Whenever we engage in studio practice--whether we know it or not--we are also engaging with dominant social and cultural ideas that have sedimented over time. How do you see beyond the conventions of critique to unearth new ideas for your thinking and practice? Academic Studies at MECA helps you think critically about gender, race, history and theory to do just that. At MECA we treat research and ideas as material, as mediums to use, manipulate and work with. In our contemporary world, all studio practitioners also need to be creative, critical thinkers who are committed to social justice.
Academic Studies at MECA offers an interdisciplinary curriculum with classes that traverse media theory, art history, cultural analysis and critical theory. We also offer classes in World History, the Business of Art, Literature, Natural Science and Math. We have instructors and professors who will push you to interrogate representations of identity and how they affect the way we read images and texts. Academic Studies Minors in Art History, Writing, and Sustainable Ecosystems: Art & Design ask how our ways of knowing, reading, and seeing are challenged by contemporary events and historical residues.
Examples of the classes on offer in Academic Studies include:
Affects & Assemblages: Media, Politics & Emotion; Global Contemporary Photography; The Event of Seeing; Race & Environment; The Macro-Cosmos of Afrofuturism; and Super(vision): Art & Surveillance.
The goal of the Academic Studies curriculum is not merely to supplement your studio work with research, writing and critical thinking skills—although it will also do that. Rather, Academic Studies enhances your ability to participate meaningfully in the discourses that shape your life. Expansive, at times confronting, conversations will occur as you move into the uncertain space of not knowing where critical thinking really begins.
Fifteen Academic Studies courses are required to complete a BFA degree at MECA, including:
AH 101 & 102 (two consecutive Art History Survey courses); EN 100 English Composition, RI 108 Research & Inquiry (an academic studies course paired with a studio foundation course), AH 250 Critical Approaches to Contemporary Art, World History theme-based elective, Philosophy theme-based elective, (2) upper-level art history electives, (2) upper-level Humanities courses (2) upper-level liberal arts courses; and (2) Natural Science courses.