News/Events

Bard Architecture

Struggle
Rupture
Joy

Public Lecture Series

2020–2021

Struggle/Rupture/Joy describes the collisions, unraveling and ungrounding we are living through today. The convergent struggles expose as much the structural violence and injustices that brought us to the present as they open new forms of solidarity, communal care and revolutionary love. Rupture, the tenacious performance of living otherwise amidst the terror of a world collapsing; joy, a collective poetics, a charged glimmer that breaks through the violence of everyday oppression—the realization that nothing has to be the way it is.

These notions are a reminder that the future is not a temporal condition but a social and environmental modality of living otherwise. As the inaugural speaker series of Architecture at Bard, Struggle/Rupture/Joy foregrounds work that points to what architecture can be, as opposed to what it has been. It aims to open a space for both accountability for the historically situated struggles of our present and a set of emancipatory tools needed to live collectively otherwise.

Bard College Campus

Jennifer Newsom

Basic Process

Lecture

Jennifer Newsom is a licensed architect, artist, and principal of Dream The Combine, based in Minneapolis, MN. Together with partner Tom Carruthers, she has produced numerous site-specific installations in the U.S. and Canada that explore metaphor, perceptual uncertainties, and the boundary between real and illusory space. Dream The Combine are winners of the 2018 Young Architects Program at MoMA PS1 for their installation Hide & Seek, and were recently named winners of the 2020-2021 J. Irwin and Xenia S. Miller Prize. Dream The Combine has exhibited internationally and has been published widely, including Metropolis Magazine, Architect Magazine, Log, Architectural Record, The Architects Newspaper, and Dezeen. They are currently at work on upcoming installations in Minneapolis MN, Wilkinsburg PA, and Columbus IN.

In addition to Dream The Combine, Jennifer is Assistant Professor at the University of Minnesota School of Architecture. She is a graduate of the Yale School of Architecture.

image: Hide & Seek. Photo by Pablo Enriquez

Cohabitation Strategies / Urban Front

How to Begin Again: Urgent Propositions for a New Urban Practice

Lecture

Cohabitation Strategies (CohStra) is a non-profit cooperative for socio-spatial research, design and development based in New York City, Rotterdam and Ibiza. CohStra was founded in the city of Rotterdam –right after the 2008 financial crash– by Lucia Babina, Emiliano Gandolfi, Gabriela Rendón and Miguel Robles-Durán. Since then, CohStra has initiated operation centers in various cities across Europe, South and North America. Its action research endeavors to facilitate transformative and progressive urban intervention projects. This is undertaken through the active engagement with a range of locally embedded actors from governments, municipalities, cultural institutions, non-profit organizations and civic groups to researchers, artists, designers and independent activists that coalesce around the desire for social, spatial and environmental justice – in short, the Right to the City.

C. Malterre-Barthes with D. Sekulić & K. De Klerk

Parity Front:
Activism in Design Institutions

Lecture

Charlotte Malterre-Barthes is an architect, scholar, urban designer and assistant professor of urban design at Harvard Graduate School of Design. She graduated from the Ecole Nationale Supérieure d’Architecture de Marseille (ENSA) where she obtained in 2003 her diploma magna cum laude with ‘A Women Center in Baghdad’. She obtained in 2018 her doctoral degree at ETH on Food Territories, which was nominated for the ETH Silver Medal. In 2009, she founded OMNIBUS with Noboru Kawagishi, an urban design agency dedicated to new forms of practice and cultural production. Charlotte co-curated the 12th International Architecture Biennale of São Paulo on ‘Everyday’. She has lectured and taught workshops at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, the Architectural Association, the Storefront for Art and Architecture, Hong-Kong University, among others. Her works have been widely published and exhibited. Charlotte is also a founding member of the Parity Group, a grassroots association within ETH committed to improving gender equality at the school and in the profession—and outside of both.

