New School News

A Watershed Event: The New School Presents Its First-Ever Water Week


Map of Minetta Brook circa 1865 by Egbert Viele.

What do the courses The History of the Novel,, World Political Economy, and Hungering for Opportunities: Food and Migrations,, have in common? Other than all being offered this semester at The New School, they’re among the 33 courses currently running that touch on the theme of water in some significant way. Although very few are expressly designed around the topic of water, it’s typical of H20 to somehow find its way into the conversation. From storm drains to streams to syllabi, water has a way of making its presence known, quietly, but powerfully.

From Monday, March 28 to Friday, April 1, The New School’s first-ever Water Week will dive deep into the subject to examine the way water affects culture, economy, politics, and daily life at local, national, and global levels. Water Week exemplifies The New School’s tradition of reaching across disciplines and into the community to address pressing real-world concerns.

Water, who gets access to it and how we take care of it, is an incredibly complex and important issue for our generation and the next to come,, says GPIA student Mandy Goodgoll, who coordinated Water Week. From sociology to design to art and music, it’s an topic that demands many different forms of analysis. With water as our focus, we can bring our university together to gain new insights and build new answers.,

Water Week features more than 20 public events, many drawing on projects stemming from the more than 33 courses that touch on water and water policy taught this semester at The New School. Highlights include the following:

  • Walking tours tracing the paths of waterways that once flowed through Lower Manhattan, led by Richard Karty and Kira Appelhans of the Tishman Center for Environment and Design (March 29 and March 31)
  • A Mannes student performance of Tan Dun’s Water Concerto, in which water becomes a musical instrument (TBD)
  • The construction of a functional Inuit-style boat by a team of students, led by Rob Buchanan, Associate Professor of Writing at Eugene Lang College (March 28 to April 1)
  • A screening of the Oscar-nominated documentary Gasland, which explores the hydrofracking debate in upstate New York (April 1)

Water Week is sponsored by the graduate program in International Affairs (GPIA). Visit the festival’s website for a full schedule, including times and locations.

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