Core Courses

The foundation of the VCS curriculum is a four-semester methodologies seminar that exposes students to the uses of critical tools in the practices of contemporary artists, curators, critics, and scholars. Building on this foundation, students enroll in a set of theory seminars and a writing seminar. Two of these theory courses, “Strategies for Visual & Critical Studies” and “Theories of Identity, Difference, and Power,” introduce students to key bodies of work in philosophy and critical theory as well as their contemporary applications. The remaining theory requirements, offered under the rubric “VCS Topics,” vary from semester to semester. These include two classes (“Sites,” and “Perceptions”) that have been taught on a regular basis since the VCS program launched in 2000.  Alternative options revolve around areas of faculty expertise. Our dynamic writing seminar, “Voices,” rounds out the roster of requirements. These courses work together to provide students with a comprehensive background in scholarly methodologies and critical theories while building their writing and research skills.