Critical and Visual Studies at Pratt
Critical and Visual Studies is a dynamic interdisciplinary bachelor of arts degree offering a strong foundation in the social sciences, history, and philosophy while immersed in Pratt’s uniquely vibrant community. Critical and Visual Studies emphasizes critical thinking and research, writing, and social theory. If you are excited about the interconnections of society, culture, the environment, and urban space, then Critical and Visual Studies is the major for you.
Our students work closely with faculty and advisors to forge individual paths of study anchored in a core curriculum that combines theoretical exploration with practical applications. Our program underscores the utmost importance of persuasive writing and efficient communication. Students embark on a systematic and rigorous exploration of the social, political, ecological, and aesthetic underpinnings of cultural production. Every facet of social life – from society and history to everyday life, music, media, fashion, art, globalization, and environment – is a potential object of your studies.
Berlin, Germany, stands as an ideal city for The Pratt Berlin study abroad program invites sophomores and juniors to broaden your cultural, intellectual, and creative horizons with a semester in one of Europe’s most vibrant artistic and literary hubs. Housed in a newly renovated button factory in Kreuzberg, one of Berlin’s central and thrilling neighborhoods, this program offers writing majors and minors in creative writing, critical and visual studies, and humanities and media studies a complete 16-credit package, encompassing core classes and electives taught by our BFA Writing faculty. Explore further opportunities on Pratt’s Study Abroad Program page:
Symposium and Speaker Series
Our Speaker Series brings celebrated scholars and intellectuals to Pratt, offering our students invaluable opportunities for engagement and interaction. Past speakers have included luminaries such as: Randy Martin (who laid the foundation of the major), Manthia Diawara, Coco Fusco, Nona Sheppard, Frances Negrón-Muntaner, Gayatri Gopinath, Franco “Bifo” Berardi, Subhankar Banerjee, Cecilia Vicuña, T.J. Demos, J. Kēhaulani Kauanui, Jaskiran Dhillon, Julietta Singh, Roderick Ferguson, Jasbir K. Puar, Arjun Appadurai, Lisa Duggan, Alain Badiou, Tina Campt, Simon Critchley, Vijay Prashad, Gina Dent, Robert Gooding-Williams, Saidiya Hartmam, David Harvey, Gyan Prakash, Michael Taussig, and Ruthie Gilmore.
September 21: Factory Farming and Agricultural Exceptionalism with Jan Dutkiewicz
October 5: Archipelagoes of the Unseen with May Joseph
October 26: Monsters and Human Variety from Pliny the Elder to Linnaeus’ “Systema natura” with B. Ricardo Brown
November 2: TERFism and Feminism Against Cisness with Sophie Lewis
November 9: Imagining a World Without Police with Geo Ciccariello-Maher
November 30: New York Liberation School with Conor Tomás Reed
Join in profound dialogues with eminent scholars visiting our department for extended lectures and discussions. Our past scholars-in-residence have included notable figures such as Partha Chatterjee, Stanley Aronowitz, Patricia Clough, Juan Cole, Susan Meiselas, Avery Gordon, Robin Blackburn, Susan Buck-Morss, and Laura Mulvey.
Our interdisciplinary program emphasizes the richness and complexity of social life, offering abundant learning resources.
Pratt’s Department of Social Science and Cultural Studies (SSCS) is passionately committed to interdisciplinary studies, engaging with a diverse spectrum of topics spanning from cultural theory to pressing local and global social issues. Our faculty members boast expertise in history, anthropology, sociology, philosophy, social and political theory, cultural studies, urban studies, race and ethnicity, gender studies, media analysis, and environmental studies.
Our faculty members are committed to the pursuit of equity through their teaching, research, and public engagement. They bring this dedication and extensive experience directly into the classroom. Explore our Social Science and Cultural Studies faculty to delve deeper into our academic community:
Our distinguished alumni are leading diverse and thriving careers, addressing critical challenges and creating innovative work that reimagines our world.
Recent Alumni News
Where They Work
- Assistant Vice President; Government & Community Relations, New York City Economic Development Corporation
- Senior Analyst National Institute for Children’s Health Quality National Institute for Children’s Health Quality (NICHQ)
- External Relations Officer, Friends of Firefighters
- Director, Programs & Strategy, NationSwell
- Editor, Dow Jones Private Equity News
- Associate Project Manager, Creative Operations, Tommy Hilfiger
- Multimedia Design & Production Specialist at Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP
- Alaska Botanical Garden, Marketing Graphic Designer
- PCA, COVID Unit, Yale New Haven Health
- Director of Operations, A Case for Women
- Clinical Trial Project Manager at Neurological Clinical Research Institute at Massachusetts General Hospital
- Lecturer in Law, University of Kent
- Founder, Feminist Bird Club | Advocacy and Outreach Manager, New York City Audubon
- Communications Manager at Urban Dove | Outings Leader at Latino Outdoors NYC
- Certified sommelier
- Marketing Strategy Manager (Film, TV and Sports), Fox
- Collection Move Registrar, Philadelphia Museum of Art
- Director of Editorial Photography, Saks Fifth Avenue
- Supply Chain Manager, Atlantic Chemicals Trading Group
Ready for More?
|HERE’S HOW TO APPLY
|OUR CAMPUS & BEYOND
|Join us at Pratt. Learn more about admissions requirements, plan your visit, talk to a counselor, and start your application. Take the next step.
|Building your portfolio can be daunting. We’ll answer your questions and help you feel confident about the portfolio you submit with your application. Start building your portfolio, now.
|You’ll find yourself at home at Pratt. Learn more about our residence halls, student organizations, athletics, gallery exhibitions, events, the amazing City of New York and our Brooklyn neighborhood communities. Check us out.