Spring 2023 Courses

 

We welcome students from other departments and programs to enroll in our classes when space allows. Some of our courses are open to both graduate and undergraduate students, and other courses are graduate only. Please be sure to register for the appropriate course based on your level of studies (ASPP – GT is graduate and ASPP – UT is undergraduate). Non-Tisch students should check with their advisers regarding course allocation.

Art & the Public Sphere

Professor Karen Finley

Monday 2 - 4:45 

ASPP-UT 1054 / GT 2054 

How can we direct our creative process and implement to challenge, inspire and disrupt the status quo? Can art be an intervention? This is an opportunity to expand strategies in creating cultural production. We will develop our art practice and its public. How do we envision a project and follow up on the various versions that are possible? We will consider purpose, research, process, and mission. What do we define a public sphere? How do we create an installation? How can we create a meaningful conceptual practice? How do we reimagine memorials? What is our research process? How do we consider an archive? How can our art transform society? Can we consider healing in our art? For creatives working in a variety of media – from video to performance, from object making to sound works, from movement and photography to poetics, you will find an environment that will be experimental and engaging. We will work solo but also in collaboration, create collectives and awaken cooperation.  What is the community we are engaged in? What is the purpose, the humanity and message of our creativity? 

I will plan events for our class. We will visit archives, exhibitions, meet with artists, and create our own in class exhibitions. Finley will update the description as confirmed. We will consider appropriating other mediums. We will also consider public spaces such as nightlife, disco, joy, celebration, and processions. Other possible themes: Bridges, earthworks, protest, social practice, installations, interventions and disruption, borders and memorials, homages, silence, encounters, social and new media, and time-based art will be studied. I am a multidisciplinary artist and activist who looks forward to sharing and inspiring cultural production with you.  And we will discover the energy of joy within our practice, being together with support and encouragement. Guest artists and field trips are part of the class. Selected historical, theoretical readings, artist writings and case studies accompany our studies. Please feel free to contact the professor with any questions  karen.finley@nyu.edu

 

Female Cultural Rebels

Professor Karen Finley

Tuesday 11am - 1:45pm

ASPP-UT 1034 / GT 2034

This class considers intersectional feminism. The class will be a series of explorations of case studies, readings, events, artistic examples, and topics reflecting on cultural, social and political issues. Female Cultural Rebels his will be a space to further and deepen reflection while reimagining possibility, rebellion, resistance empowerment and expression.  

One part of this semester will be considering body agency. We will study and/ or meet with abortion activists such as from Thank God for Abortion, Shout Out Your Abortion and The Jane Collective, an underground abortion service from the 60's. We will monitor the recent protests in Iran and global response after the death of Mahsa Amini. We will hear from the producer of Disclosure, an eye-opening documentary on transgender depictions in film and television. We will hear from the Feminist Institute and the archive. And the drag queen story hour and recent censorship issues. We will also consider wellness, healing, spirituality, and emotions. 

We will examine archetypes, roles, the gaze, casting and gender stereotypes. Monsters, crones, hags, witches, the ingenue. We will also look at the rebelliousness of socially acceptable norms of being, acting out from gender expectations and going against dominant norms such as is Narcissister, Andrea Dworkin, Chantal Ackerman, Viva Ruiz, bell hooks, Audre Lorde, Annie Sprinkle, Cassils, Pamela Sneed, and Ana Mendieta. 

Readings, discussion, lectures, and guests will be part of the class structure. The class is given regular writing assignments and to present presentations. We will work solo but also in pairs and small groups. There will be a midterm presentation that can be a creative response with a companion essay. A final project of the student’s choice will be presented. In addition to the project or presentation a paper, artist statement and historical references will accompany the project. Of course, the choice and focus will be designed individually for the student. And can be in a research project, creative project that is focused with the student’s area of interest. The professor is a feminist artist activist who looks forward to working with you. 