EUS | EHCN

Adrian Lahoud

Signs and Transmissions:
Architecture and Intergenerational Rights

Lecture

Adrian is Dean of the School of Architecture at the Royal College of Art. Prior to his current role at the RCA, he was director of the MA program at the Centre for Research Architecture, Goldsmiths and a research fellow in the Forensic Architecture ERC-funded project; studio master in the Projective Cities MPhil in Architecture and Urban Design at the Architectural Association; and director of the MArch Urban Design at the Bartlett, University College London.

This lecture presents Adrian’s recent work curating the first Sharjah Triennale of Architecture, ‘The Rights of Future Generations’, 2019 - 2020. Building on his work to date, the constellation of projects and interventions that the Triennale presented open questions that look to new ways of understanding futurity in relation to the many crises, as well as the many uprisings, that are shaping our present.

image: Talie Eigeland

Taller Comunal

Participation as a Human Right: The Politics of Housing Production

Lecture

COMUNAL was founded in 2015 in Mexico City by Mariana Ordóñez Grajales and Jesica Amescua Carrera. As a team made up of women, they are committed to facilitating the participation of adult women, young people and girls in all aspects of spatial production while always respecting their cultural contexts.

image: Taller Comunal / Jake Naughton

LAIS|EUS|EH |OSUN

Neyran Turan

Architecture as Measure

Lecture

Neyran Turan is an architect and a partner at NEMESTUDIO. She is currently an Associate Professor at the University of California-Berkeley. NEMESTUDIO is an award-winning studio recognized by the Architectural League New York, The Architects' Newspaper, Core 77 Design Awards, ACSA and the Graham Foundation. NEMESTUDIO’s work, ranging from installations to buildings and landscapes, has been widely published and exhibited internationally. Neyran's work focuses on alternative forms of environmental imagination and their capacity for new aesthetic and political trajectories within architecture and urbanism. She is the founding chief-editor of the Harvard University Graduate School of Design (GSD) journal New Geographies and was the editor-in-chief of its first two volumes. Her recently published book, Architecture as Measure (ACTAR Publishers, 2020), has been awarded by the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts. Turan is the curator of the Pavilion of Turkey in the 2021 Venice Biennale International Architecture Exhibition.

image: ‘Middle Earth’, NEMESTUDIO, 2017

EUS|EH|OSUN

Curriculum

Architecture at Bard builds its pedagogy around a concern for the present, an acute attention to structural inequalities and a longing for other futures. The curriculum frames architecture as both an art form and an argument—a situated aesthetic spatial practice whose propositions aim to reconfigure our collective present toward more just futures. The program builds across architectural cultures, design techniques, histories and propositions to equip students with an expansive and experimental approach toward the field that simultaneously opens paths for engaging other disciplines spatially. The program teaches students that architecture is a site for transformative, insurgent spatial and material possibilities with which to imagine worlds otherwise.

Course Types

The curriculum presents architecture as a historically situated and intellectually rigorous field in which the practice of design naturally intersects with and draws from discourses outside its traditionally conceived boundaries. Structurally, the curriculum is composed of four families of courses that build upon this conception:

DSS

Design
Studio
Seminars

are conceived as a hybrid pedagogical model that situates design interventions and technique acquisition within a broader, transdiscursive series of lectures, readings and discussions around a given question.

OPW

Open
Practices
Workshop

are intensive, 2-credit, one-month-long studio courses that invite emerging and renowned external practitioners and thinkers to expose students to a variety of contemporary practices and modes of architectural design.

CCA

Critical
Cultures of
Architecture

introduce architectural practice and techniques within a socio-political field. They consist of courses that build a knowledge of architecture that cuts across spatial histories, theories, research methods and representation techniques.

ES

Electives
on Space

draw from across the college to interrogate architecture and the production of space from the vantage point of non-architectural disciplines, works and modes of inquiry. These courses have a shared scope in questioning the ways in which we inhabit the world, the social and historical structures that animate them.

