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Art History

  • Program Overview

    Art History and Criticism

    The Graduate Programs in Art History & Criticism at Stony Brook University focus on modern and contemporary art and visual culture.  We aim to produce scholars, critics, curators and practitioners who can address global artistic production through contemporary issues and paradigms.  Media aesthetics, art and technology, public art and social practice, politics of the avant-garde, photography, film and critical curatorial studies are currently areas of departmental research.   We offer a dynamic, interdisciplinary curriculum along with individual mentoring from faculty whose work has won national and international recognition. Students benefit from engagement with the department's studio programs and with faculty and students from other programs including Philosophy, History, Music, Computer Science and Engineering, and are able to pursue Graduate Certificates in Media, Art, Culture and Technology; Art and Philosophy; Creative Writing and Literature; Women’s and Gender Studies, and Writing and Rhetoric, among others

    As a small and selective program in a large, public institution we are able to offer graduate study with low tuition costs, teaching experience with a highly diverse undergraduate population, and the full resources of major research university.  Opportunities for curatorial theory and practice are available in conjunction with regular exhibitions at the University’s Staller Center Paul Zuccaire Gallery, the Lawrence Alloway Gallery, and the art gallery at the Simons Center for Geometry and Physics. Our proximity to New York City offers extensive opportunities for research, collaboration, and professional networking at world-class museums and galleries. Our students have been successful in securing tenure-track academic positions at universities around the world and at earning internships, fellowships, curatorial positions, and teaching roles at major New York institutions, such as the Whitney Museum, Creative Time, The Guggenheim Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Museum of Modern Art.

    Degree Programs

    B.A./M.A. in Art History and Criticism

    The B.A./M.A. in Art History and Criticism allows top undergraduate students to apply for admission to the program in the spring semester of their third year.  Admission is limited to students who, by the end of the junior year, have fulfilled no less than 90 credits of coursework, have a 3.0 GPA or higher in all college courses, and a GPA of no less than 3.7 in the ARH major. Letters of recommendation from faculty and a writing sample are required. Accepted students are advised to take a minimum of two graduate courses each semester during their senior year (including electives in humanities and social sciences), completing 12 of the required 36 graduate credits.  They complete all other requirements (the remaining 24 credits, comprehensive exam, thesis, teaching practicum) during their fifth year.

    M.A. in Art History and Criticism

    The M.A. in Art History and Criticism is a two year 36-credit flexible degree program with a strong emphasis on modern and contemporary art and visual and material culture. In their second year, students must pass a comprehensive exam, and work with a faculty advisor on a written thesis or project that serves as a capstone requirement for the degree.   Part-time study is allowed in this degree program. The M.A. in Art History and Criticism is appropriate preparation for Ph.D. degrees in art history or other fields. Students also move on directly to careers in gallery and museum work, education, publishing, non-profit foundations and business.

    Ph.D. in Art History and Criticism

    Stony Brook’s Ph.D. program in art history and criticism is designed to encourage students to apply what they have learned at the Master’s level towards more intense and individual research on the doctoral level. The emphasis of the program is on integrating historical and theoretical study into a curriculum focused on an interdisciplinary approach to modern and contemporary art and visual culture. Ph.D. students are also eligible to take courses at other schools in the New York Inter-University Doctoral Consortium including Columbia, NYU, CUNY and Princeton.  The Ph.D. program culminates in the oral defense of a substantial written dissertation on an original topic. Students are not accepted into the Ph.D. program on a part-time basis. This degree is considered essential for those intending to engage in advanced academic research, teaching, and publishing in the field of art history and criticism, and may provide a significant advantage to those entering the professional art world of museums and galleries.

    Advanced Graduate Certificate (AGC) in Art and Philosophy (ArtPHIL) For information about this advanced certificate program, please go to http://www.stonybrook.edu/commcms/philosophy/docs/artscert.html.

    Advanced Graduate Certificate (AGC) in Media, Art, Culture, and Technology

    The Advanced Graduate Certificate Program in Media, Art, Culture, and Technology (MACT) offers graduate students an interdisciplinary grounding in the historical and theoretical study of media, art, culture, and technology. The MACT graduate certificate is designed to complement a graduate student’s primary degree by supporting research that traverses traditional academic methods and objects of inquiry in the humanities. Combining faculty with diverse expertise in media, art, culture, and technology, MACT supports work at the dynamic intersections of these evolving fields. Students enrolled in MACT are encouraged to join the MACT email list and to consult the MACT website for ongoing support and information as they move toward completion of the certificate.

