Parsons Paris

Parsons Paris.

Working With People: A Conference on Keywords & Contested Meanings

10:00 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.

When we talk about community-university collaborations, some powerful words are ill-defined; other critical words are conspicuously absent. How can wrestling with these words affect our practice?

This one-day event focuses on developing critical conversations around “civic engagement” and the pedagogy and politics of teaching “with communities.” The day’s conversations will foster challenging collisions between different understandings of six crucial keywords—community + collaboration; politics + citizenship; and representation + human—as we consider even the most seemingly familiar terms and concepts from new perspectives and begin to build a more nuanced way of working with people.

The event grows out of a three-year research and curriculum development project on innovative pedagogical approaches to teaching in and with communities that foreground the impacts of relationships of power that frequently determine these projects, but are not often addressed.

Session 1: Community & Collaboration
Two words that are often at the heart of partner-based projects but often lack definition.
  • Lisa Yun Lee, director of the Jane Addams Hull-House Museum
  • Jeffrey Hou, chair of Landscape Architecture, University of Washington
  • Ari Wohlfeiler, activist, Critical Resistance
Facilitated by Judy Mejia, director of Civic Engagement and Social Justice, Eugene Lang The New School for Liberal Arts.

Session 2 : Representation & Human, Politics & Citizenship
Four critical words and concepts that often shape the landscape of design, social and political change, and education, both in their presence or absence
  • Hettie Jones, poet, The New School for Public Engagement & former chair of the PEN Prison Writing Committee
  • Jack Tchen, professor of APA Studies, New York University & co-founder of the Museum of Chinese in America
  • Caitlin Cahill, The Public Science Project & co-founder of the Mestizo Arts & Cultural Collective

Facilitated by Deva Woodly, The New School for Social Research

Sponsored by The New School University Civic Engagement Committee and co-organized by: Shana Agid, Parsons The New School for Design; and Gabrielle Bendiner-Viani, Eugene Lang The New School for Liberal Arts + Buscada

For more information and a full schedule:, or click here (PDF).

Save the date for a follow-up workshop:
Working with People: Pedagogical Tools for Engaging Issues of Power and Difference in Community-University Courses and Partnerships
Thursday, April 12, 12:30-2:00 p.m., 66 West 12th St., room 801

Theresa Lang Community and Student Center, Arnhold Hall, 55 West 13th Street, 2nd floor

Free; seating is limited; reservations required by emailing


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