METHODS AND CRITICISM II (MA ARTS POLITICS STUDENTS ONLY)

Professor Kathy Engel

ASPP-GT 2004 OPEN ONLY TO ARTS POLITICS STUDENTS – NO EXCEPTIONS

Wednesday 11am - 1:45pm

2 - 3.5 points 

The spring semester Methods and Criticism II, the last core class in the one-year Arts Politics Masters Program, is a space of synthesis and possible collaboration. Students are encouraged and supported to work in pods based on shared interests and modes of working, while also benefiting from the skills and insights of the whole cohort. There will be opportunities to engage with alumni and others in the field. Students will design projects that build on the work they’ve begun or have been moving towards, or something new may emerge that’s important to develop while in the program. With support from the professor, each other, and other networks, students will also work on pathways for their practices after graduation. Conversations will build on dialogue during the first semester core classes, looking at methodologies and exploring meaningful ways to engage with each other’s work.  Texts and other materials will be integrated into discussions pertaining to work in process. 

 

Language as Action: Collaborative Poetics

Professor Kathy Engel 

Tues 3:30 - 6:15pm

ASPP-UT 1070/ ASPP-GT 2070 

Poetry, as in all writing, is often viewed and discussed as a solitary act. In this class we will study and engage the life of poetry as collaboratory, and thus community strengthening, memory enhancing, generative beyond a single voice or being. Poem as organism and way of being. We will consider the collaborative and relational element in the making of any poem – as in relationship with, listening for, conversing with the work of, the voices of those who’ve come before and those around us. This includes exploration into the way those lives and objects not human may interact with the poems we make or we may interact with them. We will also explore the more explicitly identifiable ways poetry is a collaborative possibility, invitation, act; studying and attempting forms including the Cento, the Renga, and in a different way, the Zuihitsu, as well as projects that involve relationship/collaboration. We may create forms. We will look at poetry made from and with objects and living in and with materials beyond the printed page – on fabric, stone, walls, sand (knowing it will disappear at times). We will consider the syntax of the body in its movements, and the generative process of different forms interacting: painting with words, the music of/with poetry, sculptural language, and more. We’ll look at ways poets play, honor, disturb and grow from one another’s work, and the newness, the surprise, the third poem, like a third eye, that comes from the process of making something together. Our project promises to surprise us, to yield the unexpected, the heat and complication born of the process of with…

Art & War Seminar: BATTLE LINES OF THE GRAPHIC NOVEL

Professor Pato Hebert

Mondays 12 PM-3 PM

(UT only)
ASPP-UT 1046 

This course explores the use of the graphic novel to tell stories about war. Students will be introduced to both recent and historically significant comics about war. Our goal is to gain a deeper understanding of the interplay between image and text in sequential art, core elements of graphic novels (such as image and text, panels and pages, language and rhythm, character, plot, point of view), and the ability to critically analyze graphic novels that deal with challenging subject matter.

What are the ethical and methodological issues that arise when constructing sequential narratives of war? Are there differences between war narratives that are autobiographical, documentary or fictional? Is there something unique about the format of graphic novels that enables artists to tell a different kind of war story than filmmakers, musicians or performers? How do comic books circulate culturally, and how might this expand or limit their ability to inform our understandings of war? We will explore these questions through close readings, robust discussions and careful written analysis of well-known works by Art Spiegelman, Marjane Satrapi and Joe Sacco, as well as graphic novels by Keiji Nakazawa, Zeina Abirached, Thi Bui, Yvan Alagbé, Jason Lutes, Emmanuel Guibert and others.