    Other certificate programs of interest include Creative Writing and Literature, Women’s and Gender Studies, and Writing and Rhetoric.

  • Admissions

    Admission to the M.A. and Ph.D. Programs in Art History and Criticism

    Admission into the M.A. and Ph.D. programs is at the discretion of the art history and criticism faculty with the final approval of the Graduate School. Admission is usually for the Fall semester. Part-time study is permissible for qualified M.A. candidates only. Admission to the program assumes a minimum of a B average in undergraduate work, taking the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General Test, and meeting the standards of admission to the Graduate School (including English Proficiency Requirements).

    It is recognized that M.A. and Ph.D. applicants may come from a wide variety of backgrounds that will require individual structuring of their programs to suit their needs. Applicants will ordinarily have a bachelor’s degree with an art history major or minor; however, this requirement may be waived at the discretion of the graduate faculty. All applicants are encouraged to submit a sample of written work with their application.

  • Degree Requirements

    Requirements for the M.A. Degree in Art History and Criticism

    A. Course Requirements
    The student will be required to complete successfully 36 credits of graduate work, as outlined in the list of courses below. A student must achieve a 3.0 overall grade point average to receive a degree from Stony Brook.

    1. Required Courses (6 credits)

    ARH 540 Methodologies of Art History (3 credits)

    ARH 592 Teaching Practicum (3 credits)

    2. Art History and Criticism Electives (15-21 credits)

    ARH 502 History of 19th Century Art Criticism and Theory (3 credits)

    ARH 503 History of 20th Century Art Criticism and Theory (3 credits)

    ARH 541 Topics in Ancient Art (3 credits)

    ARH 543 Topics in Renaissance Art (3 credits)

    ARH 544 Topics in Early Modern Art (3 credits)

    ARH 545 Topics in 19th-Century Art (3 credits)

    ARH 546 Topics in 20th-Century Art (3 credits)

    ARH 547 Topics in Global, Colonial and Diasporic Art (3 credits)

    ARH 548 Museum Studies Seminar (3 credits)

    ARH 549 Topics in American Visual Culture (3 credits)

    ARH 550 Inquiries into Art Criticism and Theory (3 credits)

    ARH 551 Topics in Performance (3 credits)

    ARH 552 Topics in Contemporary Art (3 credits)

    ARH 553 Contemporary Art in New York (3 credits)

    ARH 554 Topics in Visual Culture (3 credits)

    3. Humanities and Social Sciences Electives (3-9 credits)

    One to three courses in the humanities and/or social sciences, to be chosen in consultation with a faculty advisor and with the approval of the M.A./Ph.D. Graduate Director. These may be in relevant aspects of studio art practice, literary studies or critical history, musicology, philosophy, dramaturgy, sociology, anthropology.

    4. Other (0-12 credits)

    ARH 580 Art Criticism or Gallery Internship (0-3 credits)

    ARS 580 Visual Arts seminar or other studio class (0-3 credits)

    ARH 591 Practicum in the Writing of Art Criticism (0-3 credits)

    ARH 595 Directed Readings (0-3 credits)

    ARH 598 Thesis (0-6 credits).

    B. Comprehensive Examination
    This test of basic competency, offered in the fall semester of each academic year, is designed to assess the student’s knowledge of individual artists and works of art across various mediums, periods, and geographical regions in the history of art.  Students must take this examination in their third semester of study in order to continue in the program. An extension will be permitted for part-time students. Students who do not pass this exam will be allowed to retake the exam at the beginning of the succeeding spring semester.  Failure to pass will result in re-evaluation of status.

    C. Foreign Language
    A reading knowledge of French or German must be acquired before graduation. Students planning to advance to doctoral work will be encouraged to master both of these languages.

    D. Teaching Requirement
    All Master’s students are expected to undertake a teaching practicum under the supervision of a professor. They will be assigned as a teaching assistant for an undergraduate course, usually during the second year in the program. Students will be expected to assist the professor with tasks such as attendance, grading and maintenance of BlackBoard. Competency will be judged on the basis of a guest lecture and/or leading class discussion session that will be observed and evaluated by the faculty supervisor.

