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Researching Activism at The New School

This guide provides suggestions for approaching historical research concerning activism at The New School throughout its history.

Oral Histories

The New School Archives has supported several projects and ongoing programs to identify and interview individuals who can contribute to the documentary record through their personal experiences. Many of the oral histories touch upon activism at different points in time. Oral history recordings are available on our Digital Collections site, both in transcript form and as sound recordings.

Specific oral history interviews that are relevant to a certain time or event can be found on the chronological pages under "Archives Sources" on the left-side menu.

Activism at The New School Oral History Program

This ongoing oral history program documents activism at The New School throughout its history through interviews with alumni and current students. Major moments of activism at the university are covered, including the 1970 student strike in protest of the Vietnam War and the 1997 Mobilization for Real Diversity, Democracy, and Economic Justice.

The New School Oral History Program

Of particular note are Ann Snitow discussing activism within the New School, as well as general aspects of feminism and feminist activism, and Celeste Lacy Davis discussing her experiences in the civil rights movement, as a member of a radical political organization in the 1970s, and participation in the movement against police brutality. Many of the oral history interviews with faculty touch upon research that can be considered a form of activism or motivated by social justice concerns.

Independent Study Oral History Project on New School History 

Of particular note are Sandra Farganis discussing anti-war activism as well as the protests against New School President Bob Kerrey and the interviews with Linda Dunne and Bea Banu in which the mobilization movement on campus in the 1990s and Bob Kerrey's presidency are discussed.

Parsons School of Design Centenary Oral History Project 

Of particular note is Benedict Fernandez discussing the genesis of the exhibition My God! We're Losing a Great Country (1970) and his personal experiences using photography as a vehicle for documenting the civil rights movement.

Radical Shifts: Reshaping the Interior at Parsons (1955-1985) Oral History Project

Of particular note is David C. Levy discussing his recollections of the anti-war movement as it transpired at Parsons School of Design.


Footage from Mobilization Protests and Forum

Depicts protests and other actions from the 1996-1997 Mobilization for Real Democracy, Diversity, and Economic Justice. At least some of this video was shot by Laura Poitras, then a student in the Media Studies program at The New School, and became part of the documentary "New School Struggle." This documentary is available on YouTube: Part 1 and Part 2.

Archives and Activism Symposium

Audio recording of a day-long symposium co-hosted by The New School Archives and the Archivists Round Table of Metropolitan New York examining the intersection of archival work and activism.