Summer 2020 and Fall 2020 – Humanities and Media Studies Electives
 

Summer 2020  

HMS 101A – Literary & Critical Studies I – GenEd Core Course 

01—TBA, Online; MW (5:00 PM – 7:20 PM) Session I:  05/27/20 – 07/27/20 
02—TBA, Online; TuTh (2:00 PM – 4:20 PM) Session I:  05/26/20 – 07/23/20 
3 credits 

This class serves as an introduction to reading and writing about literary texts and critical theory, with a concentration on composition, critical analysis, and research. Students are required to write essays based on the critical analysis of texts across a range of genres. Emphasis is placed on using writing as an extension of the thought and creative process, and as a tool that can be integrated across academic and artistic disciplines. There will be a focus on mastering the elements of the thesis-centered essay and developing research skills. 

HMS 201A – Literary & Critical Studies II – GenEd Core Course 

01—TBA, Online; MW (5:00 PM – 7:20 PM) Session I:  05/27/20 – 07/27/20 
02—TBA, Online; MW (2:00 PM – 4:20 PM) Session I: 05/27/20 – 07/27/20 
03—TBA, Online; TuTh (5:00 PM – 7:20 PM) Session I: 05/26/20 – 07/23/20 
3 credits 

While students continue to deepen and refine the critical thinking and writing skills required in 101A, emphasis is places on exploring literary and visual texts in historical and cultural contexts and in their myriad relations to critical theory. Students will also continue to develop and refine a writing style characterized by coherency, clarity of expression, analytical rigor, and personal style. The course will culminate in an independent research project that helps to point students toward their further focused studies. 

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

01—Don Andreasen, Online; MWTh (10:00 AM – 12:50 PM) Session II:  06/22/20 – 07/23/20 
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 440S – Cinema and Eros – GenEd Post-Core Elective 

01—Amy Guggenheim, Online; MWTh (12:00 PM – 2:50 PM) Session II:  06/22/20 – 07/23/20 
3 credits 

Embracing Ann Carson’s paradox of “Eros: The Bittersweet” we will look at the cinematic structure in iconic films about love and death. Close readings of the films will focus on notions of normalcy and instability, impermanence and the body, to understand how cultural, philosophical and social beliefs about eros shape our experience.  Our viewings will include Ingmar Bergman’s “Cries and Whispers”, Hiroshi Teshigara’s “Woman in the Dunes”, Masahiro Shinoda’s “Double Suicide”, Claire Denis’ “Let The Sunshine In”, and Barry Jenkins’ “If Beale Street Could Talk”. Student will conduct research on the director’s under study, and make presentations about the ‘poetics of intimacy’ embodied cinematically in their works.  

HMS 440S – NY Global Film Scene – GenEd Post-Core Elective 

02—Amy Guggenheim, Online; MW (4:00 PM – 6:20 PM) & M (6:30 PM – 8:50 PM) Session II:  06/22/20 – 07/31/20  
3 credits 

“Madness is the result not of uncertainty but certainty.” 

    - Friedrich Nietzsche  

Uncertainty is a dreaded yet unavoidable state. Our challenged reality becomes riddled with anxiety, instability, doubt - the future jeopardized.  At the same time, it allows ‘the possible’, a space for the imagination to grow, expand, take flight. Selected films, such as “The Headless Woman” by Lucretia Martel (Argentina), “Dogtooth” (Greece), and Parasite (South Korea), bring to light relationships between certainty, experience and the social order. In this virtual online course, through viewings, close readings and research, we will focus on the directors’ signature style to illuminate their distinctive perspective on the dynamic tensions of unpredictability.  On line class discussion, written and creative assignments along with an online artist’s journal will allow us to engage with the concepts and creative choices of these themes, and respond with our own textual and visual works.  

HMS 640S – Cinema and Eros 

01—Amy Guggenheim, Online; MWTh (12:00 PM – 2:50 PM) Session II:  06/22/20 – 07/23/20 
3 credits 

Embracing Ann Carson’s paradox of “Eros: The Bittersweet” we will look at the cinematic structure in iconic films about love and death. Close readings of the films will focus on notions of normalcy and instability, impermanence and the body, to understand how cultural, philosophical and social beliefs about eros shape our experience.  Our viewings will include Ingmar Bergman’s “Cries and Whispers”, Hiroshi Teshigara’s “Woman in the Dunes”, Masahiro Shinoda’s “Double Suicide”, Claire Denis’ “Let The Sunshine In”, and Barry Jenkins’ “If Beale Street Could Talk”. Student will conduct research on the director’s under study, and make presentations about the ‘poetics of intimacy’ embodied cinematically in their works.  