    E. Thesis
    By the beginning of the third semester, the student, together with an advisor chosen by the student, will jointly agree on a thesis topic, based upon a paper they have written for a seminar in their first year. The student will submit to the Graduate Program Director a prospectus outlining the nature and aims of the thesis, signed by the faculty advisor.  Over the course of the third and fourth semesters, with recommendations provided by the advisor, this paper will be reworked into a significant interpretive text relevant to art history, criticism, and/or theory.  At the beginning of the final semester, the Graduate Program Director will appoint a second reader.  The thesis is to be completed and approved by the end of the fourth semester.

    Requirements for the Ph.D. Degree in Art History and Criticism

    A. Course Requirements
    The student will be required to complete successfully 60 credits of graduate work, as outlined in the list of categories and courses below. Credits for the Ph.D. will total 24 beyond the entering Master's degree or its equivalent, as determined by the Director of Graduate Studies, for a total of 60 credits. A student must achieve a 3.0 overall grade point average to receive a degree from Stony Brook.

    Required Courses (6-9 credits)

    ARH 540 Methodologies in Art History (3 credits)

    ARH 602 Practicum in Teaching (3-6 credits)

    2. Electives in Art History, Visual Culture, and Criticism (24-36 credits)

    ARH 502 History of l9th Century Art Criticism and Theory (3 credits)

    ARH 503 History of 20th Century Art Criticism and Theory (3 credits)

    ARH 541 Topics in Ancient Art (3 credits)

    ARH 543 Topics in Renaissance Art (3 credits)

    ARH 544 Topics in Early Modern Art (3 credits)

    ARH 545 Topics in 19th Century Art (3 credits)

    ARH 546 Topics in 20th Century Art (3 credits)

    ARH 547 Topics in Global, Colonial and Diasporic Art (3 credits)

    ARH 548 Museum Studies (3 credits)

    ARH 549 Topics in American Visual Culture (3 credits)

    ARH 550 Inquiry in Art Criticism and Theory (3 credits)

    ARH 551 Topics in Performance (3 credits)

    ARH 552 Topics in Contemporary Art (3 credits)

    ARH 553 Contemporary Art in New York (3 credits)

    ARH 554 Topics in Visual Culture (3 credits)

    3. Humanities and Social Science Electives (6-12 credits)

    4. Other electives

    ARH 580 Art Criticism of Gallery Internship (0-3 credits)

    ARS 580 Visual Arts Seminar (0-3 credits)

    ARH 598 MA thesis (0-6 credits)

    ARH 591 Practicum in the Writing of Art Criticism (0-3 credits)

    ARH 690 Directed Readings (0-6 credits)

    5. PhD Thesis Credits (after being advanced to doctoral candidacy and G5 status)

    ARH 699 Dissertation Research on Campus

    ARH 700 Dissertation Research off Campus - Domestic

    ARH 701 Dissertation Research off Campus - International

    Credits for thesis preparation and research may be used to complete the total of 60 credits for the Ph.D.

    B. Teaching Requirement
    All doctoral students will be expected to assist in teaching a minimum of one semester regardless of previous experience or funding status. In their first year, students with Teaching Assistantships will typically assist in the teaching of introductory undergraduate courses in the history of art (100 or 200 level) taught by a supervising faculty member. This may include leading regular discussion sections.  After the first year, students with Teaching Assistantships will typically teach stand-alone sections of these introductory undergraduate courses.  Competence in teaching will be judged through online student evaluations, as well as by classroom or lecture hall visits by the course's faculty supervisor based on an agreed date, and by faculty supervisor assessments of the Teaching Assistant's overall performance.

    C. Comprehensive Examination
    All Ph.D. students who enter the program without a master’s degree in art history must take this examination before the end of the third semester of study in order to continue in the program. Ph.D. students who enter the program with an M.A. degree in art history will be exempted from taking the comprehensive examination. Information about the required comprehensive examination is found above under degree requirements for the M.A. Degree in Art History and Criticism.

    D. M.A. Thesis
    All Ph.D. students who enter the program without a Master's degree in art history must complete an M.A.Thesis.  Information about the thesis may be found above under degree requirements for the M.A. Degree in Art History and Criticism.

