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Visual and Critical Studies (Honours BA)

Pursue the study of art history in the creative and dynamic environment of Canada’s premier art and design university.

Photo by Ansel Schmidt.

Honours BA in Visual and Critical Studies

The Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Visual and Critical Studies offers students the opportunity to pursue the academic study of art history in the creative and dynamic environment of Canada’s premier art and design university.

The unique features of this Honours BA program include:

  • An emphasis on the expanded field of modern and contemporary art history, which includes design, photography, architecture, performance and new media, as well as painting and sculpture.
  • Integration of select studio courses into the core program of study, which provides students with the opportunity to pursue studio minors.
  • A range of innovative interdisciplinary minors to choose from, such as Indigenous Visual Culture and Digital Futures, as well as minors in English, Creative Writing and Social Science.
  • Access to international study opportunities, including OCAD University’s flagship Florence Program.
  • Fourth-year honours seminar, which provides students with the opportunity to research and produce a major research paper.

View the admission requirements for more information.

Core faculty members in the BA in Visual and Critical Studies are internationally recognized scholars in the fields of art, design and new media art histories, and are professionally active in the fields of curating and publishing. The range of their scholarly expertise in Asian, Latin American, African, Islamic, Indigenous, Canadian, mediaeval, renaissance and modern European visual culture ensures that the study of art history at OCAD U is genuinely global in scope.

The exceptional educational experience offered by the Honours BA in Visual and Critical Studies prepares graduates for careers in curating, arts management, arts journalism and criticism, publishing and digital industries, such as writing for websites and gaming. The program’s academic specialization and breadth — with more than 90 visual culture courses and more than 80 breadth courses in English, humanities, social sciences and science/ technology to choose from — also provides a thorough foundation for post-graduate study in art history and related fields.

The program accepts applications for direct entry into the first year of the program, and for advanced second-year entry from students wishing to transfer from OCAD U studio programs or other universities.

 

Cover of BA Annual 2017 Publication

2017 BA Annual

The BA Annual is a student-driven publication showcasing work produced by current and graduating students in the BA Honours program.

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Contact information

For admission-related inquiries, contact:

Admissions & Recruitment
416-977-6000, Ext. 4869
admissions@ocadu.ca

For program-related inquiries, contact:

Amy Jung
Program Assistant
Faculty of Liberal Arts and Sciences
416-977-6000, Ext. 3359
ajung@ocadu.ca

 


This program is offered under the written consent of the Ontario Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development for the period from 26 June 2012 to 26 June 2020. Prospective students are responsible for satisfying themselves that the program and the degree will be appropriate to their needs (e.g., acceptable to potential employers, professional licensing bodies or other educational institutions).

Faculty

Keith Bresnahan

  • Associate Professor
  • History of Architecture and Design, Design and Politics, Critical Theory
  • kbresnahan@faculty.ocad.ca

Ananda Chakrabarty

  • Assistant Professor
  • Modern & Contemporary Art & Theory Interdisciplinary Studies (Improvisational Music - Visual Art - Literature), South Asian Visual Culture
  • achakrabarty@faculty.ocad.ca

Heather Coffey

  • Associate Professor
  • Medieval Mediterranean Art and Architecture, Islamic Art and Architecture, Italian Renaissance Art and Architecture
  • hcoffey@faculty.ocadu.ca

Jim Drobnick

  • Associate Professor, Graduate Program, Director, Contemporary Art, Design, and New Media Art Histories
  • Contemporary Art and Postmedia Practices, Curating and Criticism, Performance
  • jdrobnick@faculty.ocadu.ca

Julian Haladyn

  • Instructor
  • Modern and Contemporary Art, Cultural and Critical Theory, Dada and Surrealism
  • julianhaladyn@faculty.ocadu.ca

Kate Hartman

  • Associate Professor
  • Physical Computing, Wearable Technology
  • khartman@faculty.ocad.ca

Selmin Kara

  • Associate Professor
  • Digital Cinema, Contemporary Documentary, Film and New Media Studies
  • skara@faculty.ocadu.ca

Caroline Langill

  • Dean
  • Curatorial Studies, Digital and Electronic Media, Art, Science and Technology
  • clangill@ocadu.ca

David McIntosh

  • Associate Professor
  • Media Studies, Digital Theory and Production, Network Theory
  • dmcintosh@faculty.ocadu.ca

Sarah McLean-Knapp

  • Assistant Professor
  • History and Theory of Graphic Design and Illustration, Scholarship of Pedagogy, Visual and Cultural Studies
  • smcleanknapp@faculty.ocadu.ca

Gerald McMaster

  • Professor
  • Curatorial Studies, Indigenous Visual History and Aesthetics, Contemporary Indigenous Art (First Nations, Inuit, Métis)
  • gmcmaster@faculty.ocadu.ca

Gabby Moser

  • Assistant Professor
  • Art Criticism, Photography History and Theory, Contemporary Art
  • gmoser@faculty.ocadu.ca

Eric Nay

  • Associate Professor
  • History and Theory of Architecture and Design, Critical Vernacular and Indigenous Design
  • enay@ocadu.ca

Soyang Park

  • Assistant Professor
  • Visual Culture Theory, Contemporary Art of Korea and East Asia, Postcolonialism
  • spark@faculty.ocad.ca

Michael Prokopow

  • Associate Professor
  • Material Culture / European and North American History 1600 onwards, Design History, Craft History, Aesthetic and Cultural Theory, Museum Practice / Curatorial Practice
  • mprokopow@faculty.ocadu.ca

Charles Reeve

  • Associate Professor
  • History of Modern/Contemporary Art, History of Art Criticism, Artists' Autobiographies
  • creeve@ocad.ca

Ryan Rice

  • Chair, Indigenous Visual Culture
  • Indigenous Art, Curatorial Practice, Contemporary Art
  • rrice@faculty.ocadu.ca

Marie-Josée Therrien

  • Associate Professor
  • Canadian Architectural History and Design, Architecture in the Canadian Arctic (Inuit culture), Museum Administration
  • mtherrien@faculty.ocad.ca

Dot Tuer

  • Professor
  • Art of the Americas (specific expertise in new media, photography and performance), Latin American Colonial History, Postcolonial and Cultural Theory
  • dtuer@faculty.ocadu.ca

Emma Westecott

  • Assistant Professor
  • Games, Games Design, Games Studies
  • ewestecott@faculty.ocad.ca

Ryan Whyte

  • Chair, BA (Honours) Visual and Critical Studies, Assistant Professor
  • 18th/19th-century Art History, Critical Theory, Criticism, Print Culture, History of Art Exhibitions
  • rwhyte@faculty.ocadu.ca

Program Course Offerings

For a complete list of courses for this program, please see the applicable program guides:

View Program Guides