Sequence

The curriculum builds a pedagogical sequence that cuts across the four groups of courses aiming, on the one hand, to encourage common points of inquiry to develop across the curriculum and, on the other, to give disciplinary and methodological progression over the duration of the program.

Planetary
Practice

Recognizing issues like climate change brings to the fore the trans-scalar relations that directly tie buildings, bodies, cities and ecosystems together. In this context, the planetary lens shifts our view of architecture from the isolated object to the structurally situated and historically entangled design practice—an art form that necessarily cuts across and interrelates multiple scales, disciplines, bodies and actors.

Constituencies

Building on an inter-scalar understanding of architecture, the second phase in the sequence grounds architectural design and discourse in the spatial concerns of specific social groups, movements and struggles. It opens a critical framework by which to develop projects alongside various groups, organizations or actors that directly address issues such as spatial justice, housing rights, gentrification, spatial inequalities of gender and race.

Collective
Futures

The final phase of the sequence mobilizes the intellectual maturity, design skills and technical agility of the students to approach architecture as a site of open experimentation in building collective futures. This phase is the most methodologically open and intellectually challenging of the three. It aims to empower students to explore the capacity of design as a means to imagine realities of collective spatial life otherwise.

Requirements

The curriculum consists of 9 courses (32 credits total) and two terms of Senior Project. In Upper College students will be able to select between a focus on Critical Cultures of Architecture or Design Studio-Seminar. Example:

Amount of required courses Required course type's shortname Required course type's name
2×/3× CCA courses in Critical Cultures of Architecture
3×/2× DSS courses in Design Studio-Seminars
ES Electives on Space
OPW Open Practices Workshops
Terms of Senior Project

Moderation Requirements

14 credits
The Architecture Program treats moderation as an opportunity for in-depth discussion with key faculty at a crucial point in students’ development; it is a moment of shared reflection and constructive speculation aimed at building toward a Senior Project. To moderate, students will be required to complete the courses listed below. In addition to these course requirements, in order to moderate, students must present the following:

  • the two essays required by the college reflecting on their trajectory and future intellectual development within architecture
  • a portfolio of work to date including at least one featured project.
Required course's type Required course's name Credits Area
ARCH 111. Architecture as media 4 CCA
ARTH 126. Situating architecture 4 CCA
—1XX-2XX. Elective course on space 4 ES
ARCH 130. Open Practices Workshop 1 2 OPW

Graduation Requirements

18 credits
After moderation, students will be required to complete 18 additional credits, for a total of 32 credits, as well as two terms of Senior Project. In their advanced courses, students will be able to focus their work on either design-based study or research-based projects, with a choice of taking either ARCH 421 or ARCH 411. Senior Projects will typically be done on an individual basis, but the program will host periodic student colloquia across each term to build shared knowledge and a collaborative ethos across the entire Program. The Senior Projects will be expected to exhibit their work in a collective annual Senior Show at the end of the academic year.

Required course's type Required course's name Credits Area
ARCH 221. Design Studio Seminar: Planetary 4 DSS
ARCH 321. Design Studio-seminar: Constituencies 4 DSS
—3XX-4XX. Elective seminar on space 4 ES
ARCH 331. Open Practices Workshop 2 2 OPW
ARCH 421. Design studio-seminar: Futures 4 DSS
ARCH 411. Architecture as Research 4 CCA
Senior Project 1
Senior Project 2

Courses

Olga Touloumi

Situating Architecture

This course introduces the students to critical themes and sites in the history of architectural culture. The goal is to situate architectural practices and theories within the political and social context that produced them, reframing and problematizing questions of modernity, technology, industrialization, internationalism, autonomy, postmodernism. During the course we will take an active approach to the writing of history, investigating the canonical history of modern architecture, but also bringing forth and examining projects marginalized by official historiographies of the modern movement. We will be asking what happened to modern architecture when the philosophical and aesthetic inquiries for an appropriately modern form of life met with the challenges of an increasingly internationalized world, post-World War II housing demands, decolonization, corporate capitalism, social movements, and a newly founded partnership with the military-industrial complex. How did architects respond to the social and political challenges of the new world order? Which were the main theories developed around architectural responses to sociopolitical questions? Which were the programs and agendas that these theories postulated to architecture? What can we learn from them about the past and future of architecture?
Assignments include weekly posts, presenting a case study, leading a discussion session, and a final ten-page paper on architecture.

Fall
2021

ARTH 126
CCA (AA)

Ivonne Santoyo-Orozco

Architecture as Media

This studio-based course introduces students to architectural tools of communication while presenting architecture as a field that communicates not only technical knowledge, but public imaginaries, spatial aesthetics of popular culture and contested ideas. In this way, the course will teach students basic architectural tools of representation as a situated practice of aesthetic production. Students will learn and practice techniques of contemporary digital drafting, diagramming, mapping, modeling and image-making, all of which will be carefully positioned against a survey of paradigmatic moments in the history of architecturally-related visual cultures. Thus, it will span a series of design technique workshops across a range of lectures from the historical emergence of the floorplan to the CGI-rendered culture of late capitalist architecture, among other crucial episodes in the history of architectural media.

Spring
2021

ARCH 111
CCA (PA)

Sophia Stamatopoulou-Robbins

Climate Change,
Culture Change

What does the temperature outside have to do with politics, rights and duties? How does climate change intersect with colonialism, capitalism and other systems that foster inequality? How is it shaping people’s senses of time, risk and the good life? This course will draw on anthropological concepts and methods to consider how climatic changes (e.g. floods, desertification, “extreme” weather events) resulting from a rapidly warming planet are impacting cultural production and meaning-making in different geographical contexts. We will examine what imaginaries feed and are sustained by technologies invented and infrastructures erected to help specific populations “adapt” to global warming. Yet our assumption will also be that the cultural/social and the natural are not distinct but are rather made to appear distinct under particular conditions. That assumption will allow us to ask: What is at stake in calling the present moment “the Anthropocene”? And how does the belief (and scientific evidence demonstrating) that humans impact climate shape the range of political and social possibilities on offer in different political and social arrangements? We will aim to read and cite progressively by featuring contributions from scholars who are underread and undercited, following recent calls within and beyond Anthropology to rethink the processes of power that have led to some voices becoming canonized and others remaining less audible.

image: Photo by Kristi McCluer

Spring
2021

ANT 362
ES (SA, D+J)

Ross Exo Adams

Housing & Collective Care: Constituencies

This studio-seminar will approach the design of housing from a careful, studied and historically critical point of view. It aims to expose students to architecture as both a creative practice of designing politically-relevant forms of co-habitation and as a realist, insurgent practice in which architecture serves as an instrument in the struggles for housing justice. Moving away from the refrain ‘housing crisis’, which has lent a certain critical myopia to the discourse of housing, today’s movement is empowered by a call for ‘housing justice’—a call to situate housing as a means and ends to a broader project of social and environmental justice. Building on prior design work, this course will continue to experiment with new ways of thinking about architecture grounded in what we are calling ‘constituencies’—an effort to illuminate the role architecture plays in mediating power relations between communities of people and structures of governance. Adopting approaches like housing reclamation and appropriation, this course will be an effort to imagine how architectural practices can intervene in a crucial site of social and political transformation.

Students should expect to gain a critical, hands-on knowledge of housing typologies, explore practical, imaginative ways in which to transform an existing context. Texts will bring into contact housing-specific readings from Ananya Roy, Raquel Rolnik, Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor and David Madden with broader geographies outlined by Adam Bledsoe Willie Jamaal Wright, Katherine McKittrick and Sylvia Wynter.

image: Moms 4 Housing occupation, Oakland. Jim Wilson/NYT

Spring
2021

ARCH 321
DSS (PA, D+J)

Jeannette Estruth

Re-Thinking Silicon Valley

This seminar uses the space of the Silicon Valley to explore larger threads and themes in post-war economic, urban, political, and intellectual United States history. Together we will study social justice, class, race, gender, and sexuality, and the history of capitalism and inequality.

