Graduate Seminar II
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Level: Graduate
Division: Parsons The New School for Design
School: School of Art, Media and Technology
Department: Photography
Course Number: PGPH 5100
Course Format: Seminar
Location: NYC campus
Permission Required: No
  • Photography
This seminar has as its main goal to create a theoretical framework for the discussion of the role that technology plays in our lives, its effects upon society and the individual, and consequently, upon the work that each of you is developing in the program. We live in a time when many types of technologies - computer technology, communications technology, biogenetic technology, and so on – have become ubiquitous and virtually indispensable for the functioning of modern societies. Despite the differences between these various technologies, it is possible to abstract them into a single entity, one that has had an enormous impact on our society since the beginnings of civilization, but which has been more markedly felt in the years since the Industrial Revolution. Yet our relationship to technology has always been signed by a sense of ambiguity about its power to transform our lives and our environment, not always with a positive outcome.The first part of our discussions will be devoted to "formal" lectures focusing on how technology has been represented in art and literature as a way of understanding how our attitudes towards technology have varied throughout the ages, and how its role in society has gradually become more and more central. We will discuss at length the notion of “Technological Determinism” and try to understand whether technology indeed drives history. After this introduction with a historical bend, the class will shift to discussions in classic seminar fashion, where different students will take turns as discussion leaders on assigned texts that address different issues in contemporary society where technology plays an defining role. Roughly speaking, there will be three main areas of concern that will be discussed from various points of view: Media Culture, Spectacle and Art in the Age of Terror; Bio-Technology and the Post-Human/Post-Natural; and societies in the virtual world. The instructor will complement the seminar sessions with the presentation of films and work by contemporary artists that also address the issues discussed.
Course Open to: Majors Only
Course Pre/Co-requisites:
Open to: Masters degree in Photography majors only.


Open to Graduate students.