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Master of Arts in Art History: Art and its Institutions

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  • Objectives
    The M.A. in Art History: Art and its Institutions encompasses Canadian/Aboriginal art history and the broader theoretical and historical concerns of an international stage. The program explores institutions of art conceived of in an expanded double meaning: as the material sites of the institutions of cultural visual memory and production - particularly those in the National Capital Region - and as the broader cultural and historical forces which mediate art practice and its conditions of production, reception, and study. The M.A. program has a two-fold emphasis: explorations of critical and historical concerns, and practical experience. Students examine recent theoretical shifts in art history in the context of various institutions of art and are offered direct experience with collecting, exhibiting, and researching institutions in the National Capital Region. The program's dual approach trains scholars and art institution professionals to attain a critical awareness of contemporary theoretical debates, enabling them to construct new visions within the institutions they study or work.
  • Academic Title
    Master of Arts in Art History: Art and its Institutions
  • Course description
    Program Requirements

    The specific program requirements for students in the M. A. program are as follows:

        * ARTH 5010 (1. 0 credit)
        * 2. 0 credits in Art History, of which 0. 5 credit must be selected from ARTH 5112, 5113, 5114, 5115, 5117, 5119, 5210, 5218, 5402, 5403, 5500, 5600. It is recommended that 1. 0 credit be used for a practicum. The remaining 0. 5 credit may be taken in Art History or, in special cases where the student's program of study justifies it, alternative courses may be selected with the approval of the Graduate Supervisor. Out of the 2. 0 credits taken, at least 0. 5 credit must be in an area outside the student's thesis specialization.
        * ARTH 5909 (2. 0 credits)

    Subject to the approval of the graduate super visor, 0. 5 credit may be taken outside the Art History program. A maximum of 1. 0 credit may be selected from course offerings at the 4000-level in Art History.

    The student's program will be developed in consultation with the graduate supervisor and the graduate faculty of Art History, and must be approved by the graduate supervisor to assure that the program of study includes a variety of media, historical periods, and/or national or ethnic traditions outside the subject of the thesis, as determined by the supervisor. The prescribed program will take into account the student's background and special interests, and the research strengths of the Art History graduate faculty.

    ARTH 5010 [1. 0 credit]
        Art and Its Institutions
        The institutions of art and art history, the archive, the social institutions of art and their mediations. Gender, Aboriginal culture, commodification, reception, technology, memory and subversive tactics are addressed. Canadian contexts are emphasized.
        Precludes additional credit for ARTH 5000.

    ARTH 5011 [0. 5 credit]
        Graduate Practicum
        Practical on-site work in the collecting institutions of the national Capital Region (as available), including a written assignment. The practicum coordinator and the on-site supervisor jointly determine the final mark. A maximum of 1. 0 practicum credit may be applied towards degree requirements.
        Precludes additional credit for ARTH 5001.

    ARTH 5012 [0. 5 credit]
        Directed Readings and Research
        Students pursue topics in art and its institutions, which they select in consultation with the graduate faculty of the program.
        Precludes additional credit for ARTH 5002.

    ARTH 5112 [0. 5 credit]
        Topics in Historiography, Methodology and Criticism
        Historiographical, methodological, and critical issues in the history of art and criticism in Canadian and/or international contexts.
        Precludes additional credit for ARTH 5102.

    ARTH 5113 [0. 5 credit]
        Perspectives on Pre-Modernity
        Issues in premodern art and institutions of art production, and critical theory in light of current concerns and new research.

    ARTH 5114 [0. 5 credit]
        Feminism and Gender
        Art and its institutions in terms of critical issues of feminism and gender studies. Topics include the questioning of the canon, sexuality, the gaze, queer theory, the body, and the use of art as a means to communicate issues of public significance.
        Precludes additional credit for ARTH 5104 and ARTH 5106.

    ARTH 5115 [0. 5 credit]
        Topics in Modern and Contemporary Art
        The production and reception of modern and contemporary art in light of current concerns in Canadian and/or international contexts.
        Precludes additional credit for ARTH 5105.

    ARTH 5117 [0. 5 credit]
        Community/Identity
        Art and the interrelationships among the artist, architect, patron, critic and public in the context of the contribution of art and its institutions to the articulation or constitution of communal identities in Canadian and/or international contexts.
        Precludes additional credit for ARTH 5107.

    ARTH 5119 [0. 5 credit]
        Aspects of Contemporary Art Practice
        Contemporary art practice, including the artist collective, traditional and new media (painting, sculpture, installation, video, digital art), the relationship of artist and society, critical and public reception of contemporary art, and interaction between institutional collecting and artist-run centres in Canadian and/or international contexts.
        Precludes additional credit for ARTH 5109.

    ARTH 5210 [0. 5 credit]
        Topics in Aboriginal Art
        The creative production, aesthetic culture, and reception of selected aboriginal peoples in pre-contact, historic, and/or modern time, drawing on postcolonial and critical theory.
        Precludes additional credit for ARTH 5200, ARTH 5204, and ARTH 5303.

    ARTH 5218 [0. 5 credit]
        Museum Studies and Curatorial Practice
        Aspects of museum practice, history and theoretical discourse will be examined in a classroom setting, or the preparation, realization, and/or study of an exhibition in an Ottawa-area museum.
        Precludes additional credit for ARTH 5207 and ARTH 5208.

    ARTH 5402 [0. 5 credit]
        The Archive in Art and Architecture
        Diverse aspects of the Archive that may include theoretical perspectives, research applications, and access to specialized collections in the local area.

    ARTH 5403 [0. 5 credit]
        Architecture and Its Institutions
        Specialized topics examine theory and practice of architects, architectural historians and critics from historical and contemporary perspectives in Canadian and/or international contexts.

    ARTH 5500 [0. 5 credit]
        Photography and Its Institutions
        Photographic practice and reception with emphasis on social, political and cultural contexts and theoretical approaches to the study of photographs in Canadian and/or international contexts.

    ARTH 5600 [0. 5 credit]
        Outside the Canon
        Specialized topics investigating creative productions usually considered outside the canon. The role of community-based artistic traditions, canon construction and its Others, the discourse surrounding folk art, the influence of the market, social context, and style may be considered in Canadian and/or international contexts.

    ARTH 5909
        M. A. Thesis

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