Spring
2021

HIST 382
ES (HA, D+J)

Interboro Partners

Campus Dwelling

It goes without saying that liberal arts colleges put great importance on space and propinquity. Being together in physical proximity—not only in the classroom but in a range of formal and informal settings—is deemed an essential part of a liberal arts education. Yet, with the pandemic, this essential part of liberal arts education has been suddenly and forcefully put into question. In this workshop, we'll use this disorienting moment as an opportunity to reflect on the campus as a living / working / learning space. Our hypothesis is that being pulled out of familiar spatial habits might help us better understand what these habits are, where they come from, and how they might change going forward. Our goals will be (1) to find new ways of drawing and thereby conceptualizing our everyday environment, both prior to and during this time of social distancing, and (2) to make proposals in response to the current moment and/or for the long term. Our approach will be both pragmatic and visionary, in that we’ll ask how we actually live on campus now and how our lives could be potentially improved in simple, feasible ways, and we’ll simultaneously envision radically different ways of thinking about the campus space.

Spring
2021

ARCH 130
OPW (PA)

Ross Exo Adams

Architecture for Planetary Life: Between Body and World

What can we learn when we approach architecture as a ‘planetary’ condition? Aside from opening up new scales of design or shifting our focus to ecological concerns, how does this perspective fundamentally alter what it means to practice architecture? How might the planetary as a category trouble certain tropes and attitudes inherited from the likes of modernist universalism, techno-solutionism or racial capitalism that have long undergirded architectural thought and practice? How might the planetary inspire a radically different set of practices?

This course is an effort to build a different foundational knowledge of architecture in a moment of planetary crisis. It will do so by introducing architecture not as a fixed field, but one that must be understood as a situated practice—one that we will encounter transversally, across a range of sites from the body to the planet. The aim of doing so is not to present a scalar progression as an inevitable trajectory (the mirror image of perpetual growth) or as a set of discrete families of practice, but rather as an invitation to comprehend architecture otherwise—to approach architecture from alternate sites of inquiry that reveal it to be a technology that mediates our relation to the world.

image: First photo of the Earth taken from a V-2 rocket (1946)

Fall
2021

ARCH 221
DSS (PA)

Sofia Pia Belenky

Islands

Islands have become associated with political separation and symbols of our changing environmental conditions as water levels rise and plastics form archipelagos. Islands also enable critical selectivity rather than imposed connectivity, a rarity in an age of constant status updates and notifications. In brief, islands constrain—they offer a condition that is the fundamental ingredient for this design brief. In the design of our islands, we will prototype typologies of micro living and investigate the environmental conditions of an artificial nature. The design studio workshop invites discussions around topics of post-work society, second nature, climate change, borders and domesticity in a micro-living/micro-nation condition.

The month-long course will move across a variety of scales; from the design of an object to bring to the island, to a single occupancy home, to the entire island. Developing skills such as CAD drawing, Rhino 3d modeling, casting and GIS mapping will be programmed into this workshop.

image: Archipelago Ocno, Space Caviar

Spring
2020

ARCH 130
OPW (PA)

Ivonne Santoyo-Orozco

Architectural Entanglements with Labor

Architecture is both the product of labor and the organizer of its relations, yet often these issues remain overshadowed by aesthetic considerations and the broader discourse of design. In shifting the question of labor in architecture to the foreground, this course invites students to reflect on the spatio-political role architecture has played in mediating bodies, work and capital. To do this, we will analyze contemporary transformations to paradigmatic sites of work (offices, factories, tech campuses), as well as the many spaces that have been produced to feed architectural production and its endless cycles of extraction (camps, slums, mines), or the architecture that reproduces forms of maintenance (houses, squares, resorts). We will analyze a diverse set of contemporary and historical architectural precedents against a heterogenous landscape of voices from Maurizio Lazzarato, Silvia Federici, Mierle Laderman Ukeless, David Harvey, Peggy Deamer, Mabel O. Wilson, among others. The course will unfold in a combination of lectures and seminars. There are no exams but students are expected to complete weekly assignments, a midterm and a final project.

