Pratt students and faculty

Interdisciplinary Research/Practice Hubs are comprised of interested faculty, administrators and students at Pratt Institute who are engaged in various matters related to the interdisciplinary realm of research and practice. Theoretical, historical and praxis-based problematics and inquiries are explored, while adventurous programs and actions are integrated into the fabric of the group’s work.

These hubs provide ongoing opportunities for the exploration of practices surrounding a particular academic/disciplinary arena, and interdisciplinary interstices. They integrate practice, research and theoretical investigations of the particular topics’ past, present and future. Participants in these working groups have all been involved in various dimensions of the investigated realm, and continue to integrate questions around the form and functions of the discipline or interdisciplinary questions their evolving research and practice agenda.

Translation Innovation Ensemble

The Translation Innovation Ensemble, launched by Amir Parsa and Christian Hawkey, is a core group of poets/writer/translators first formed at Pratt Institute. The Ensemble was conceived concomitantly with the first Translate This! event. The main focus of the ensemble—which remains open to interested literary translators from across the world—and the Translate This! series is to provide a space for reflection and action on the challenges and possibilities of poetic translation, as well as the inescapable political and social dimension of translatory practice as a whole. Innovative gestures at micro and macro levels are infused with the constant reflection on the impossibility-yet-necessity of poetic translation. 

The Ensemble organized the first Translate This! Reading and panel discussion in spring 2016 with the participation of poets Per Bergström, Ida Börjel, Jennifer Hayashida, Jenny Tunedal, and Uljana Wolf.

Book Pub

The BookPub constitutes a research and practice hub, a figurative space, and a circle of interested faculty, administrators and students at Pratt Institute who are engaged in various matters related to the book as object, idea, artwork and cultural artifact. The BookPub intertwines research and practice on campus with ongoing conversations around the past, present and future of the book through exhibitions, unique and innovative events, conversations, lectures and workshops with artists, designers and experts. Theoretical, historical and praxis-based problematics and inquiries are explored, while adventurous programs and actions are integrated into the fabric of the group’s work. The core members of the group have also been involved in the creation of a Book minor. Participants include Russ Abell, Saul Anton, Youmna Chlala, Adeena Karasick, Kyle Olmon, Amir Parsa, Tori Purcell, and Robbin Ami Silverberg

Documentary Practices Group

The Documentary Practices Group constitutes an Interdisciplinary Hub where faculty from multiple Pratt departments organize screenings, panels, exhibitions and conversations, and collectively reflect on the theoretical and practical dimensions of documentary practice across mediums (photo, film, writing). Members of the group also share research and continue to reflect on the relationship of new forms to the concept of the documentary. The group is also involved in the conceptualization of a cross-departmental minor dubbed Documentary Practices. The core members of the group include Kara Hearn, Ann Holder, Kathleen Kelley, Jacki Ochs, Amir Parsa, Tori Purcell, Jennifer Telesca, and Sasha Sumner.

This ‘hub’ provides a platform for the investigation of engagements that are intrinsic to documentary work across disciplines and mediums. Participants have expertise in various backgrounds (from anthropology and cultural studies to film-making and photography to new forms) and are connected through their interests in the questioning of the foundations, forms and functions of what is perhaps too often uncritically dubbed "documentary." The group’s work encompasses an ongoing exploration of the creation of the minor, as well as the presentation of work by guest practitioners. It involves a questioning of the "representation of the real" as well as a constantly critical perspective wrought onto the history, theory and gestures involved in documentary work, including emerging practices.

 In February 2016, The group organized a screening of, and panel discussion around, Jack Walsh’s film Feelings Are Facts: the Life of Yvonne Rainer at Pratt. Following the screening, the panelists discussed various dimensions of Rainer’s work as a film-maker and a pioneer of dance, and also delved into the decisions made by Jack Walsh through the process of making the documentary. Moderated by HMS professor Jennifer Miller, the panelists engaged in a spirited and fascinating conversation around the aesthetics, poetics and politics of art making in general, and the documentary practice that allowed the continuing debates around particular works and movements. Audience questions and interventions also generated more provocative discussion around not only Yvonne Rainer’s work, but the nature of the documentary itself—as a genre and cultural mainstay. Participants in this event included Jack Walsh, Jennifer Miller, Jorge Oliver, Deb Meehan, Noel Carroll , Patricia Hoffbauer, and Judy Lieff.


For more information, contact Amir Parsa at aparsa@pratt.edu.