The Critical and Curatorial Studies Program aims to address the growing need for curators and critics who have theoretical knowledge and practical experience in analyzing institutions, preparing displays and communicating about contemporary art. The program aims to produce individuals who are:
- able to engage productively with critical discussions of art and visual culture
- capable of developing and working with new modes of exhibition
- able to work creatively in both traditional and innovative situations
- familiar with issues and institutions affecting contemporary art
Critical and Curatorial Studies (CCST) is an emerging field of scholarship and training that looks directly at the roles and responsibilities of curators and critics as mediators between objects, institutions, experiences, individuals and groups. While this involves investigating and negotiating a number of disciplinary fields, from ethnography to aesthetics, organizational behaviour to cultural studies, the main focus is on contemporary conditions of display and understanding.
CCST students take three required graduate seminars that engage with historical frameworks and contemporary contextual issues within curatorial practice, and case studies in exhibitions and institutions. These popular seminars are open to other graduate students as well and foster interesting dialogues on issues surrounding curation. CCST students supplement their knowledge with Art History courses and are given the opportunity to take additional credits outside the department as well. They are also challenged to achieve reading knowledge of a language other than English for their language requirement, along with the MA in Art History and PhD students.
During the graduate practicum students gain professional experience through the research, planning, and realization of a significant project and are expected to rationalize their exhibition in written work and presentations at various stages during its production. Students are exposed to the practical and theoretical concerns of exhibition creation and are rewarded in their endeavour with local, if not national and international exposure.
The final requirement for the MA in Critical and Curatorial Studies program is the Major Paper. This extended essay provides students with the opportunity for original and in-depth research on a topic related to the themes or cases examined in the course of study.
For information about applying to the MA in Critical Curatorial Studies, see the sidebar to the left and click ‘CCST Admissions’ for requirements and ‘Contact Info’ for graduate advisors. The FAQ section contains information about admissions, programs and funding, and the ‘Funding and Awards’ tab includes a list of awards and scholarships available to graduate students. To view course information, select either the ‘CCST Curriculum’ or ‘Past Graduate Seminar’ links. Paper topics and exhibitions curated by CCST students, along with past and upcoming graduate student events can also be found in the sidebar. To return to the current page, follow the ‘CCST Program Info’ link.