PLVS
4015

Metaphor and Material

Parsons School of Design: Art and Design History

Liberal Arts
Undergraduate Course
Degree Students (with Restrictions)
Metaphor and Material
Fall 2023
Taught By: Radhika Subramaniam
Section: A

CRN: 16150

Credits: 3

Metaphors are generated from matter and things – good as gold, feet of clay, thick as a brick, hitting a brick wall—and the images they create, in turn, shapes how we see the material world. This transference of images from word to material and back again gives our imagination its juice. It can also set the horizon on what is possible—such as our ability to question what is set in stone, what ideas can bear fruit, and whether we dismiss a point as immaterial. This course approaches material metaphors in two ways: a) as creating portraits of time and place and b) as zones of unstable energy with the potential of being powerful and inventive resources. We will work through a set of metaphor-material formations (such as carbon, gold, clay, stone, plastic, cotton) to examine the ways in which they have influenced such ideas and experiences as the human senses, toxicity, sustainability, invasiveness and nativity, value, malleability, stability, migration, and human-nonhuman relationships. We will do this through historical, literary and critical texts as well as explorations in art and craft. The course especially encourages students to explore the metaphors tied to the media and materials of their own practices (thread, oil, silicon, resin, paper, water) to see how materials and metaphors speak back to each other.

Open to: All university undergraduate degree students, juniors and seniors; others by permission. Pre-requisite(s): first-year university writing course and at least two prior history or methods courses 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)

Modality: In-Person

Max Enrollment: 20

Add/Drop Deadline: September 11, 2023 (Monday)

Online Withdrawal Deadline: November 19, 2023 (Sunday)

Seats Available: Yes

Status: Open*

* Status information is updated every few 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: 7:34pm EDT 5/28/2023

Meeting Info:
Days: Thursday
Times: 12:10pm - 2:50pm
Building: TBD
Room: TBD
Date Range: 8/31/2023 - 12/14/2023