The Graduate/Professional Certificate in the Transdisciplinary Study of Visual Cultures is intended for master's degree students (usually MFA and terminal M.A. candidates) from across the university who desire training in the study of visual cultures. This transdisciplinary field analyzes the social construction of the visual as well as how the visual creates our social world. Visual culture studies differs from other related disciplines in two ways: first, its field of inquiry includes an expansive array of visual cultural artifacts and practices; and, second, its methodologies focus on the constitution of power relations through visual markers of race, gender, disability, and nationality. As the world continues to become increasingly understood through, and reliant on, the visual (the internet, films, television, scientific graphs, data visualization, video games, and advertisements), the need for people trained with the ability to critically interpret, create, and evaluate those mediums is essential.

The Graduate/Professional Certificate in the Transdisciplinary Study of Visual Cultures is a research-driven certificate. Selection of courses should contribute to your professional development. The certificate is awarded upon successful completion of 9 graduate-level credits in a combination of required and elective coursework, with a GPA of 3.0 (4.0 basis). Required coursework consists of Art Hist 801 ; Art Hist 802 , or equivalent. Elective coursework consists of one 3-credit course to be selected, in consultation with a program faculty advisor, from a wide range of crosslisted and “meets with” courses offered by program faculty in numerous programs and departments. A list of possible course options are available on the CVC website, although it is not exhaustive. Please note that even if a course is listed on the website it is not a guarantee that it will receive program credit. Please consult with the director of the CVC to ensure that your selected courses meet criteria for credit.

ART HIST/​AFROAMER  801 Historiography, Theory and Methods in Visual Culture3
ART HIST/​AFROAMER  802 Visual Cultures: Topics in Visual Cultures (or equivalent) 13
Elective coursework consists of at least one 3-credit course to be selected, in consultation with a program faculty advisor, from a wide range of crosslisted and “meets with” courses offered by program faculty in numerous programs and departments. Following is a list of current or recent courses:
ART HIST 355 History of Photography3
ART HIST 440 Art and Power in the Arab World3
AFROAMER/​GEN&WS  679 Visual Culture, Gender and Critical Race Theory3
GEN&WS 371 Disability and Gender in Film3
GEOG 501 Space and Place: A Geography of Experience3
E ASIAN 376 3
DS 642 Taste3
COM ARTS 451 Television Criticism3
ART HIST/​ASIAN  428 Visual Cultures of India3
ART HIST 506 Curatorial Studies Exhibition Practice3
SPANISH 564 Theory and Practice of Hispanic Theatre4
ART HIST 354 Cross-Cultural Arts Around the Atlantic Rim: 1800 to the Present3-4
ART HIST 879 Seminar in African Art3
ART HIST/​ASIAN  621 Mapping, Making, and Representing Colonial Spaces3
GEN&WS 372 Visualizing Bodies3
ART HIST 430 When Art Was Science: Western Europe c. 1400-18003
AFROAMER/​GEN&WS  367 Art and Visual Culture: Women of the African Diaspora and Africa3
GEN&WS 449 Special Topics in Feminist Theory3
COM ARTS 540 Television Genres3
ART 908 Seminar-Art3
COM ARTS 468 Producing for Internet TV and Video3
  1. Understand the history, methodology, and potentials of Visual Culture as a field of study including cultural studies, art theory, and theoretical frameworks as they are practiced in the field of Visual Cultures.
  2. Have ability to discuss concepts, ideas, and theoretical questions in a clear and understandable manner when engaging both specialized audiences and the wider community.
  3. Develop theoretically informed critical methodologies for the analysis and interpretation of visual culture, literary texts, and cultural formations.
  4. Develop archival research skills and other evidence--gathering techniques with the aim of furthering historical and cultural knowledge of specific fields.
  5. Develop critical writing skills necessary for constructing cogent and original arguments following protocols consistent with existing scholarship in visual cultures.


Paola Hernández (Spanish and Portuguese)

Steering committee 2018–2019

  • Faisal Abdu’Allah (Art)
  • Mercedes Alcalá-Galán (Spanish and Portuguese)
  • Jill Casid (Visual Culture/Art History)
  • Christine Garlough (Gender and Women's Studies)
  • Eric Hoyt (Media and Cultural Studies/Communication Arts)
  • Adam Kern (Visual Culture/East Asian Languages and Literature)
  • Michael Jay McClure (Art History)
  • Sarah Ann Wells (Comparative Literature)
  • Keith Woodward (Geography)


Sara Champlin (Art History)

A list of affiliate faculty may be found here.