Radhika Subramaniam and I taught a graduate course at Parsons this semester on “Curating Public Memory” in which students researched, conceptualized, and created virtual exhibitions on The New School. A collection of them concentrated on Parsons: investigating classrooms, from studios to parks to zoom rooms; the origin of a Parsons satellite in the Dominican Republic, told through letters, and asking the question “Is Parsons a Place for Everyone?”; and a speculative look at Parsons in 2071 (a degree in Peace Systems Engineering, a fallout of digital wars?!).
The other collection of projects were poignant perspectives on the pandemic: A Space to Collectively Reflect; looking at where The New School is now, enduring distance; and a talk with international students about the specific challenges they faced this year. All the projects were a testament to students’ persistence in learning amidst a peculiar, grief-filled year.