Social Practice Certificate: Overview
There are 12 core credits each social practice student must take, followed by an equal number of flexible credit options that together add up to 24 credits. Each admitted candidate is assigned an individual mentor whose research is closest to that of the incoming student. It is this mentor’s responsibility to take a lead role advising students and selecting the flexible seminars and classes best suited for their specific course of study. For example, someone whose research project involves redesigning a blighted urban location might take classes in Urban Studies, while someone interested in ecological art would be guided toward Environmental Studies. These, however, are only illustrations of possibilities. In theory, a social practice student might engage with sociology, anthropology, law, media, philosophy, education, women’s studies, or a host of potential areas of interdisciplinary focus, subject to the approval of the advisor.
Below are the required and optional courses for the certificates.
Minimum number of credits to complete the certificate: 24
Required Core Courses:
ARTS 777 History & Theory of Social Art Practice (3 credits)
ARTS 778 Seminar in Project Management (3 credits)
ARTS 772 Two semesters Individual Criticism/Individual Research (may be repeated) 6 credits
Flexible Course Options:
(Individual mentor advises on all choices.)
ARTS 730. Seminar in Problems of New Forms [may be repeated] (3–6 credits)
Two or three interdisciplinary seminars related to research project; must be at the 700 graduate level [see examples below; again the advisor helps select] (6–9 credits)
*ARTS 777 History of Social Art Practice (3 credits) The aim of this seminar is to survey, critique, and historicize the theory and practice of activist, interventionist, public, participatory and community-based art that operates within and across fields such as performance, urban studies, environmental science and other socially engaged disciplines. The class will focus on such questions as: Why is it useful, even necessary, to understand the history and theory of social practice art? Where should we look to find the historical roots of social practice art? Are these within the history of art, or external to it, in the broader social sphere? In an increasingly privatized society how do we define and operate within a concept of the public sphere? And how are both mainstream and alternative type cultural institutions responding to the increasing interest in socially engaged art by emerging artists? Through lectures, readings, discussions, student presentations, group activities, guest speakers and off-site visits to galleries and museums we will seek to position socially engaged visual culture and the shifting role of the artist within an historical, ideological, and critical framework.
*ARTS 778 Seminar in Project Management (3 credits) The primary goal of this course is to offer students a step-by-step investigation into how to develop and successfully carry out a socially engaged, public art project. Its secondary aim is to critically compare and contrast traditional forms of organizing with experimental institutional forms. The class will cover such things as NGOs and 501(c)3 not-for-profit corporations, as well as cooperative alternative spaces, participatory public projects and informal inter-disciplinary art collectives and coalitions. This pragmatic and critical approach to contemporary administrative practices will be approached using a combination of select readings and class discussions, guest lectures presenting tutorials, and a practicum that draws together all phases of the seminar including concept development, budget preparation, grant writing, and networking focused on a specific, social practice project initiated by either individual students working alone or students collaborating in small groups.
*Pending BOT approval.
Interdisciplinary Elective Courses
Among the possible electives certificate candidates might consider taking, depending on the course of their research, are the following. (Other electives may be selected from other CUNY schools) All selections are made with the advice of the mentor.
ANTH 397.6 Ethnographic Fieldwork in Flushing
ENGL 327, 327W Environmental Literature
GEOL 504 Environmental Problems and Solutions.
GEOL 768 Soils, Wetlands, and Bioremediation.
MEDST 270 Media and the Environment
PHIL 125 Philosophy of the Environment
PHIL 302 Ecology and Culture.
PHIL 308 Urban Anthropology
POL SCI 216 Immigration Law and Procedures
POL SCI 230 Intellectual Property
URBST 702 Urban Social Movements
URBST 712 Urban Labor and Labor Movements
URBST 724 Introduction to Public Policy
URBST 745 Community Organization
URBST 758 Climate Change and Urban Policy
URBST 756 The Law and Urban Society
URBST 763 Race, Ethnicity, and Public Policy
URBST 773 Labor and Globalization
URBST 730 The Urban Economy
URBST 780 Field Work I. Urban Studies