Ph.D.: RHETORICS OF ART, SPACE AND CULTURE
in 2011, the Art History Department launched a Ph.D. program that builds on nearly thirty years of experience in graduate studies. Our Master’s degree program is highly respected and our students successful. In recent years, our MAs have gone on, most fully funded, to Ph.D. programs at Yale, Harvard, Northwestern, Brown, Cornell, Michigan, UCLA, USC, UT Austin, and the Courtauld Institute in London.
An innovative new curricular initiative rooted in the fields both of art history and visual culture studies will provide its shape.
RASC/a (derived from the Spanish for “scratch”), stands for “Rhetorics of Art, Space, and Culture.” It builds upon the strengths of the present faculty but with renewed emphasis on historical and new media, visual technologies, architecture and the city, race and gender, and performance and ritual. Emphasizing spatial and well as visual culture, it extends the department’s commitment to the study of technologies of visual communication, while also advancing transnational scholarship in Arts of Latin America, Iberia, and the Americas.
Students will enjoy close mentorship within a small-program setting and generous funding: a fellowship package offer up to of five years of tuition and health benefits plus a stipend of up to $25,000 per year. Students also may apply for support for off-campus and international research and conference travel. In addition, the department conducts site-specific graduate seminars that take students off-campus for eight to ten days (Venice in 2009/10, Mexico City in 2010/11, and Madrid & Toledo in 2011/2012). Our campus facilities include a number of significant resources for graduate training. In addition to a dedicated art and art-history library (Hamon Library), the SMU campus is home to the Meadows Museum of Art, one of the largest and most comprehensive collections of Iberian art outside Spain; the Bridwell Library, an internationally-recognized collection of manuscripts, incunabula, and early print media; and the DeGolyer Library, whose collections include a wealth of materials on early voyages and travels, Western Americana, and the history of science and technology.
Dallas/Ft.Worth is home to numerous museums and collections of international stature, and our students enjoy access to these remarkable resources as well. The Dallas Museum of Art holds an encyclopedic collection of over 30,000 objects, with particular strengths in Modern and Contemporary, Classical, American decorative arts, African, and Pre- Columbian. The Kimbell Museum, housed in Louis Kahn’s landmark building, boasts a smaller but superlative collection of art from around the world. The Amon Carter museum includes one of the world’s best and most comprehensive collections of American photography, with strong holdings in American art and sculpture. The Nasher Sculpture Center (Dallas) and the Modern Art Museum of Ft.Worth possess fine collections of twentieth and twenty-first century American and European art. These collections are joined by a number of smaller museums in the area (including the Dallas Latino Cultural Center, the McKinney Avenue Contemporary), as well as several first-rate private collections. Many of our students have received internships at these institutions, as well as regular instruction in their galleries and storage rooms.
To apply to the RASCa Ph.D., click here.
MA: ART HISTORY
The MA program in Art History equips students with core competencies in the study and theory of architecture, painting, sculpture, print culture, design, new media, and the tensions between images and objects. Built on the fertile exchange between the arts, sciences, and humanities, Art History subscribes to a cross-disciplinary approach to learning. The MA Program in Art History trains leaders in the field who are capable of thinking critically, seeing objects afresh, conducting research at the highest level, conversant with the discipline’s history and invested in shaping its future. Recent graduates have gone onto Ph.D. programs, most fully funded, at Harvard, Yale, Northwestern, Brown, Cornell, UCLA, and USC.
The MA program requires 30 hours of coursework and culminates in the completion of a Master’s thesis. Each year six applicants are awarded MA stipends (on top of tuition waivers) up to $10,500. Funding for thesis travel and research is available on a competitive basis. Additionally, the Department offers one fully-funded site-specific graduate seminar a year (this Fall, in Venice) and academic credit and financial support are provided for those who participate in the Poggio Colla Field School in Tuscany, Italy
To apply to the MA program in Art History, click here.