Skip to main content

Mark Schmidt collection of Mobilization materials

 Collection
Identifier: NA-0020-01

Overview

Mark Schmidt is an alumnus of Eugene Lang College at The New School who participated in the Mobilization for Real Diversity, Democracy, and Economic Justice. The Mobilization was a campus movement during the 1996-1997 school year that began to protest the firing of Professor M. Jacqui Alexander, an Afro-Carribbean, feminist scholar who was a member of the Graduate Faculty. This small collection of materials documenting the Mobilization, which includes photographs and a video, was assembled by Schmidt.

Dates

  • 1996-1997

Creator

Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research use. Please contact archivist@newschool.edu for appointment.

Biographical Note

Mark Schmidt is a choreographer, somatics educator, and alumnus of Eugene Lang College at The New School. He also holds an MFA in performance and choreography from the State University of New York, Brockport. In addition to being an independent choreographer, Schmidt frequently collaborates with other artists, filmmakers, and set designers. He premiered his first commissioned choreography, Por Una Cabeza, in 2013 at Gotham Hall.

Historical Note

The Mobilization for Real Diversity, Democracy, and Economic Justice was a student-led protest movement at The New School during the 1996-1997 academic year. The Mobilization (sometimes referred to as "the Mobe") was a coalition that fought for diversity and equity at the university. The Mobilization began in 1996 with student outcry over The New School's decision not to offer a popular professor, M. Jacqui Alexander, a contract extension. Alexander is an Afro-Carribbean, feminist scholar who was a member of the Graduate Faculty from 1994-1997. Her teachings on gender, sexuality, race, and class inspired many of the students who started the Mobilization. The students and faculty in the Mobilization engaged in an intersectional critique of The New School, arguing that the struggles of people of color, women, and members of the LGBTQ+ community at the university were linked. They demanded pay equity, wage increases for security guards, a more diverse curriculum, and the hiring and retention of more faculty of color, including Alexander. The Mobilization held numerous protests throughout the 1996-1997 academic year, including an occupation of the Graduate Faculty building. Their movement culminated in a hunger strike by students and faculty that lasted over two weeks. M. Jacqui Alexander and many other leaders in the Mobilization did not return for the 1997 school year. The Graduate Faculty, often referred to as the GF, is a division of The New School now known as The New School for Social Research, and encompasses graduate degree programs in the social sciences. The former Graduate Faculty building at 65 Fifth Avenue was demolished in 2009 to make way for the construction of the University Center building. Eugene Lang College is an undergraduate division of The New School. Students, faculty, and staff from the Graduate Faculty, Lang, and the other divisions of The New School participated in the Mobilization.

Extent

.1 Cubic Feet (1 folder; 1 videotape)

1 vhs

Language of Materials

English

Scope and Contents

Mark Schmidt assembled these materials during his participation in the Mobilization for Real Diversity, Democracy, and Economic Justice at The New School. The small collection includes photographs of Mobilization members at protests and social events, a videotape, and a typed manuscript about the Mobilization by an unknown author. The videotape has two edited clips from Mobilization protests as well as unedited footage from a forum held at the university on the Mobilization.

Other Finding Aids

For selected item-level description and images from the Mark Schmidt collection of Mobilization materials, see the New School Archives Digital Collections at http://digitalarchives.library.newschool.edu/index.php/Detail/collections/NA002001

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated to The New School Archives by Mark Schmidt in 2019.
Title
Guide to the Mark Schmidt collection of Mobilization materials
Status
Completed
Author
Anna Robinson-Sweet
Date
February 8, 2021
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin