financial Literacy, Housing & Homeownership, Artist Statements & Mission, Fundraising & Grant writing, Residencies, Time Management, Conflict Resolution, and Principles for building a sustainable life.

HMS 460S – Performance Across New YorkGenEd Post-Core Elective

03 – Jenny Romaine; W (6:00 PM – 8:50 PM); HYBRID

3 credits

This class is designed to introduce students to theater and dance companies in New York City performing in a wide range of international styles and traditions. The course is meant to offer students wide knowledge—across a range of cultures and communities—of what performance is. We will look at traditional forms as well as contemporary work. Romaine will frame discussions, share examples of work, and introduce theoretical material. Because the content of the class is so broad and so many exquisite practitioners live and work in NYC, most classes will feature lectures and demonstrations by guest artists. We will watch samples from their work, hear about their process and be led in some embodied work of our own. Students will participate in workshops and complete weekly readings and independent projects.  When possible, there may be field trips to communities and performances. 

HMS 460S – Queer CircusGenEd Post-Core Elective

04 – Jennifer Miller; Tu (2:00 PM – 4:50 PM); HYBRID

3 credits

In this Queer Circus class we will combine practical circus skills with a study of the historical and theoretical issues involved in the evolving new queer circus movement. Practical skills include, juggling, slack rope walking, object balancing, object puppetry and basic partner acrobatics, and clowning. We will explore performance styles ranging from Judson influenced improvisation and pedestrian movement to clown shtick and the grand circus Ta-Da. We will look at queer performance theory, traditional circus history, history of the sideshow, pageantry, political theater, writings on freaks and otherness, contemporary performance art, and clowning. We will touch on several aspects of show creation as we prepare for an end of semester show. Students will be expected to work on all of the skills offered in the class and to master at least one. Wholehearted participation in both studio work and discussion is expected.  All students will participate in creating a grand final performance.

HMS 490A – Electronic Music Production – GenEd Post-Core Elective

01 – Chris Vitale; W (5:00 PM - 7:50 PM) ONLINE
02 – Chris Vitale; F (2:00 PM – 4:50 PM) ONLINE

3 credits

This course will introduce students to the theoretical and practical tools needed to produce electronic music in a studio environment. Students will learn basics of the physics of sound and music theory, and from there learn about the history and practice of electronic music production. In the process students will learn how to program analog subtractive hardware synthesizers, various forms of digital samplers and synthesizers (FM, additive, wavetable, granular, etc.), learn about modular synthesizers, use modern digital studio recording tools (ie: DAWs including Logic and Ableton, various plugin instruments and effects), how to apply various effects in recording processes (ie: reverbs, delays, compressors), music production tools (ie: sequencers, arpeggiators, chording tools), and basics of audio recording (ie: sound treatment, mic placement, etc.). Mid-term and final projects will allow students to experiment producing small compositions of their own, with a goal of students leaving the course with the tools to be able to compose and grow their own electronic musical practice on their own. 

HMS 491A – The Artists' Book – GenEd Post-Core Elective

01 – Adeena Karasick; M (2:00 PM - 4:50 PM) ONLINE

3 credits

This course develops critical frameworks for interpreting and creating artists' books; that is, artworks in which the book is a medium. We will study such books alongside histories of the field, theoretical writings, and critical commentaries. These studies will inform our endeavors to create, catalogue, and/or critique artists' books in which visual, verbal, and material elements are interwoven. Advanced students from various fields are encouraged to use and expand their own disciplinary perspectives. Visits to collections around New York City will supplement Pratt's resources.

HMS 492A – Animating Narrative – GenEd Post-Core Elective

01 – Cecilia Dougherty; F (9:30 AM - 12:20 PM) ONLINE – restricted to DDA students
02 – Cecilia Dougherty; F (2:00 PM - 5:00 PM) ONLINE – restricted to DDA students
03 – Shayla Lawz; F (9:30 AM – 12:20 PM) ONLINE – restricted to DDA students
04 – Shayla Lawz; F (2:00 PM – 4:50 PM) ONLINE– restricted to DDA students
05 – Ellery Washington; T (2:00 PM – 4:50 PM) ONLINE 

3 credits

With an eye towards short animation, Animating Narrative focuses on the fundamentals of storytelling and how to employ strong narrative elements in visual work. While analyzing and deconstructing archetypal narrative forms, from classical mythologies to modern stories and post-modern hyperrealist tendencies, students will write and workshop their own stories, emphasizing how these stories might translate to a concise visual format.

