Archived Spring 2023 Class: Socially Engaged Archives: In Theory, In Practice

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Archived Spring 2023 Class: Socially Engaged Archives: In Theory, In Practice


ARTS 778/ARTS 731/PIMA 7040, Professors Alexandra Juhasz (Brooklyn College/CUNY Graduate Center) and Chloë Bass (Queens College/CUNY Graduate Center)


Bringing together MA, MFA, and PhD students from Social Practice CUNY, Queens College, Brooklyn College, the CUNY Graduate Center and beyond, this team-taught course invites a consideration of archives (past, present, and future) as central to the development of community-based artmaking. Students will begin the semester working closely with Professor Alexandra Juhasz’s collection of AIDS activist videotapes from the first decade of the crisis to raise and respond to questions about analogue records, the archive, research, art, AIDS (particularly as affecting women, BIPOC communities, and sexuality), community engagement, and activism. Following this initial interaction, students will then apply their knowledge to use (and/or anticipate the creation of) archives related to their own individual research and community-based project work (if part of the SPCUNY cohort), or to develop creative responses and interventions utilizing one of their own research projects and/or Professor Juhasz’s materials.

Student projects will build from the research, performance, art, and activism of their own existing community and/or creative partners. They will draw inspiration from student projects produced by previous iterations of this course from Brooklyn College, sourcing and using archival material to prepare for, or understand more deeply, the necessity of the archival impulse (in its various forms) with regards to socially engaged art. How can we plan for the creation and inclusion of archives in our practices? What do existing archives mean for our current work? What can we learn working interdisciplinarily across the arts and humanities and between the academy and the community?

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