    E. Foreign Language Requirement
    In consultation with the candidate’s advisor, and the approval of the Graduate Program Director, all students are expected and are required to have reading knowledge of at least one foreign language suitable and related to the student’s projected area of research.  Language proficiency will be based on the translation of an art history text within a two-hour period given by a member of our faculty.  If a language other than French and or German has been selected, the Graduate Program Director must be notified in advance in writing and determination will be made in consultation with the student’s advisor as to how best to evaluate the student’s proficiency in that language.  Demonstration of language proficiency is required for advancement to candidacy.

    F. Qualifying (Preliminary) Examination

    Ph.D. students in their third year of coursework (second year for those entering with a prior Master’s degree) and prior to the beginning of dissertation research are required to take the written Qualifying Examination, which will be administered in the first week of March of each year. The exam preparation should ideally begin during the student’s second year of coursework.  The written exam covers major and minor fields of study and its content will vary according to the student’s interests.  The student will be expected to select two faculty members to serve as major and minor advisors, to seek guidance for on appropriate focus and bibliography in preparation for the exams at least one semester before the exam date. The Qualifying Exam committee consists of three members of the department faculty (including major and minor advisors) and is appointed upon the recommendation of the Graduate Program Director, in consultation with the student. Failure to pass will result in re-evaluation of status. The opportunity to retake part of the exam must be approved by the Dean of the Graduate School.

    G. Advancement to Candidacy
    To be advanced to Ph.D. candidacy, the student must have:

    1. Completed at least 54 graduate credits (including 24 credits from a prior Master's degree) and all other degree requirements (see A-F listed above), other than the dissertation and dissertation research credits.

    2. Submitted to the Graduate Program Director a written prospectus outlining the nature and aims of the dissertation that has been approved by the student's advisor and at least one other Art Department faculty member who will serve as Chair of the defense (see below). When all of these requirements have been completed satisfactorily, the Director of Graduate Studies will submit the Advancement to Doctoral Candidacy form to the Dean of the Graduate School for approval.

    H. Dissertation Prospectus
    After successful completion of the Qualifying (Preliminary) Exams, the student is expected to focus on preparing a written prospectus of the dissertation to be submitted to their dissertation advisor and at least one other departmental faculty member for approval at least eight weeks before the beginning of the seventh semester, (fifth semester for those entering with a prior Master’s degree).   If possible, the student will have identified all four members of the committee, including one external referee, at the time of submitting the prospectus.  Once the committee has approved the prospectus, the student will submit the approved prospectus with the signed dissertation proposal form to the Director of Graduate Programs, who will then submit the Advancement to Candidacy form to the Graduate School for approval.

    I. Dissertation Examining Committee and Defense
    At least six months before the dissertation defense, the Graduate Program Director, in consultation with the student and the student’s advisor and chair, will finalize the dissertation examining committee, to include at least one external member and a fourth member who may be either internal or external to the program.  This committee must be approved by the Dean of the Graduate School upon the recommendation of the Graduate Program Director.  At least three months before the Graduate School’s deadline for submitting the completed dissertation, the student will submit to the Dissertation Examining Committee what is intended to be the final draft of the dissertation. No more than four weeks after that, if the readers have agreed that the dissertation is ready to be defended, the dissertation committee chairperson will schedule the defense, an oral examination open to interested faculty and graduate students. The date of the defense must be approved by the Graduate School, by means of the Doctoral Defense Announcement form. All four committee members must recommend acceptance of the dissertation before it will be approved by the Graduate School.   The student is responsible for making all requested revisions and submitting the finished dissertation before the Graduate School deadline.

    J. Time Limit
    All requirements for the Ph.D. degree must be completed within seven years after completing 24 credits  of graduate courses in the department. Those with a prior Master's degree have seven years from the date of entry into the program.  In rare instances, the dean of the Graduate School will entertain a petition to extend this time limit, provided it bears the endorsement of the department chairperson.

    Requirements for the Advanced Graduate Certificate (AGC) in Media, Art, Culture, and Technology

    15- Credit Requirement: The Certificate is awarded upon completion of five MACT-eligible courses, or fifteen-credits, which may also be counted toward degree requirements in the student’s home department.  Eligible courses must use humanistic methods of critical inquiry to engage topics at the intersection of media, art, technology, and culture. Any instructor may submit a syllabus to the Director to request that his or her course be considered eligible for credit toward the MACT certificate; eligibility is approved by the MACT executive committee. *A maximum of six credits (two courses) taken prior to enrolling in MACT can be credited toward the completion of the certificate.*

    Interdisciplinary Requirement: Students may count a maximum of three courses listed within their home department/program toward the graduate certificate; at least two of the five courses counted for credit in MACT must be listed outside the graduate student’s home department or program. Also, at least three different departments or programs must be represented among the five courses that are counted for credit toward the MACT certificate. (Cross-listed courses can be counted for any one of the departments/programs designated).

