Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Back to front

The majority of students in our New School history class this year are students from the design school, many from the school of fashion. So our exploration of pedagogical, cultural and political debates of the early 20th century holds limited interest for them. Happily their first assignment involves reading through a dozen pages (each a different set) from the New School scrapbooks we helped get digitized, and each student seems to have found something to pique her or his interest.
As I was going around my discussion section asking pairs and groups of students what they had found, one group had a startling response. Didn't the scrapbooks - primary sources! - give them a sense of the past, I asked? "They're great," said one, "but they look too perfect." What did he mean? "They look photoshopped!" Another kindly explained to me (who presumably was too pre-digital to know this) that many people nowadays photoshop images to make them look just like these!

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