Visual/Spatial Politics
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Level: Undergraduate, Graduate
Division: Parsons The New School for Design
School: School of Art and Design History and Theory
Department: Art and Design History
Course Number: PGHT 5651
Course Format: Lecture
Location: NYC campus
Permission Required: No
  • Design History, Theory & Criticism
  • Design
  • Spatial Design
This critical studio is taught jointly by Victoria Hattam from the Politics Department (NSSR) and Jilly Traganou from the School of Art and Design History and Theory (Parsons) and will examine visuality and space as sites of power both at the level of the state and everyday politics. How do questions of legibility map onto questions of power? How are dissent and disagreement fostered and voiced visually/spatially? Do images and spaces generate specific affective responses? Might the circulation of affect broaden our conception of politics to include the non-verbal visceral? The class will weave together two different modes of exploration that aim to bridge theory with practice: On the one hand, we will assign analytic readings in which scholars and practitioners examine visual/spatial studies. On the other hand, the course will include practice and project based explorations of space and visuality. The class will include several short exercises such as creating visual essays, conducting sensory fieldwork, and mapping. In addition, students will be asked to complete one longer multi-week project in which they analyze a research site of their choice, in order to propose a specific course of action or offer a critical analysis that engages the visual and spatial politics of the research site. To ground our explorations of visual/spatial politics, the class will focus on border politics broadly conceived. Research sites might include, but are by no means limited to, the US-Mexico border, urban enclosures, city limits, zoning, redlining, racial/gender boundaries, virtual walls/firewalls, natural boundaries (creeks, rivers, mountains).
Open to: All university graduate degree students.
Course Open to: Degree Students


Open to Graduate students.