This minor provides a pathway for undergraduate students to pursue socially engaged projects that initiate exchange, envision new social relations, and provoke individual/collective actions. This is an invitation to blur the lines between object making, performance, political activism, community organizing, guerrilla architecture, environmentalism, and investigative journalism. This approach to art making fosters collaboration between artists and broader publics. Drawing on the strengths of The New School's history of engagement with social justice, the Social Practice minor taps into our faculty's diverse fieldwork, exposing students to multidisciplinary methodologies for their own research. A progression of lab and studio seminars provides models for developing media strategies and forms of social cooperation. This minor will prepare students to conceptualize participatory projects, articulate narratives, position themselves ethically, and cultivate networks that support poetic and political visions.
Examples of social practice include Theaster Gates’ Dorchester Projects (winner of the New School's inaugural Vera List Center Prize), Mel Chin’s
Fundred Dollar Project, Estudio Teddy Cruz’s
Casa Familiar: Living Rooms at the Border, and Jeanne van Heeswijk’s Freehouse.
The Social Practice minor is offered through Parsons'
School of Art, Media, and Technology.
Note: Course availability may vary from semester to semester. Some courses may be in development and offered at a later time. Students seeking to pursue alternative coursework to fulfill the minor should consult with their advisors.
A student who has completed this minor should be able to demonstrate:
Introduction to Main Concepts, History, and Theory
Students who have already completed one of these courses, or will do so for their major, should instead select another course in the subject area "Social Justice Issues and Community-Based Practice" (below).
Research Skills and Direct Fieldwork Experience
Minors are available to undergraduate students across The New School except those students at Lang and in the Bachelor's Program for Adults and Transfer Students who are completing a self-designed BA or BS in Liberal Arts, who are not permitted to declare minors. For students at Lang or in the Bachelor's Program for Adults and Transfer Students who are interested in pursuing a deeper study of this subject area, opportunities are available through the self-designed major in Liberal Arts. To explore this, contact an academic advisor or read more information about self-designed options for
Lang or the
Bachelor's Program for Adults and Transfer Students.
For questions regarding this minor’s curriculum, including requests for course substitutions, please contact Lydia Matthews, professor of visual culture, at
Art, Media, Tech
View all minors available throughout The New School