Histories of New York City Activism
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Level: Undergraduate
Division: The New School for Public Engagement
School: Bachelor's Program for Adults and Transfer Students
Department: Social Sciences
Course Number: NHIS 3002
Course Format: Seminar
Location: NYC campus
Permission Required: No
  • Social Justice
  • Gender and Sexuality Studies
  • History
How do we capture the history of late 20th-century grassroots radical movements and make it relevant to the contemporary public? This course delves into New York City's recent past, focusing on radical feminism; racial, health, and economic justice movements; and gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender rights groups. There is an emphasis on the opportunities and responsibilities attendant on researching and writing about living subjects. We ask what it means to write the history of an event or phenomenon the consequences of which cannot yet be fully evaluated because it is not yet complete. We also ask what it means to produce a history that is not "written" but rather performed, exhibited, enacted as a policy agenda, or produced through visual or digital media. This course is project based--students help produce and revise a Web-based archive as part of a New School pilot civic engagement initiative to make historical materials at the New York Public Library more available to the general public. Each student creates a final project in digital format. Ideally, some projects will be published on one of our partner Web sites. This course should be of interest to humanists, journalists, novelists, and nonfiction writers as well as social scientists. This course counts toward the Gender Studies minor.
Course Open to: Degree Students