Spring
2021

ARCH 240
CCA (PA)

Elias Dueker

Air

Recent global catastrophes including the Covid19 pandemic and unusually destructive wildfires have highlighted the importance of equitable access to clean air in human and ecological health. While air is the fluid humans engage with most intimately, we are not generally aware of whether or not the air we are interacting with is “clean.” Environmental racism in the US has resulted in an inequitable distribution of clean air, which has in turn given birth to the powerful movement for environmental justice. This class will be devoted to learning the scientific principles behind measuring and managing air quality on a local, regional, and global scale. We will be interacting with other Bard (OSUN) network institutions to think cross-disciplinarily and cross-nationally about the global nature of air “management” and to creatively address the scientific needs of local and regional community members working toward reducing air pollution. Lab work will be guided by scientific questions generated by communities including Kingston, NY and Bishkek, Kyrgysztan. Specifically, students will manipulate models to conduct field sampling, and utilize microbiological and chemical assays in the lab to better understand sources for and tracking of contaminants in air and the implications for people breathing that air. This course is part of the Racial Justice Initiative, an interdisciplinary collaboration among students and faculty to further the understanding of racial inequality and injustice in the United States and beyond.

Spring
2021

EUS 222
ES (LS, D+J)

Ellen Driscoll

Art and
Climate Change

Does art have a role to play in altering the course of the crisis of climate change? In this class we will analyze a range of artistic practices and strategies addressing climate change. Through focused case studies, we will learn to apply a range of basic artmaking techniques to civic engagement with this urgent topic. Techniques may include digital skills, drawing, and basic sculpture and installation techniques.  These visual tools will be employed to increase our understanding of climate change through both individual reflection and public engagement. We will engage in research of the effects of climate change on our local, national, and global landscape.  Projects may include posters, Instagram posts, public installations, and collaboration with local community venues such as the Bard Farm.

image: Endangered Eyes, Bard Climate Watch

Spring
2021

ART 132
ES (PA)

Kwame Holmes

Kingston Housing Lab

This course-practicum will bring students into the ongoing work of the Kingston Housing Lab. This project combines critical geography with the politics and philosophy of prison abolition, bringing both to bear upon the struggle for housing justice in Kingston, New York and Ulster county. Students will engage latest academic literature on housing insecurity and evictions as an ongoing crisis in late-capitalism, receive training in ArcGIS, and participate in our efforts to repair relationships between tenants and landlords. Though a small town, Kingston, NY is in the midst of a housing crisis, one that has been exacerbated by COVID-19 and which is driven by the regional and global flow of capital into real estate in small towns near and far. Kingston Housing Lab students will have an opportunity to directly intervene in these issues at a critical juncture in global history.

Spring
2021

EUS 339
ES (SA, D+J)

Katherine Boivin

Byzantine Art and Architecture

This course serves as an introduction to the art and architecture of the Byzantine Empire.  Beginning with the reign of Constantine the Great in 324 and ending with the fall of Constantinople to the Ottomans in 1453, the course will look at art produced in the eastern Mediterranean region under successive emperors.  In addition to architecture, the course will look at mosaics, textiles, painting, city planning, manuscripts, and a range of other media.  Course requirements include two short papers as well as quizzes and exams. AHVC distribution: Ancient, European

image: Hagia-Sophia Dome

Spring
2021

ARTH 145
ES (AA)