HMS 640S – NY Global Film Scene 

02—Amy Guggenheim, Online; MW (4:00 PM – 6:20 PM) & M (6:30 PM – 8:50 PM) Session II:  06/22/20 – 07/31/20  
3 credits 

“Madness is the result not of uncertainty but certainty.” 

    - Friedrich Nietzsche  

Uncertainty is a dreaded yet unavoidable state. Our challenged reality becomes riddled with anxiety, instability, doubt - the future jeopardized.  At the same time, it allows ‘the possible’, a space for the imagination to grow, expand, take flight. Selected films, such as “The Headless Woman” by Lucretia Martel (Argentina), “Dogtooth” (Greece), and Parasite (South Korea), bring to light relationships between certainty, experience and the social order. In this virtual online course, through viewings, close readings and research, we will focus on the directors’ signature style to illuminate their distinctive perspective on the dynamic tensions of unpredictability.  On line class discussion, written and creative assignments along with an online artist’s journal will allow us to engage with the concepts and creative choices of these themes, and respond with our own textual and visual works.  

PPS 660S – Performance and Technology 

01—Julia Steinmetz, Online; MWF (9:00 AM – 11:50 AM) Session II: 06/22/20- 07/27/20 
3 credits 

In this time of quarantine and social distancing, the relationship between performance and technology has never been more vital. All of Broadway has gone dark, concerts have been cancelled across the globe, dance studios have shuttered their doors, and “liveness” itself seems all but impossible. Rehearsals run the risk of becoming vectors for infection and death. On the other hand theaters, concert halls, and opera houses have opened their archives, streaming recorded performances for the public en masse. New forms of collaboration and performance across distance are being enabled by platforms such as zoom, making way for experimental operas, virtual orchestras and choirs, and video based dance and theater works. Social media platforms such as tiktok are giving life to viral choreographic and narrative forms; meanwhile the deployment of medical technologies determines our survival as humans and as artists. 

This hybrid theory and practice course considers technology as a framework for thinking about performance generally, and then focuses specifically on the role of various technologies in performance – historically as well as in contemporary practices.  How do technical innovations and new knowledge make new forms of performance possible, even as global crisis makes them necessary?  We will approach this question through readings, viewings, and discussions alongside a series of experiments in performance practice using a range of technological tools and media platforms. The course will consider technology in aesthetic performance as well as the performance of technology in extra-theatrical settings. 

Fall 2020-Electives


HMS 203A – World Literature Survey I

GenEd Post-Core Elective

01 – Steven Doloff; M/W (11 AM–12:20 PM)
02 – Maria Damon; M/W (11 AM–12:20 PM) 
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 208A – Medieval Literature & Culture

GenEd Post-Core Elective

01 – Suzanne Verderber; W (9 AM–11:50 PM)
3 credits

Since the term “Middle Ages” is burdened with designating one thousand years of history (c.500-1500), this course will provide a necessarily limited overview of a few major literary, philosophical, religious, and aesthetic issues that defined the period in Western Europe.  Literary and philosophical texts will be situated within the historic, aesthetic, social, and intellectual contexts in which they emerged in order to provide a sense of the specific trends that characterized shorter periods with in the medieval era.  The trends to be studied will vary each semester the course is taught.

HMS 215 – Writing for the Professional

(Reserved for CM students)

01 – Melissa Milgrom, Manhattan Campus; M/W (5–6:20 PM)
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 – Suzanne Verderber; Th (9–11:50 AM)
02 – Suzanne Verderber; W (2–4:50 PM)
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 (2–4:50 PM)
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 (9–11:50 AM)
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 308A – Shakespeare

GenEd Post-Core Elective

01 – Steven Doloff; M (5–7:50 PM)
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 320B – Fiction Writing

GenEd Post-Core Elective

01 – Robert Lopez; M (5–7:50 PM)
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 (9–11:50 AM)
02 – Mateo Sancho Cardiel; F (9:30 AM–12:20 PM)
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; M (2–4:50 PM)
3 credits

This class will provide a hands-on chance to improve your reporting skills, whether your focus is news or feature writing.  We'll explore what it means to be a professional journalist, and you will have a chance to interview diverse people, attend public events and hearings, and write investigative and human interest articles.

