Master’s Program in Aesthetics and Politics

Welcome! This is a program for artists and thinkers who are interested in the crossover of aesthetics and politics in the contemporary world. This program encourages new interrogations of the expanded field of the arts through readings of texts, artworks, group discussion and a rich calendar of public events.

About the Program

We offer a dynamic and intensive experience that develops a shared vocabulary and critical framework in which we discuss phenomena ranging from the Arab Spring to neo-benshi, from bioart to neoliberalism, from human rights to queer hiphop and third world cinema.

Students develop ideas through presenting ongoing written work in a discursive environment with peers and are encouraged to focus their work by choosing credits from a list of elective courses. We offer a set of core courses in aesthetic theory, political thought, critical discourse in the arts and the media, and theoretical writing that are the foundation of the degree. In addition, students are able to specialize in one of three areas of concentration--critical theory, global studies, or media and urban studies--to work towards a written thesis submitted at the end of the program. The program values individual development by providing one-to-one mentorship with specialists within your field, student fora and a rich variety of internationally renowned visiting speakers.

Selected applicants are awarded Teaching Assistantships that can be turned into a Research Assistantship in the Spring semester. All MA-candidates significantly improve their reading and writing skills, oral presentation skills, and creative and critical abilities during their one-year intensive training with us. The scope of the program enables students to achieve their ambitions in their career choices and opens the doors to new possibilities for life after postgraduate study. The program helps prepare students for careers in a range of vocations, including art criticism, critical art-making, curatorial practice, politics, research at PhD-level, and more.

For more information about our curriculum, faculty, and the events we have on offer, please click through the page-links on the left. Join us in Los Angeles for the year-long WHAP! series or contact our admissions counselor if you want to visit us and observe a class.  

We look forward to welcoming you to CalArts.

Last edited by adeboever on Jan 07, 2013
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