Festive Politics: Carnival, Mutual Aid, and Communal Practices

Professor Luis Rincon Alba 

Wednesdays 3:30 - 6:15pm

ASPP-UT 1000/ ASPP-GT 2000 

In many political movements, the festive emerges as a major force shaping alternative social practices, forms of gathering, being together, and moving together. These alternative modes of being in collectivity are actively redefining the political. This sense of collectivity becomes particularly evident in the aesthetics of the Global South and its Diasporas. Consequently, this course explores the festive’s role in forming political movements beyond the traditional scope that reduces it to a simple byproduct of social life. It also explores how the pandemic has forced us to reimagine what coming together means. Taking Latin American and Caribbean aesthetics as an initial case, this seminar engages in a detailed interpretation of performances that challenge traditional definitions of both the festive and the political. A wide range of performance practices, such as carnival parties, sound systems, cabaret shows, popular dance styles, artworks, organized slave riots, and indigenous uprisings, shape the modes students will engage in theory and practice.

For this course iteration, we will focus on questions around Black and Indigenous relations to carnival performance, structures of mutual aid as festive practice, and how they enact utopian modes of communal life, and how these modes of communal life redefine current understandings of art and politics. The class involves field trips, visits to several performance events, and conversations with artists and organizers who use the festive as a political tool to engage in political action in NYC. 

Questions regarding race, gender, and class will be directed to the philosophical, anthropological, and historical texts paying close attention to their involvement in the formation of colonial oppression. Performance studies’ methodologies will serve as the guiding mode to articulate these questions. 

 

Music, Race and Ethnicity

Professor Luis Rincon Alba

Thursdays 2 - 4:45pm

ASPP-UT 1006/ ASPP-GT 2006

This class explores the modes through which music has expanded understandings of race and ethnicity and how it has shaped the critical understanding of performance and the performative. It pays close attention to the participation of the colonial in the formation of the contemporary political and aesthetic landscape while also defining the forces that shape culture and art on a global scale. The class maintains the tension among multiple elements such as race and ethnicity but also class, gender, and sexuality to offer an intersectional perspective of the political role that ancestral and contemporary musical performance played in anti-racist activism. 

We will also practice simple but meaningful musical exercises aimed at giving students tools to listen in detail while also understanding how a sense of orientation and alignment resides at the heart of Black and Indigenous musical performance. Students will develop skills to write about musical performance in the broadest sense of the term. However, they will also have chances to seek, explore, and question for ethical and political modes to include music in their own artistic practice. The class is structured in a way that allows students to gain tools to engage in detailed listening. Subsequently, these tools will foreground their capacity to richly and productively describe musical performance in their writing. No musical practice or previous knowledge is required. 

 

WRITING THE ARTIST STATEMENT: REPRESENTING YOUR WORK FOR FUNDING AND BEYOND

Professor Elizabeth Mikesell

ASPP-UT 1009 (Undergraduate section - sophomores, juniors, seniors)

ASPP-GT 2009 Graduate section

Thursdays, 11am - 1:45pm

4 points

In this course, you will develop the skills you need to write about your own work. A series of guided reading, research, and writing exercises will help you think about what your work is, what it means, and why it matters, so that you will be able to craft language that accurately and effectively represents you as an artist and thinker. We will study a variety of personal statements, project descriptions, manifestos, and other artist writings, examining them for their relative strengths and weaknesses with an eye towards gathering effective expressive strategies. You will use the writing you’ve generated in your assignments as the groundwork for several final artist statements that approach and represent your work from different perspectives.  

After we explore a variety of public and private sources of funding, fellowships, and residency opportunities in the US, you will identify several opportunities that would be appropriate for your work. You will then prepare applications for two opportunities of your choosing (three for graduate students). You will exit the course with writing that you might revise and reuse for many different purposes in your professional creative life.

This course will count toward elective credit for undergraduate students.

Imagination and Change: Arts, Culture, and Public Policy

Professors Caron Atlas and Gonzalo Casals

Thursdays 5PM -7:45PM 

ASPP-GT 2048

We live in a moment of urgency and opportunity to imagine and enact change. This course will help you seize this moment. It will explore arts and culture as part of public policy, public space, and public participation in decision making within a framework of equity and social justice. It will consider the values and relationships that underlie cultural policy: Who makes it? How is it made? How does it intersect with other public policy areas? How is it changed? 

