Design and the Women's Movement

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This course is organized in correlation with the exhibition Printing Matters: Design and the Women’s Movement (New York, 1850s to Today) [working title] co-curated with Alexander Tochilovsky for 41 Cooper Gallery, to take place in October–November 2018. Along with the exhibition, this course will consider the creation of women in design and production of printed ephemera (such as: flyers, magazines, posters, tee-shirts, buttons, etc.) participating in the women’s movement in New York, from the 1850s to today. Collectives and women’s initiatives to be discussed in the course will include: The Women Art School at The Cooper Union, Heterodoxy Club in Greenwich Village, New York Radical Women, Redstocking, The Black Panthers, The Young Lords, Colab, Fashion Moda, ABC No Rio, Guerrilla Girls, Group Material, Grand Furry, fierce pussy, WAC, Black Lives Matter, #MeToo, and others. The printed materials they created proposes a continual address on a large diversity of causes, beyond feminism per se, that expands the history and themes of the women’s movement—if compared to the way it is currently know and written about. This course will be an opportunity to discuss the succession of feminist waves and to question their effects on the formulation of conceptions of “feminist,” “anti-feminism” and “post-feminism.” Finally, the material value of printed ephemera will be presented as part of a continuous effort to document, collect and archive actions and accomplishments of the women’s movement. More recently, this effort met with the possibilities offered by more recent—and maybe more immaterial and intangible media—such as Internet and social media, which will provide an alternative mode of action for the evaluation of what constitutes an efficient social movement

Credits: 2.00

Course Code: HTA 313 L

Instructor(s): Stéphanie Jeanjean

  • Founded by inventor, industrialist and philanthropist Peter Cooper in 1859, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art offers education in art, architecture and engineering, as well as courses in the humanities and social sciences.

  • “My feelings, my desires, my hopes, embrace humanity throughout the world,” Peter Cooper proclaimed in a speech in 1853. He looked forward to a time when, “knowledge shall cover the earth as waters cover the great deep.”

  • From its beginnings, Cooper Union was a unique institution, dedicated to founder Peter Cooper's proposition that education is the key not only to personal prosperity but to civic virtue and harmony.

  • Peter Cooper wanted his graduates to acquire the technical mastery and entrepreneurial skills, enrich their intellects and spark their creativity, and develop a sense of social justice that would translate into action.