Visual Studies

The Visual Studies Track is an interdisciplinary concentration for completing the Master of Humanities program. It provides students focused studies in disciplines that apply critical analysis to our visual world, such as art history, museum studies, film studies, new media studies, and cultural studies. In a world whose work forces and creative citizenry are focused on the growth and use of visual technologies, visual literacy with sophisticated analytic skills is critical. Successful engagement with an image-driven and technological society necessitates an understanding if the use and encoding of imagery. The Visual Studies Track provides students with the critical tools for engaging with advanced history, concepts and philosophies especially centered on visual culture, art history, visual communication studies, film studies, and new media studies.

Target Audience:
Areas of application for such studies include: museums and cultural institutions, curatorial and research positions, arts administration, non-profit community-based organizations, advertising, promotion, and marketing. The track is likewise relevant for students interested in pursuing doctoral work in related fields. Upon graduation, students will be prepared to enter the job market immediately, or they may use this track as a stepping stone toward a Ph.D. or another advanced degree.

Suggested Advisors

English: Dr. Gillian Silverman 
English: Dr. Sarah Hagelin
MH: Dr. Margaret L. Woodhull, Dr. Lorna Hutchison
Visual Arts Dept. CAM: Dr. Jeffrey Schrader 
Visual Arts Dept. CAM: Dr. Maria Buszek

Master of Humanities Core Requirements:
HUMN 5025 Foundations and Theories in Interdisciplinary Humanities (every fall)
HUMN 5013 Methods and Practices of Graduate Interdisciplinary Humanities (every spring)
HUMN 5924 Directed Research and Readings in Interdisciplinary Humanities

Visual Studies Track Requirements: In addition to the program’s core required courses, the following are required:
1. One 3-credit methods or theory class (see below),

  •      ENGL 5420 Film Theory and Criticism
  •      FINE 5790 Art History Methods (offered every fall)
  •      HUMN 5660 Visual Arts: Interpretations and Contexts

2. A minimum of 18-credit hours of Visual Arts related courses, and
3. A final project (3-credit hours) or thesis (6-credit hours) on a Visual Studies topic. 

Suggested Elective Courses for the Track
Below is a list of pre-approved courses for the track. Be aware that it is not comprehensive and that departments change their offerings regularly. Always check with the department to see when a given course might be scheduled. Also check with your MHMSS Program advisor to discuss additional course opportunities.

ARCH 5210 Introduction to Architecture
ARCH 5220 History and Theory of Architecture I
ARCH 5230 History and Theory of Architecture II
ARCH 6210 A History of American Architecture 
ARCH 6212 History of Modern Architecture
ARCH 6220 A History of Theoretical Discourse on Architecture
COMM 5230 Nonverbal Communication
COMM 5621 Visual Communication
ENGL 5420 Film Theory and Criticism
ENGL 5770 Topics in English: Film and Literature
FINE 4990 Contemporary Art: 1960 to the Present
FINE 5523 Topics in Art History I: Art Before Modernism 
FINE 5524 Topics in Art History II: Modern and Contemporary
FINE 5610 Pre-Columbian Art
FINE 5620 American Art
FINE 5632 History of Digital Media
FINE 5670 Greek and Roman Art
FINE 5680 Art of the Middle Ages
FINE 5700 Italian Renaissance Art
FINE 5705 Northern Renaissance Art 
FINE 5710 Baroque and Rococo Art
FINE 5730 Arts of Japan 
FINE 5750 Arts of China 
FINE 5770 Art of India and Southeast Asia 
FINE 5790: Methods in Art History
FINE 5990 Contemporary Art 1960 to the Present
HIST 5232 - Historic Preservation
HIST 5244 Interpretation of History in Museums: Exhibits and Education
HUMN 5220 Aesthetics and the Philosophy of Art
HUMN 5660 Visual Arts: Interpretations and Contexts
HUMN 5720 Sexuality, Gender and Their Visual Representation
HUMN 5770 Imperialism, Post-Colonial Theory & Visual Discourse
PHIL 5220 Aesthetics and the Philosophy of Art
PHIL 5920 Philosophy of Media and Technology

For more information about this or any track within the Master of Humanities program, contact:
Dr. Omar Swartz, MH/MSS Director: or
Dr. Lorna Hutchison, MH/MSS Assistant Director:
Office: Student Commons Building, 3203
Phone: 303-315-3565