Course Syllabus

THE HARLEM RENAISSANCE: Preservation, Spatial Encounter, and Anti-Racism

Studio II Aims and Scope:  Studio II is the second in the program’s three-studio sequence, and is a central focus of the second-semester Historic Preservation curriculum. Building upon the skills applied in Studio I, a core aim of Studio II is to promote an understanding of cultural heritage and of preservation practices using a context-oriented lens. Whereas Studio I focuses primarily on the building as an inroad to investigation, analysis, and proposition, Studio II engages students in the more complex exercise of contextualizing their research and proposed actions within a broader social environment and physical setting – or community. In doing so, Studio II takes a very broad view of heritage, recognizing the ways in which multiple publics ascribe values and narratives to places and how the intangible and tangible dimensions of those stories and the people they represent are encountered spatially.

2021 Studio Inquiry and Context:  Studio II will explore the multifaceted legacy of the Harlem Renaissance, its significance in anti-Black racism histories and activism, and its place-based associations in northern Manhattan. Expanding upon Studio I research in Central Harlem, inquiry will involve critically exploring the following questions:

  • HISTORIES: What stories, events, works, organizations and entities, and individuals characterize and/or represent the Harlem Renaissance?
  • PLACES + PUBLICS: What geographies and places were/are associated with the Harlem Renaissance? What factors influenced their location and development? How are they spatially encountered and/or experienced today? How are they valued and by whom?
  • INTENTION: How can the preservation enterprise – through community-engaged research, policy, physical intervention, interpretation, creative expression, etc. -- instrumentalize the heritage of the Harlem Renaissance as a tool for anti-racism and social justice?

Course Summary:

Date Details Due