The course will consider what it means to advance equity—both by operationalizing cultural equity and by incorporating arts and culture into equity efforts across other sectors. It will also address the relationship between activism and policy, including cultural methodologies for civic participation and community change. It will draw on timely examples from New York, nationally, and internationally and a diverse group of guests - policymakers, advocates, and cultural practitioners - will bring the pressing issues of the day into the classroom. Dialogue, inquiry, and on-the-ground experience will be emphasized. Students will gain access to the diverse networks of the instructors and guests to build relationships in the field

Imagination and Change: Arts, Culture, and Public Policy
 
We live in a moment of urgency and opportunity to imagine and enact change. This course will help you seize this moment. It will explore arts and culture as part of public policy, public space, and public participation in decision making within a framework of equity and social justice. It will consider the values and relationships that underlie cultural policy: Who makes it? How is it made? How does it intersect with other public policy areas? How is it changed? 

The course will consider what it means to advance equity—both by operationalizing cultural equity and by incorporating arts and culture into equity efforts across other sectors. It will also address the relationship between activism and policy, including cultural methodologies for civic participation and community change. It will draw on timely examples from New York, nationally, and internationally and a diverse group of guests - policymakers, advocates, and cultural practitioners - will bring the pressing issues of the day into the classroom. Dialogue, inquiry, and on-the-ground experience will be emphasized. Students will gain access to the diverse networks of the instructors and guests to build relationships in the field.
Imagination and Change: Arts, Culture, and Public Policy
 
We live in a moment of urgency and opportunity to imagine and enact change. This course will help you seize this moment. It will explore arts and culture as part of public policy, public space, and public participation in decision making within a framework of equity and social justice. It will consider the values and relationships that underlie cultural policy: Who makes it? How is it made? How does it intersect with other public policy areas? How is it changed? 

The course will consider what it means to advance equity—both by operationalizing cultural equity and by incorporating arts and culture into equity efforts across other sectors. It will also address the relationship between activism and policy, including cultural methodologies for civic participation and community change. It will draw on timely examples from New York, nationally, and internationally and a diverse group of guests - policymakers, advocates, and cultural practitioners - will bring the pressing issues of the day into the classroom. Dialogue, inquiry, and on-the-ground experience will be emphasized. Students will gain access to the diverse networks of the instructors and guests to build relationships in the field.

The Blank Page, The Empty Space: A Performance and Writing Class

Professor Anna Deavere Smith
Ads2@nyu.edu

Meets Designated Sundays 1 – 5 PM

4 credits

ASPP-GT 2000 (registration unavailable until students are admitted by instructor)

For some of us, there is nothing more daunting than a blank page or an empty space. In this class, you will start with your own blank page, and you will face an empty performance studio. The last session will include a performance for an invited, curated audience. The performance will be followed by an audience discussion about the group's work.

Each of us has a different psychological reaction to the blank page and to the empty space. For some of us, it’s a clean slate and an exciting opportunity. For others of us, it’s a source of anxiety. For others, it's a time to procrastinate. The core of the class is a series of exercises developed over four decades of teaching performers, artists, and those who have never performed. After mastering the exercises each student will create their own performance piece.

The class meets in 9 dynamic sessions in which an intensive workshop like environment is created. A supportive group is cultivated.  Class sessions are:

February 5th

February 12th

February 19th

March 5th

SPRING BREAK

March 26th

April 2nd

April 15th

April 16th Performance

Admission to the class requires a brief video saying how the class 1) could be useful to your overall goals and 2) how in the past you have faced the blank page or the empty space.  After the video is submitted a zoom meeting with Professor Smith may be required to secure a place in the class. Deadline for video submission is November 16th. Send your videos to Kristen Kelso at  kristen@annadeaveresmith.org The subject line of the submission email be: Submission for Anna Deavere Smith Spring Course 2023_FULL NAME