Graduate Studies

MA and Ph.D.: Rhetorics of Art, Space and Culture (RASC/a)

RASC/a (derived from the Spanish vernacular for “scratch”) stands for “Rhetorics of Art, Space, and Culture” and marks a new curricular initiative in graduate studies launched in 2011. The department chose the unusual name to underline the commitment to shaping a small and dynamic graduate program that emphasizes close mentorship, innovative methodologies, and scholarship that challenges traditional disciplinary boundaries.

Among the RASC/a laboratories created outside the traditional classroom are “Scratchpad,” an engaging monthly forum where faculty and graduate students share works in progress, and site-seminars, eight- to ten-day trips attached to semester-long art history seminars for on-site work with local curators and scholars, to sites such as Berlin, Machu Picchu, Madrid, Treblinka, Venice and Warsaw.

Ph.D. in Art History

The Ph.D. program builds upon the strengths of a distinguished faculty whose research engages with historical and new media, visual technologies, architecture and the city, race and gender, and performance and ritual. Emphasizing spatial and well as visual culture, the program extends the department's commitment to the study of technologies of visual communication, while also advancing transnational scholarship in the arts of Latin America and Iberia. Recent graduates have gone on to tenure-track teaching positions and prestigious curatorial roles (click on “Alumni” to see what our Ph.D. graduates are doing now). 

M.A. in Art History

The M.A. Program in Art History trains leaders in the field who are capable of thinking critically, viewing objects with fresh perspective and conducting research at the highest level and who are conversant with the discipline's history and invested in shaping its future. Recent graduates have gone on to curatorial positions and Ph.D. programs, most fully funded, at Harvard, Yale, Northwestern, Brown, Cornell, UCLA, University of Michigan and USC (Click on “Alumni” to see what our M.A. graduates are doing now). 

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Contact Art History

Director of Graduate Studies:
Adam Jasienski,

For information about applications for graduate studies in art history, contact:

Joe Hoselton
Director of Graduate Admissions & Institutional Research