Call for Seminars

TEAM-TAUGHT SEMINARS

The Mellon funded Integrative PhD Program is happy to announce the awarding of two New School cross-divisional collaborative seminar proposals for 2018-19.  Each collaborative research seminar will be co-designed and co-taught by a pair of faculty members, one from the humanistic social sciences and one from the fields of design or digital media. The seminars, capped at 10 students, will be open to doctoral candidates from all NSSR departments in the social sciences, philosophy and history, as well as graduate students from Parsons and Media Studies.

The two seminars scheduled for 2018-19 are:

Zed Adams (NSSR – Philosophy) and Shannon Mattern (SPE – Media Studies): “Thinking Through Interfaces” exposes the hidden lives of interfaces, illuminating not just what they are and how they work, but also how they shape our lives, for better and worse. After examining several case studies and developing a set of analytical frameworks, Zed Adams and Shannon Mattern will invite students to prototype interfaces appropriate to their thesis projects.

Janet Roitman (NSSR – Anthropology) and Anthony Dunne (Parsons – Art, Media, and Technology) and Fiona Raby (Parsons – Constructed Environments): “Concept Work and Materialization” is a project-based seminar that brings together two distinct but complementary modes of inquiry:  anthropological inquiry into forms of reasoning and design practice that focuses on experimentation with material forms. The premise of the collaboration is that both modes of inquiry entail “concept work,” or attention to the ways that concepts both shape material practice and can be given form through material practice.

An announcement of the next round of collaborative seminar proposals (for seminars to be offered during the 2019-20 academic year) will appear early in the Spring 2018 semester, with a proposal due date in mid-September.

INTEGRATIVE PHD FELLOWSHIP PROGRAM – COLLABORATIVE RESEARCH SEMINARS

Through the aegis of the Integrative PhD Program, Mellon Foundation funds are available for New School faculty to develop collaborative courses to be first offered in 2018 – 19.  Supplemental salary of $5,000 per faculty member ($10,000 per course) will be allocated to support faculty in the development of six collaborative research seminars over the first two years of the Integrative PhD Program. Each collaborative research seminar will be co-designed and co-taught by a pair of faculty members, one from the humanistic social sciences and one from the fields of design or digital media.

The collaborative seminars are one of several mechanisms by which New School graduate students can combine training in the humanistic social sciences, exemplified in the research and teaching of the faculty at The New School for Social Research and Lang College, with training in the innovative concepts and methodological approaches to data visualization, graphic design, and digital media as developed by our world-class Parsons and Media Studies faculty. Collaboration across the social sciences and these digital and design fields will enable our students to become fluent in the full range of qualitative and quantitative methods along with the design thinking that can be deployed to answer the complex and pressing questions of our day. Combining social research and digital design training will also, we expect, enhance both sides of this combined curriculum, as students develop their individual research and scholarly projects and as our faculty at the NSSR and Parsons School of Design collaborate to help students to navigate this new terrain.

The seminars will be open to doctoral candidates from all departments in the social sciences, philosophy and history, as well as graduate students from Parsons and Media Studies. The seminars will be capped at 10 students so that the co-teachers can provide careful supervision of student research. At the same time, we will encourage participation by students from outside the NSSR so as to ensure the maximum degree of knowledge cross-fertilization.

Interested faculty teams should submit a 500-word course description, a brief explanation of the ways that the cross-disciplinary and cross-divisional elements of the course will engage with the goals of the Integrative PhD, and a list of potential readings and practices. Please include a brief note from the relevant deans indicating approval for both faculty partners to offer the collaborative seminar were it to be chosen.

Proposals for collaborative courses are due by September 11, 2017. Successful proposals will be selected by the Integrative PhD Advisory Committee and will be announced by October 9, 2017. Please contact the Integrative PhD Program Co-directors with any questions.

Advisory Board

Zed Adams (NSSR, Associate Professor of Philosophy)

Carol Wilder (SPE, Dean, School of Media Studies)

Daniel Sauter (Parsons, Associate Professor of Data Visualization, Co-Director Integrative PhD)

Robin Wagner-Pacifici (NSSR, University in Exile Professor of Sociology, Co-Director Integrative PhD)

Wendy Walters (Parsons, Associate Professor of Literary Studies)