HMS 330B - Postmodern Creative Practices 

01 – Prof. Shayla Lawz; Thursdays (1:00 PM – 3:50 PM) 
3 credits 

Postmodernism is an artistic movement in search of what greater truths we might find—about art, about the world, and about ourselves—once we move beyond the universal and toward the unfamiliar, the unknown. It is concerned with rules and how we break them, with what we construct and deconstruct, with how we are made and unmade. 

In this course, we will explore how artists across disciplines have used their work to interrupt the boundary between “high art” and popular culture. We will look at forms such as collage, performance (art), sound poetry, installation, bricolage, new media, music, and advertisement—to consider how artists have abandoned elitist notions of art for new, exciting, emerging realities. We will look at artists, particularly QTPOC, who—through innovation and interdisciplinary practice—have created new bodies, new ways of seeing, and ultimately new ways of being. We will consider how the internet and social media have contributed to our new methods of communication, dissemination, and craft. Is the Instagram story an art form? How do we use the tools that are available to us now to archive our past and represent our present? What do we do with this power, even those who are not artists? Throughout the semester, we will explore these emerging realities and experiment in making our own.  

Our practice will be wholly creative, our reading will be theoretical, our philosophy will be to ask more questions. We will be less concerned with what isn’t art, and most concerned with the possibilities of what it can be, what we can be.  

HMS 330S – Photographic Theory: Optics of Race, Gender and Imperialism

GenEd Post-Core Elective

01 – Jon Beller; Th (2–4:50 PM)
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 (5–7:50 PM)
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 (6:30–9:20 PM)
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 360C – Intro to Performance Practice

GenEd Post-Core Elective

01 – Jennifer Miller; Th (2–4:50 PM)
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 – Karin Shankar; Th (2–4:50 PM)
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 390S – A Hybrid Music:  Text & Sound

GenEd Post-Core Elective

01 – J. Mae Barizo; Tu (2–4:50 PM)
3 credits

This class will explore the porous fields of writing, performance art and music and uncover ways in which artists can deepen their practice through collaboration and cross-genre investigation. In-class listening will be an integral part of the class, as well as discussions on the interplay between body text and sound. Examples of topics include musical ekphrasis (the practice of written work responding to or inspired by music); writing the fugue; the poetics of analog synth music; indigenous avant-garde sound making and poetics; and contemporary sound art. Assignments for this class will include response papers, two essays and one hybrid project. This class is designed for performers, musicians and writers of all genres, as well as artists interested in hybrid projects and the embodiment of music through language.

HMS 404A – Democratic Vistas

GenEd Post-Core Elective

01 – Steve Doloff; M (2–4:50 PM)
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.

HMS 430A – Theory for Artists/Writers

GenEd Post-Core Elective

01 – Emily Beall; Tu (9–11:50 AM)
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 430S – Future Worlds & Other Science Fictions

GenEd Post-Core Elective

02 – Jayna Brown; Tu (2–4:50 PM)
3 credits

In this class students will explore science fiction, art, music, film and video that envision other worlds and ways of being. Some of the works we consider are wild bio-technological fantasies. Others are dystopian critiques, as they imagine worlds destroyed by the impact of humans on the planet. Others contemplate humanity itself: the possibilities of biological life, human ‘nature,’ and subjectivity. All of these speculative aesthetic practices and philosophies profoundly disrupt notions of space, time, and matter. They create future and other dimensional worlds and forms of existence that reach outside our current paradigms of knowledge.

HMS 430S – Freedom Archipelagos: Black/Women/LGBT*/Immigrant Perspectives on Arts, Language, and Spacetime

GenEd Post-Core Elective

03 – Layla Zami; Tu (2–4:50 PM)
3 credits

How do creative thinkers and artists identifying as Black and/or Women and/or LGBT* and/or Immigrants invent(ed) and imagine(d) freedom in the 20th and 21st centuries? What can we learn from minoritarian perspectives on major topics of society? And what do archipelagic islands have to do with cultural theory? In this course, students will learn about feminist, diasporic, and decolonial perspectives on arts, culture, language, space and time. We will sharpen our interdisciplinary skills, engage in discussions and embodied research, and expand our cultural horizons. Students will creatively reflect upon readings, music, videos, and art works. The class also includes occasional guest artists and the production of a collaborative podcast.

