Since its inception, the New School for Social Research has attracted reflective journalists and experimental publishers. The founders included Thorsten Veblen, Charles Beard, and John Dewey — authors whose books reached a wide audience of general readers. After World War II, faculty and students at the New School helped create and launch the first alternative weekly urban newspaper, the Village Voice. The Graduate Faculty subsequently attracted public intellectuals like Robert Heilbroner and Hannah Arendt, whose work appeared in publications like the New Yorker and the New York Review of Books. In more recent decades, the New School for Social Research has invited outspoken journalists like Christopher Hitchens, Jonathan Schell, and Katha Pollitt to discuss their contrarian views with its graduate students in substantive courses on timely topics.
This program trains students not only in the traditions of criticism, critical theory, and fine writing — but also offers students a variety of studio courses and working experiences that teach them how to design, edit, and distribute journals and books containing intellectually serious written work aimed at a general reader. In addition to surveying more traditional forms of book and magazine publishing, the program will explore the possibilities opened up by new media, such as the internet, tablet applications, and the rise of print-on-demand small batch publications.
Our unique curriculum equips students to think critically and historically about book publishing and journalism; to learn about the best practices of contemporary reporting and cultural criticism; to appreciate the business aspects of production and distribution; and to acquire an ability to work collaboratively in the writing, editing, design and publication of texts on a variety of platforms, both print and digital.
It will also explore the democratic potential in disseminating new "worlds made by words," whether in the form of so-called "open journalism," in which writers interact in new ways with engaged communities of readers, or in the form of political pamphleteering and frank advocacy.
Unlike other publishing programs, this program teaches students how to edit pieces, how to write better, how to think more clearly and critically — and how to design literary texts. Unlike other journalism programs, this program teaches students how to design a business plan, lay out a cross-platform publication, and offers a grounding in the history of written communication from the printing press to the internet. And unlike most design programs, this program regards design, communication technology, and form-making as part of the continuum of the exchange of ideas.