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Master of Art in Aesthetics and Politics

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  • Course description
    The School of Critical Studies at CalArts invites applications for a new Master’s Degree program in Aesthetics and Politics. This program embraces a multi-perspectival approach to the various intersections between the realms of the aesthetic and the political.  First, the MA focuses on what is normally understood as political art – i.e. art-making that chooses to become critical discourse in the public sphere. Second, the program addresses the reverse phenomenon – the famous “aestheticization of politics” that so troubled critical theorists during the twentieth century and that continues to invite further reflection.  Finally, the program aims to become a pole of attraction for students, artists, and scholars interested in the type of theorizing – characteristic of continental thought – that contextualizes aesthetic and political phenomena within a dynamic space in which social meanings are generated, renewed and contested. Applicants interested in these fascinating crossroads and increasingly burgeoning fields of study will have the unique opportunity of enjoying the artistic environment and interdisciplinary dialogue offered by CalArts.

    The MA is a one-year, full-time year program of study. It will be of particular interest to artists seeking to deepen the theoretical and political elements of their art, and to BA/BFA/MFA graduates who may be considering combining their artistic practice with a scholarly career.

    Core courses in the MA in Aesthetics and Politics are taught by distinguished faculty from the School of Critical Studies; students may also take electives taught by faculty from the Schools of Art, Dance, Film/Video, Music and Theater.

    A total of 30 credits is required for the completion of the degree.  These include:

    • 12 Core Course Credits
    • 12 Elective Credits
    • 6 Aesthetics & Politics Lecture Series Credits
    • Thesis

    Core Courses:
    1. Contemporary Political Thought
    2. Critical Discourse in the Arts
    3. Contemporary Aesthetic Theory
    4. Thesis Workshop

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