HMS 430S – Situationists:  Adventures in Psychogeography

GenEd Post-Core Elective

04 – Ethan Spigland; Tu (5–7:50 PM)
3 credits

A revolutionary, theoretical, political, aesthetic, social movement that originated in Europe in the late 1950s, the Situationist International was concerned with conducting a penetrating critique of post-war capitalist consumerism. This course will seek to critically address and re-frame the relevance of the SI within the context of contemporary debates surrounding aesthetics, media, urban studies, the notion of everyday life, and the transformation of urban space by the international forces of globalization. Along the way we will examine such Situationist notions/practices as the dérivedétournement, constructed situations, and psychogeography. Students will be encouraged through practical exercises to apply these practices to their own contemporary urban experience. We will read key Situationist texts such as Guy Debord’s Society of the Spectacle and Raoul Vaneigem’s Revolution of Everyday Life and screen Lettrist and Situationist films by Debord and others. We will also look at contemporary interventionist movements that that have been influenced by the SI’s spirit of revolutionary urbanism.

HMS 431S – Money as Medium:  Crypto-Economic Design

GenEd Post-Core Elective

01 – Jon Beller, ENGR 115; Th (5–7:50 PM)
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 – Writing about Arts & Culture

GenEd Post-Core Elective

02 – Minh-Ha Pham; W (12:30–3:20 PM)
3 credits

Today, everyone has a “hot take”—a piece of commentary that responds quickly to the latest political, cultural, or social event. It competes for public attention in a 24-hour news cycle where journalists, bloggers, and other commentators (amateur and professional) are vying for the public’s increasingly divided attention. Because of this, “hot takes” are often disparaged (sometimes deservedly) for substituting a personal opinion and shallow moralizing for thoughtful, deliberate criticism. This course focuses on “the cool take”—commentary that is timely but not hastily produced, based on individual perspectives as well as research and data. 

In this course, students will learn to identify what constitutes compelling arts writing and criticism, and employ those same standards while producing their own cultural criticism. Choosing their own medium and/or media, students will practice writing/performing pieces of criticism that put an exhibition, concert, television episode/series, theatrical production, fashion collection, food trend, or some other cultural production in greater historical, social, political, and/or cultural context. Throughout the semester, students will turn in drafts of their work and receive constructive feedback from the professor and their peers. In addition, we will read, watch, and listen to professional cultural commentators and discuss the ways in which a written review, a podcast, or a vlog is or isn’t successful. This writing intensive course will improve students’ writing, research, and thinking skills through the necessary art of rewriting.

HMS 431S – Mutating Cities

GenEd Post-Core Elective

03 – Youmna Chlala & Christoph Kumpusch; Tu (2–4:50 PM)
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 – The Border Event: Art and Theory on the Edge

GenEd Post-Core Elective

04 – Karin Shankar; Tu (9:30 AM–12:20 PM)
3 credits

This interdisciplinary seminar explores conceptual approaches to borders, borderlands, and border identities through art and theory. Taking different border contexts into consideration—from checkposts on clandestine Mediterranean migration routes, to gated communities in Sao Paolo; from Gaza, to the US- Mexico border—students will grapple with key concepts in critical refugee, diaspora, migration, transnational, and queer and feminist studies to examine questions of territoriality, citizenship, (im)mobility, and imaginaries of openings and closures. Through engagement with theory, literature, art, film, and performance works, we will gain a deeper understanding of the ways in which borders transform, disappear, and multiply. Assignments for this course include a mix of analytical writing and creative and project-based exercises. Theorists and artists that we will consider this semester include: Jacques Derrida, Giorgio Agamben, Gloria Anzaldua, Trinh T. Minh-ha, Seyla Benhabib, Jose Munoz, Postcommodity, Ursula Beimann, Tania Bruguera, Ai WeiWei, Bhukra Khalili, amongst others. 

HMS-431S – Race, Media, Performance

GenEd Post-Core Elective

05 – Jayna Brown; M (9:30 AM–12:20 PM)
3 credits

This course explores the way ideas of race, gender, and sexuality, as intertwined concepts, are produced and performed through live performance, film, video, recording and various internet incarnations. We consider the circulation of images, ideas, memes and iconographica in historical perspective, from early film, documentary to on line content. We consider these media not only as formations through which dominant cultures reinforce oppressive systems and structures of feeling, but also as formations through which racialized and gendered subjects contest these ideas. 

