Call for Course Proposals for 2011/2012 Academic Year

The School of Art and Design History and Theory at Parsons will consider proposals for new courses to be taught during the 2010-11 academic year in the following areas from now until Friday December 3rd, 2010.

Please submit your course proposal(s) [format: one page course description and reading list with CV and samples of writing all in PDF format] by email to Scott Amen ( by Friday December 3rd, stating the area you are responding to in the subject line. *Proposals not submitted in this format will not be considered.


We seek courses that situate design, broadly defined, within expansive social, cultural, and historical discourses. We have a particular interest in the areas of design and sustainability, design and activism/social justice, design thinking, praxiological perspectives in design, design as pedagogy, design and ethnography, consumers’ psychology, and the history of materials.


We are looking for courses that offer students opportunities to analyze fashion and its meanings in contemporary and historic contexts, integrating interdisciplinary theories and methodologies in the field of fashion studies. Potential course themes may highlight fashion and its relation to space/place; global dimensions of fashion; fashion as culture industry, the relation of fashion and politics; fashion, body and technology; fashioning identities; fashion and gender, fashion media/ photography, fashion as materiality.


We are seeking courses which address theories of visuality, technology (production/distribution), and/or representation as they relate to practices such as animation, photography, performance, or the moving image. We are particularly interested in themes such as transnationalism, cosmopolitanism, the network, ethics, social justice, and activism.


We are interested in advanced undergraduate courses whose focus is on art and design criticism, writing as praxis, and the writing process as it relates, in particular, to making. We are also looking for courses that explore research methodologies vis-a-vis the art/design studio, in particular, those that provide a foundation in traditional methods but might stray to include interdisciplinary/contemporary/alternative approaches.


We are seeking courses that deal with either a moment in the history of the arts, or trans-historical themes. Preference is for courses that put the fine arts into a context of related enterprises in design and other material culture practices, and for courses dealing with Middle Eastern, African and/or Latin American arts. Courses could use art history to explore the lineages of contemporary cultural and aesthetic concerns, such as playing across boundaries–east/west, north/south, etc.–, class identification, collection and display, the body, structures of meaning, technological change, art practices, and similar issues.


We are seeking courses that address historical and theoretical frames for sustainable design, as a critical and creative practice that has moved beyond instrumental techno-scientific eco-impact reduction approaches, toward more culturally sophisticated strategies for social and economic change. Courses may focus on the material histories that can account for how our societies became so unsustainable, the psychologies and sociologies behind everyday unsustainable and sustainable practices, the sites for agency that might enable change to existing systems toward more sustainable futures, the philosophies within different cultural contexts around the world with which to make judgments about what is sustainable.



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