Archaeology of New York

Parsons School of Design: Art and Design History

Liberal Arts

Undergraduate Course

Degree Students

Archaeology of New York City

Fall 2022

Taught By: Allyson McDavid

Section: A

CRN: 14534

Credits: 3

In this course, we will examine New York City’s past for evidence of its current and future design trajectories. While tracing its urban development will certainly involve the study of prominent construction and planning milestones, we shall similarly address the evolution of other interventions along the social and political spectrum, including the phenomena of adaptation and reuse, climate change, demographic shifts, migrations and gentrification, and resilience in the face of natural disasters and health crises. An archaeological approach will be used to examine the shaping of material and social landscapes of the city’s neighborhoods: the transformation of a once-forested Mannahatta, the provision of transportation, water and communications infrastructure, cultural and resource management, and social mobility. From swampland to farms, from industrial enclaves to starchitecture, New York's material legacy will be informed by the social, economic, and political histories that shaped it. Students will investigate the city’s unprecedented present and anticipate the trajectory of its future through various lenses of its past. This study of NYC is ideal for students of design, history, and the social and political sciences. Combining seminar sessions with virtual (and in person, where possible) excursions to various sites and neighborhoods, students will propose a project of future intervention in the city that will require close study of a particular aspect of its past. This project may be studio-based or textual in nature, with submission of a final design project or written paper.

Open to: All university undergraduate degree students. Pre-requisite(s): first-year university writing course and at least two prior history or methods course in art, media, film, or visual culture. One of these courses should be 3000-level.

College: Parsons School of Design (PS)

Department: Art and Design History (PLAD)

Campus: New York City (GV)

Course Format: Seminar (R)

Max Enrollment: 20

Add/Drop Deadline: September 12, 2022 (Monday)

Online Withdrawal Deadline: November 20, 2022 (Sunday)

Seats Available: Yes

Status: Open*

* Status information is updated every five minutes. The status of this course may have changed since the last update. Open seats may have restrictions that will prevent some students from registering. Updated: 6:12am 5/20/2022 EDT

Meeting Info:

Days: Friday

Times: 9:00am - 11:40am

Building: TBD

Room: TBD

Date Range: 9/2/2022 - 12/16/2022