Our discussions will kick up many questions, including: What are the politics of media circulation? What are the limits of a discourse of representation? To what ends do we seek such representation? What does visibility mean for people of color? What is spectacularizing and what is witnessing? Should certain images circulate at all? Is there such a thing as a public/private divide? Is it always about visuality—do we assume it to be the legitimating medium? What is possible in other sensual realms (aural, haptic?)

HMS 440C – Contemporary Media Theory

GenEd Post-Core Elective

01 – Ethan Spigland; Th (5–7:50 PM)
3 credits

Under the rubric of “contemporary media theory” this course investigates the technological, economic, material, communicative, psychic, and organizational changes experienced by humans and their kin during the long twentieth century. Media theory is an emerging field that is fundamentally interdisciplinary. It has come into being alongside what is now perceived as the convergence of prior media towards digitization. Fields of inquiry that inform media theory include political economy, computational theory, cognitive theory, linguistics, film theory, urban studies, art history, semiotics, ideology critique, political science, psychoanalysis and aesthetics, and, more recently, biology, physics, and genetics among others. Increasingly, paradigms of communication and informatics are working their way through the human sciences, and analogously/simultaneously through the human itself (ourselves). In the study of media theory, nothing less than human being is at stake.

HMS 440E – Poetics of Cinema

GenEd Post-Core Elective

01 – Amy Guggenheim; M (2–4:50 PM)
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 440K – Int. Film Theory

GenEd Post-Core Elective

01 – Paul Haacke; W (2–4:50 PM)
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 & Time

GenEd Post-Core Elective

01 – Chris Vitale; Tu (5–7:50 PM)
3 credits

This course will pose the question of the relation between cinema and time. Starting with philosophies of time, emphasizing that of Henri Bergson and Gilles Deleuze, the course will examine how cinema has been theorized in relation to time, and how various works of cinema explore time in different ways. Along with various supplemental readings, Gilles Deleuze's crucial work Cinema II: The Time-Image, will help guide much of the course along the way, moving from works of early cinema to various works of the international post-war avant-garde, to more contemporary experiments, including those of recent time-travel cinema. 

Films to include works by Federico Fellini, Jean-Luc Godard, Chantal Ackerman, Ozu Yasujiro, Samira Makmalbaf, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Roberto Rosselini, Andrei Tarkovsky, Andy Warhol, Alain Resnais, Chris Marker, Maya Derren, and much more. 

HMS 440S – Almodóvar’s Cinema:  Unlabeling Identity

GenEd Post-Core Elective

02 – Mateo Sancho Cardiel; Th (2–4:50 PM)
3 credits

This course analyzes Pedro Almodóvar’s cinema as a tapestry of collective freedom, gender fluidity, and unforeseen sexual or emotional reactions. From queerness to motherhood, from artistic creation to food or religion, Almodóvar drives a bumped road towards identity that challenges our current social and moral labels. Students will dive deep into Almodovar’s filmography in order to complete short informal assignments, participate in class discussions and write a final research paper. 

HMS 441A – Global Cinema

GenEd Post-Core Elective

01 – Amy Guggenheim; M (9–11:50 AM)

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 – Artists' Sustainability

GenEd Post-Core Elective

01 – David Thomson; W (9:30 AM–12:20 PM)
02 – David Thomson; F (9:30 AM–12:20 PM)
3 credits

In this course we will cover a range of topics, strategies and resources related to concepts of value and sustainability as individuals and artists.  We will discuss the role of artists within the ecosystem using various reading materials. Topics covered will include: financial literacy, healthcare, applying for grants & residencies, budgets, documentation, and personal resources specific to an artist’s life and longevity. 

HMS 460S – Body and Performance Practice

GenEd Post-Core Elective

03 – David Thomson; F (2–4:50 PM)
3 credits

This course is a selected survey of performance work and the related physical and conceptual practices that formulate the distinctive nature of each artist's process. Through readings, recorded interviews and performances, we will discuss various artists, the questions they are engaging and how they are framed through concepts of legacy, socio-political, aesthetic and cultural histories. The course will go beyond the theoretical by diving into the visual and physical. We will focus on the corporeal and experiential aspect of developing performance work, covering a range of modalities including text, scores and improvisation, to generate material and extend the practice of art making.  Students will create individual and collaborative work reflecting the concepts and practices studied during the semester.  

