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Celebrity Activism & Its Aesthetics

Winter 2021 Online Course AHST 105 Instructor: Alisa V. Prince

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Art and Identity: 1970 to Today

Winter 2021 Online Course AHST 115-1J Instructor: Peter Murphy

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InVisible Culture

InVisible Culture is a student-run electronic journal of visual culture dedicated to exploring the material and political dimensions of visual and cultural practices.


Graduate Conference

This interdisciplinary conference convenes graduate students from a variety of fields, such as film studies, museum studies, art history, and cultural anthropology.


On Film

Our students run a film-screening project featuring independent and avant-garde films in their original formats. On Film is now in its fifth year.


VCS News

VCS Statement on Admissions and Support 2021-22

The Steering Committee of the Graduate Program in Visual & Cultural Studies has decided to suspend admissions this year. After careful deliberation, we determined that providing enhanced support to our students was the best course of action considering the global health crisis and the increased precarity it has introduced into an already uncertain academic fellowship and job market. Enhanced support will be equally distributed amongst all students in the 2021-22 academic year. We will refund application fees to those who applied for possible 2021-22 matriculation to VCS.

While current circumstances occasioned the decision to provide enhanced support to students, other factors also played a role. The pause in admissions allows us to examine how to strengthen the teaching and training we do in VCS in a manner responsive to the changed nature of academic labor and the expansion of non-academic careers for people with PhDs. We aim to better understand this transformed situation, even if we cannot easily solve the problems it presents. In so doing, we also aim to continue promoting the ongoing success of VCS students, staff, and faculty alike.

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Research Update

At the occasion of the launch of IVC 30 Poetics of Play and the “Breaking Boundaries with Video Games 3” conference held at University of Rochester on April 18-19 2019, we asked VCS alumna Aubrey Anable to share with us her experience of writing a dissertation on interactive media in VCS. Aubrey Anable is Assistant Professor of Film Studies in The School for Studies in Art and Culture at Carleton University, where she is also cross-appointed with the Institute for Comparative Studies in Literature, Art, and Culture. Her book Playing with Feelings: Video Games and Affect (University of Minnesota Press, Spring 2018) provides an account of how video games compel us to play and why they constitute a contemporary structure of feeling emerging alongside the last sixty years of computerized living.


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