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Masters program in Art History in Global Context with the course foci: Europe and America, East Asia, South Asia, Africa

Attention: Since 06/2012 we have a new Masterstudienordnung, Masterprüfungsordnung and Masterzugangssatzung. 

Starting in the winter semester 2008/2009 a research-oriented Masters program "Art History in Global Context", with the course foci Europe/America, East Asia, and Africa is being offered at Freie Universität Berlin. The program, designed conjointly by the regional sections of the Art History Department, combines a cross-cultural and interdisciplinary Art History curriculum with selected modules from other disciplines within the humanitarian sciences and aims to deepen specialist knowlege, theories and methods following the completion of a BA degree, with particular emphasis on a specified region. A central concern is the interaction between the focus areas, taking into consideration cultural identities and differences and including postcolonial issues and theories – therefore not merely a collection of single regionally defined art histories.

The traditional focus of the Art History Department of Freie Universität is the history of European and American art; spanning the epochs through its professorships and maintaining an excellent reputation in the fields of both teaching and research. With this basis the Art History Department has now been working continuously for a number of years toward a framework whose content and structure connects regional art histories and thus towards the opening up of the field in respect of its global contexts.  The Department posesses a professorship for East Asian Art History, founded by the Gerda Henkel Foundation, a professorship for African Art History and a professorship with special emphases on art in the Islamic world. Further, the Department has long-standing close cooperations and contacts with the relevant local collections and institutes and with universities, research institutions and museums in numerous countries of Europe, Asia, Latin America and the United States. Besides a wide and varied choice of relevant study programs offering modules such as Japanology, Korean Studies, Sinology, Islamic Studies, etc, there are also inter-faculty Initiatives which are equally interdisciplinary and transcultural in their focus, such as the Center for Area Studies or the Berlin Graduate School of Muslim Cultures and Societies. And above and beyond all this, the city's unique collections in her National Museums, which enable the study of originals, as well as the traditionally close cooperation of the Art History Department with the collections, especially predestine Berlin as the location for a Masters program in "Art History in Global Context" - not only with respect to European art history but particularly in the field of East Asia and Africa.

Applications:

In the first year, students interested in the Masters program "Art History in Global Context" can apply initially for the course foci "Europe and America", "East Asia" and "Africa", each of which is represented in the FU Berlin by at least one professorship.

Condition of admittance for the Masters program "Art History in Global Context" with course foci Europe and America, East Asia and Africa is a professional qualification from a German University or an equivalent qualification from a university outside Germany with an Art History focus equivalent to at least 60 credits in the Bachelor of Art History program, in the focus being applied for. While 85% of university places are assigned according to a Numerus Clausus (enrollment quota) based on Bachelor grades, the remaining study places can be allotted on the basis of a selection interview, and can also go to applicants who do not fulfill all the admittance criteria.

The application deadline is 31th May. Applicants who can not produce certification of their degree qualification at this time may apply with a "Transcript of records" showing that at least 2/3 of the required prerequisites have been fulfulled. For further information please contact Dr. Maximilian Benker.

Planning a study program

The consecutive Masters program in Art History in Global Context broadens and intensifies the specialist and methodical knowledge already acquired in an Art History Bachelor's degree or in a related subject.

Focus Europe and America

The Masters program Art History in Global Context with foci in Europe and America imparts a cross-genre comparative knowledge in historical and contemporary art of various cultures, particularly in architecture, painting and sculpture, design, print graphics, film, photography, landscape design, installations, textile art, new media, fashion, performance, drawing and image production in the sciences, the media and the culture of daily life. In the modern era and in particular in contemporary art the significance of regional contexts diminishes in comparison to transcultural contexts.

In the focus Europe and America the following modules must be completed:

1. Pictorial arts

2. Architecture

3. The cross-focus module Practice and Mediation

or

the cross-focus module Art History and Methodology

4. The cross-focus module Art History and Transculturality (A or B)

5. Advanced Regional Studies with Field trip

6. Research practice in the focus Europe and America

7. A module from a complementary subject

Focus East Asia

Subject of the Masters program Art History in Global Context with the focus East Asia is the art and history of China, Korea and Japan, and thus of the cultural environment in which the Chinese script posesses a central role as means of communication. Focus of study is on objects from the full spectrum of East Asian art genres, from the pictorial arts of painting, graphics, sculpture, and the new media through architecture to calligraphy, landscape gardening and applied arts, from the Neolithic era to the present. These are investigated in terms of their aesthetic structure, content, preconditions, contexts, functions, methods of production and reception within the specific historical, cultural and political conditions of the societies that produced them. Further fields of investigation include the history and contemporary status of the subject East Asian Art History, its methods and categories as basis for the historicizing and reflection of scientific approaches and also problems of conservation, presentation and mediation of artworks. A broad spectrum of methodological approaches is implemented, from those traditionally associated with the subject of Art History to those which have been adapted during interdisciplinary exchange.

In the focus East Asia the following modules are to be completed:

1. Pictorial arts of East Asia (A or B)

2. East Asia-specific genres (A or B)

3. The cross-focus module Practice and Mediation

or

the cross-focus module Art History and Methodology

4. The cross-focus module Art History and Transculturality (A or B)

5. Profile-specific advanced module East Asia (A or B)

6. Research practice in the focus East Asia

7. Modules from complementary subjects

Focus Africa

The research-oriented master’s degree program in Art History in a Global Context, Concentration on Africa, aims to provide students with detailed, advanced knowledge in the fields of “old,” modern, and contemporary art of Africa and the African Diaspora. The content of this study program is also designed to accommodate a more in-depth regional focus and the acquisition of detailed knowledge in the areas of visual arts and visual culture (cinema, advertising, architecture, photography). The ultimate goal is to enable students to perform independent and critically minded academic work, share methodologies and knowledge with others, and apply academic methods, theories (postcolonial theory, interculturality, etc.), and knowledge within the various professional fields open within this discipline.

In the focus South Asia the following modules are to be completed:

1. Pictorial arts of Africa

2. Visual culture of Africa

3. Cross-focus module Practice and Mediation

or

cross-focus module Art Theory and Methodolog

4. The cross-focus module Art History and Transculturality (A or B)

5. Profile-specific advanced module Africa (A or B)

6. Research practice in the focus Africa

7. Modules from complementary subjects

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