HMS 460S – Feminist Performance:  From #metoo to F-you

GenEd Post-Core Elective

04 – Julia Steinmetz; Th (5–7:50 PM)
3 credits

Explicitly feminist performance art turns 50 this year, and it is more fierce, necessary, and relevant than ever. Moving from the gallery, the theater, and the nightclub to the courthouse, the media, and the streets, feminist performance speaks a language that is at once aesthetic and activist, personal and political, symbolic and material. From the #MeToo movement to feminist anthems voicing a collective “F*** you,” this course looks at both the performance of politics in the public sphere and the politics embodied by feminist performance in art, theater, and music.   

This course will combine readings of feminist theory with immersion in feminist performance practices from 1970 to the present; these will include performances by Yoko Ono, Yayoi Kusama, Andrea Fraser, Adrian Piper, Pauline Oliveros, Linda Montano, Nao Bustamante, Tania Bruguera, Hannah Wilke, Valie Export, Cassils, Jibz Cameron, Xandra Ibarra, Autumn Knight, Paula Vogel, Bikini Kill, Janelle Monae, and Tourmaline, among others. We will attend exhibitions and live performances, host a collective Judy Chicago inspired dinner party, write and publish a collection of manifestos, and develop original performance pieces culminating in an evening of solo and collaborative final performances. 

HMS 460S – Human (Dis)figuration

GenEd Post-Core Elective

05 – Marielle Pelissero; Tu (5–7:50 PM)
3 credits

Is there any possible thing like a proper image of "The Human being"? How and why do artists insistently work on disfiguration, especially in live performance? What are the stakes of human (dis)figuration today, when it comes to issues of technology, ecology, or postcolonial humanity? This seminar will explore this topic through a combination of readings and workshops. 

Reading a series of excerpts, we will look at the history of (dis)figuration in performance, from masquerades and rituals to posthuman strategies. Considering disfigurations as performative strategies to resist normative power and authority of human figuration, we will discuss the current stage of this history, looking at performance artists such as Ana Mendieta, Tanaka Min, Orlan, Guillermo Gómez-Peña, and Narcissister. Our critical lens will combine Michel Foucault’s Order of things, Denise Da Silva’s Towards a global idea of race, Hortense Spiller’s concept of 'flesh' and other aspects of theory from black studies.  A workshop will invite students to experiment on how to blur, distance, and trouble the human figure in live performance, through tactics such as prothesis, costumes, and makeup FX. Assessment will rely on creative responses to the subject matter, in-class discussion, and critical writing (paper or journal).

HMS 490A – Electronic Music Production

GenEd Post-Core Elective

01 – Chris Vitale; W (2–4:50 PM)
02 – Chris Vitale; W (5–7:50 PM)
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 (2–4:50 PM)
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) reserved for DDA students
02 – Cecilia Dougherty; F (2–5 PM) reserved for DDA students
03 – Shayla Lawz; F (12:30–3:20 PM) reserved for DDA students
04 – Ellery Washington; M (2–4:50 PM) open to all students
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

01 – TBD; M (10–11:50 AM)
02 – TBD; M (2–3:50 PM)
03 – TBD; Tu (2–3:50 PM)
04 – TBD; W (2–3:50 PM)
05 – TBD; Th (2–3:50 PM)
1 credit

This course is a one-credit writing workshop designed to support artistic and design practice and provide students with creative approaches to meet writing required of them in school and more generally. Students will read and write about visual art, design, dance, money, news and politics, science, poetry. They will also write first person essays and collaborative texts about their own practice of making. Students will complete weekly assignments and cooperatively review work in class. Students will be given the opportunity to publish their work on a class blog or print anthology. For a final assignment, students will prepare a writing portfolio and present a revised artists statement.

Humanities and Media Studies – Foreign Languages


CHI 101 – Elementary Chinese I

GenEd Post-Core Elective

01 – Echo Sun; M/W (6:30–7:50 PM)
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 – Marielle Pelissero; M/W (9:30–10:50 AM)
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 – Marielle Pelissero; M/W (11 AM–12:20 PM)
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; M/W (9:30–10:50 AM)
02 – Barbara Turoff; M/W (11 AM–12:20 PM)
03 – Caterina Bertolotto; M/W (9:30–10:50 AM)
04 – Caterina Bertolotto; M/W (11 AM–12:20 PM)
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 (2–3:20 PM)
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 (12:30–3:30 PM)
02 – Alba Potes; Tu (5–7:50 PM)
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.