    Curriculum: To be eligible for credit toward the certificate, a course 1) must be taught in a CAS department or program, 2) must engage in critical inquiry through the lens of the arts and humanities (for example, courses in the practice of physical science would be precluded), 3) must significantly address intersections of media, art, culture, and technology, 4) must be open to enrollment by students outside the listing department/program, 5) cannot be a required course for a departmental degree. Courses are approved as eligible by the MACT executive committee. Any faculty member may request a course be listed as MACT eligible by submitting a syllabus and written request no later than one month before enrollment opens for the term. More information, and an archive of MACT-eligible courses with titles, instructors, and descriptions is maintained on the MACT website:  http://mact.stonybrook.edu/

    MACT relies largely on "topics" courses that affiliate faculty offer on changing subjects close to their current research. Therefore, a list of eligible courses is updated each term. Courses may have their own pre-requisites, and are open to MACT students by permission of the instructor.

    Eligible Courses:

    Fall 2016 : ARH 541, ARH 549, ARH 552, (CLT/CST 609 Tan), MUS 555

    Spring 2016: ARH 546, ARH 549, ARH 552, ARH 550, EGL 555, MUS 536, MUS 555, WRT 617

    Fall 2015: ARH 549, ARH 551,MUS 536

    Spring 2015: ARH 546, ARH 552, EGL 608, CLT/CST 609 (August), CLT/CST 609 (Gaboury), MUS 541, MUS 555

     

  • Facilities

    Facilities

    Since 1976, the Department of Art has enjoyed the resources of the Staller Center for the Arts. This 226,026-square-foot building includes the Departments of Art, Music, and Theatre and is a vibrant hub of lectures, concerts, performances, and other cultural activities. The complex includes faculty and staff offices, art history and studio classrooms, and graduate offices and studios. The first floor of the Art wing features the Paul W. Zuccaire Gallery, devoted primarily to exhibitions of contemporary art, and the Staller Center for the Arts.

    Studio facilities in the Staller Center include full foundry, metals, and wood shops; a ceramics and ceramic sculpture studio; spacious painting, drawing, and studio classrooms; printmaking studios with etching, stone lithography and photo plate making and screen printing facilities; extensive digital facilities; and a shooting studio with gang and individual darkrooms. Art history classrooms are equipped with data projectors. The main library houses extensive collections of scholarship on the arts, including recent exhibition catalogues and the most important art history and criticism journals. Proximity to New York City makes available the numerous libraries, museums, galleries, ateliers, and publishing institutions of the greater metropolitan area. Finally, the Pollock-Krasner House and the Pollock-Krasner Study Center, in East Hampton and Southampton, Long Island, are affiliated with the University. Once the home and studio of Jackson Pollock and Lee Krasner, the Pollock-Krasner House is now a both a landmark museum and a forum for lectures, seminars, and other academic activities. The Study Center comprises extensive reference materials and archives, including books, photographs, oral histories, and journals available for research.

  • Faculty
  • Contact

    Art History and Criticism

    Chairperson
    Amy Cook, Staller Center 2221 (631) 632-7250

    M.A./Ph.D. Graduate Program Director
    Shoki Goodarzi, shoki.goodarzi@stonybrook.edu

    Advanced Certificate Graduate Director

    Brooke Belisle, brooke.belisle@stonybrook.edu

    Graduate Secretary
    Lisa Perez, Staller Center 2228 (631) 632-7270

    Degrees Awarded
    B.A./M.A. in Art History and Criticism; M.A. in Art History and Criticism; Ph.D. in Art History and Criticism; Certificate in Media, Art, Culture, & Technology

    Website
    http://art.stonybrook.edu; http://mact.stonybrook.edu

    Application
    https://app.applyyourself.com/AYApplicantLogin/fl_ApplicantLogin.asp?id=sunysb-gs

     

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