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Art History | Learning Outcomes

BA Art History

  • Art Historiographical Literacy. Students will learn to identify and explain the significance of major works of art created in Europe, North America, and Asia at various periods from Antiquity to the late twentieth century. Students will learn about the ideas and social contexts in which major artists in those traditions worked and the importance of their achievements to larger cultural developments, including the impact of ideologies of racial, gender, class, and other forms of socially constructed “difference”.
  • Critical Thinking. Students will learn to recognize and understand various art historical methods and develop the ability to evaluate critically how scholars have discussed the ideas and works of major artists and the intersections of art production with other aspects of historical and social development within particular cultures. By the end of their undergraduate work, students should be able to recognize and explain the major methodologies used in art historical critical scholarship.
  • Research Skills. Students will learn to identify and develop appropriate research topics and questions that can shape their projects. They will be able to find appropriate research sources through the effective use of material in libraries, databases, and archival or other primary sources.
  • Communication Skills. Students will learn to organize and express their thoughts clearly and coherently both in writing and orally. They will develop the ability to produce cogent arguments, clear analysis of topics and source materials, and use articulate, grammatically correct language.

MA Art History

  • Art Historiographical Literacy. Students will build on their undergraduate training to deepen their knowledge of the cultural significance of major works of art created in Europe, North America, and/or Asia and Latin America from the Renaissance to Contemporary Art. Students will deepen their understanding of the ideas and social contexts in which major artists in those traditions worked and the importance of their achievements to larger cultural developments. The impact of ideologies of racial, gender, class, and other forms of socially constructed “difference” will be stressed.
  • Critical Thinking. Students will be able to identify and demonstrate understanding of various art historical methods and investigate critically how specific scholars in their field of specialization have discussed the ideas and works of major artists and the intersections of art production with other aspects of historical and social development within particular cultures. By the end of their graduate MA work, students should be able both to critique art historical scholarship in their area of specialization and to begin to deploy significant methodological strategies in their own work as manifested in their MA thesis.
  • Research Skills. Students will strengthen their ability to develop appropriate research topics and questions to effectively shape their projects. They will be able to find appropriate research sources through the effective use of material in libraries and databases, and will develop the ability to use archival or other primary sources.
  • Communication Skills. Students will strengthen their ability to organize and express their thoughts clearly and coherently both in writing and orally. They will learn to produce cogent arguments for their research papers and MA thesis, developing a clear analysis of topics and source materials, and of the scholarly structure of their field of specialization. They will also have learned to use articulate, grammatically correct language and to construct thorough investigations in their research papers, skills that will culminate in the MA thesis project.
  • MA Thesis. The MA thesis will provide students with the opportunity to engage in original research through critical analysis of previous scholarship that will optimally open up some new synthesis or conceptual approach related to a topic that has not previously been fully explored in the extant scholarly literature. This research project will contribute to the public scholarly record on their topic.