HMS 496A – Creative Writing for Art and Design Practice: Writing off the Page

01 – Michael Sharick; M (10:00 AM – 11:50 AM) ONLINE

1 credit

We tend to think of writing as a mode of expression that appears on the printed page or digital screen. Artists and designers use writing differently, writing into and around our work to generate new ideas, and to describe ourselves and our practice. This course focuses on the modes of writing embedded in practice, that exists off the page, that has often been carefully crafted not to be noticed, or to blend into the background. Instruction manuals, bus stop ads, cereal boxes, GUIs, warning labels, Netflix series summary, catalog copy, YouTube descriptions, the words we encounter in Google search results–all of this text was written by writers who deliberately crafted it for specific purposes. 

This course explores the craft of writing that accompanies living and working design. Students will leave this course with a unique understanding of writing that exists off the page and screen, and yet can’t be written off. 

Humanities and Media Studies – Foreign Languages


CHI 101 – Elementary Chinese I – GenEd Post-Core Elective

01 – Echo Sun; M/W (6:30 PM - 7:50 PM) ONLINE

3 credits

This is a course in conversational Mandarin, including basic grammar and basic functional vocabulary of the Chinese language, and aspects of Chinese culture. 

FREN 101 – Intro to French I – GenEd Post-Core Elective

01 – Layla Zami; M/W (9:30 AM - 10:50 AM) ONLINE

3 credits

This course focuses equally on oral comprehension and speaking, reading, and written expression. Vocabulary is presented thematically in the context of everyday life in France. Students will develop writing skills and will enjoy French songs, poems, and readings on cultural topics. A feature-length French film will complete this introduction. 

FREN 201 – Intermediate French I – GenEd Post-Core Elective

01 – Layla Zami; M/W (11:00 AM - 12:20 PM) ONLINE

3 credits

French 201 is the first of two courses which comprise Intermediate French. The class is conducted as much as possible in French, and focuses on listening, speaking, reading and writing. We begin with a review of basic pronunciation, vocabulary, verbs and grammar. Each chapter features a relevant short French film. Using cultural themes that introduce new vocabulary, we then move on to more complex grammar. French literature is introduced in poems and short stories for reading, discussion and written reaction. We conclude with a feature-length French film. 

ITAL 101 – Italian I – GenEd Post-Core Elective

01 – Barbara Turoff; W (9:30 AM - 10:50 AM) and Th (5:00 PM – 6:20 PM) ONLINE – restricted to Architecture students
02 – Caterina Bertolotto; M/W (11:00 AM - 12:20 PM) ONLINE
03 – Caterina Bertolotto; M/W (9:30 AM - 10:50 AM) ONLINE
04 – Barbara Turoff; W (11:00 AM - 12:20 PM) and Th (6:30 PM – 7:50 PM) ONLINE – restricted to Architecture students

3 credits

This course introduces students to Italian, emphasizing comprehension, speaking, reading, and writing through the study of grammar and elementary composition and oral drills. 

ITAL 201 – Intermediate Italian I – GenEd Post-Core Elective

01 – Barbara Turoff; M/W (2:00 PM - 3:20 PM) ONLINE

3 credits

This course will build on skills learned in first-year Italian, continuing to emphasize comprehension, speaking, reading and writing through the study of readings, grammar, oral communication and writing. 

SPAN 201 – Intro to Spanish I – GenEd Post-Core Elective

01 – Alba Potes; Th (5:00 PM – 7:50 PM) ONLINE
03 – Alba Potes; Tu (5:00 PM - 7:50 PM) ONLINE

3 credits

This course is an introductory Spanish language course. It provides students with enough elements to be able to communicate basic ideas, to answer and to ask questions. Course content is taught through conversation and participation in dialogues, and students will do homework that reinforces the writing and the assimilation of the grammar.