A new graduate minor in visual and material culture has been created for Notre Dame students interested in gaining foundational knowledge in global art and architecture history and conducting image-centered interdisciplinary research.
The minor was added to enrich the experience of College of Arts and Letters students in Master of Arts, Master of Fine Arts, and Ph.D. programs through Department of Art, Art History & Design (AAHD) courses in ancient, medieval, early modern, modern, and contemporary art.
“We’re very excited to welcome graduate students from other Arts and Letters programs to the VaMC graduate minor program,” said Tatiana Reinoza, an assistant professor of art history. “The program will emphasize an object-oriented approach to working with global art and visual culture, enhancing their research methodologies and providing pedagogical tools for those interested in teaching in the humanities.”
In addition to covering broad time periods and geography, courses highlight objects and images in a wide array of media — stone, paper, ink, canvas, metal, and glass.
“The program will emphasize an object-oriented approach to working with global art and visual culture, enhancing their research methodologies and providing pedagogical tools for those interested in teaching in the humanities.”
Reinoza and Marius Hauknes, also an assistant professor of art history, proposed the minor.
In a 2021 survey, MFA students in AAHD expressed interest in such a minor to deepen their understanding of art history, strengthen their research skills, and learn strategies for using art history in the classroom. And graduate students seeking careers in museums indicated they wished to build their interpretive skills and ability to write about art.
The minor is expected to be of interest to scholars in a range of disciplines, including anthropology, classics, creative writing, design, English, history, Romance languages, studio art, and theology.
Before applying to pursue the minor, graduate students need permission from their thesis or dissertation advisor, and a VaMC graduate minor committee grants admission.
To earn the minor, students successfully take three credits in Methods and Theories in Art History and six credits in two additional art history courses. They also attend four art history works-in-progress events and submit a research paper or annotated bibliography related to their art history training to the VaMC graduate minor committee
In addition to Reinoza (who studies Latinx art) and Hauknes (medieval art), art history faculty teaching VaMC minor graduate courses are Heather Hyde Minor (16th–18th-century European art); Robin Rhodes (classical art and architecture); Michael Schreffler (16th- and 17th-century Iberian and Latin American art); Elyse Speaks (contemporary art); and Nicole Woods (modern and contemporary art).
Undergraduates also can benefit from the graduate minor; juniors and seniors may take the annual graduate-level research methods seminar to prepare them for graduate study in art history.