Olga Touloumi

Of Utopias

This class explores the theory and practice of utopia from an architectural perspective. Utopias have always been imagined through a variety of mediums like the manifesto, the blueprint, and visual and performing arts. The course investigates the manifold scales of utopian articulation and realization, from compound communities to projects designing the entire globe, and from unrealized proposals to intentional communes of co-liberation. The class will use the concept of utopia to map out the ways that men and women have sought to transform the spatial, psychic, and social landscapes they inhabited. What can we learn from the utopian imperative? What is the shape of utopia? How should we understand the relationship between thought and practice, hope and disappointment, idealism and realism? Projects presented range from early industrial colonies, socialist utopias, Christian communities, and anarchist utopias to settlement housing, shopping malls, and factories. The projects will be discussed in conjunction with major texts by Sir Thomas More, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Karl Marx, Robert Owen, Louis Marin, to name a few. Course requirements involve short assignments, class presentations and a final paper.

image: Bodys Isek Kingelez, City Dreams

Spring
2021

ARTH 243
ES (AA)

Katherine Boivin

Calderwood Seminar: Modern Medieval Art

Castles, pointed arches, and images of a white European Jesus all belong to our inheritance from the period known as the Middle Ages. Ideas of the “medieval” permeate our modern culture, be it in fantasy novels, adventure films, church architecture, honor codes, nursery rhymes, or the emblems adopted by white supremacists. This course allows students to explore modern notions and uses of medieval material culture through forms of public writing. Considering in particular how the visual aesthetics of the European Middle Ages function in modern contexts, students will be asked to try their hand at various forms of writing, such as a travel blog, a film review, a site analysis, and a museum wall label. Students will also serve as editors of and respondents to the writing of their classmates. The aim of the course is to allow students to engage critically with public discourses about a past that is still formative for modern national, cultural, and group identities.

image: Notre-Dame on Fire

Spring
2021

ARTH 393
ES (AA, D+J)

Jeannette Estruth

Environmental Histories of the Recent United States

This course critically explores the history of the twenty-and twenty-first century United States through the country’s natural and built environments. Moving chronologically, we consistently ask what the relationship is between nature, labor, and capital, and what the relationship is between space, place, and race. This course most closely speaks to students interested in federal and state environmental policies, activism regarding disability and health rights, fights over urban environmental concerns, perspectives from the North American West, and the history of transnational racial, indigenous, and environmental justice movements.

Spring
2021

HIST 2510
ES (HA, D+J)

Evan Calder Williams

Disability Rights, Chronic Life

This seminar engages with disability studies, queer theory, architectural and design history, political ecology, and histories of radical organizing and mobilization that focus on the idea and experience of disability and sickness. In traversing these materials, this seminar aims to ask: rather than seeing disability and sickness simply as a limitation or failure to reach a “healthy” norm, what can the experience and often hidden histories of the disabled and chronically ill, as well as those who fight for their care, reveal about social structures, ideologies, and patterns of circulation that cannot be seen otherwise? What would it mean to move beyond the political and ideological centrality of the idea of health and to instead understand the way that it can function to normalize racialized and gendered structures of exclusion and privation? And what models of care, collectivity, flexibility, and access have been, and might be posed, against this, through the speculative work of chronic theorists and disability justice advocates and through hard-fought campaigns and daily ad hoc solutions alike? In addition to grappling with a range of historical and theoretical texts, we’ll also center on artistic, political, and critical tactics that work to draw out those hidden causes and the roles that conceptions of health, hygiene, and security play in reinforcing models of restricted access and normalized violence.

Spring
2021

HR 382
ES (SA, D+J)

Marina Van Zuylen

The City, the Novel, and the Making of Modern Identity

This course centers on key texts from French, German, Russian, and British literature, from Goethe’s Sorrows of Young Werther to Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway. We will consider novelists who have diagnosed the effects of urban reality on their protagonists, prompting their readers to link the transformation of traditional power structures, the rise of social mobility, and the increasing centrality of science, to new literary techniques and a breakdown in self presentation. Belief and doubt, the real and the fantastic, omniscience and fragmentation, are at play in most of our texts. Readings will be from Balzac, Baudelaire, Chekhov, Dostoevsky, Flaubert, Gogol, Hoffman, Woolf, and Zola.

Spring
2021

LIT 204C
ES (LA)