School of Critical Studies MA Aesthetics and Politics program expansion commencing fall 2017

School of Critical Studies MA Aesthetics and Politics program expansion commencing fall 2017

California Institute of the Arts (CalArts)

Photo: Rafael Hernandez, 2016.
October 6, 2016
School of Critical Studies MA Aesthetics and Politics program expansion commencing fall 2017

California Institute of the Arts
24700 McBean Parkway
Valenica, CA 91355

Since 2007 the MA in Aesthetics and Politics program has offered a rigorous and dynamic course of studyat the heart of CalArts’ unique interdisciplinary campus. From the beginning, the MA has enabled students to undertake ambitious research projects focusing on the complex intersection of creative practice, political thought, and aesthetic theory in today’s global context. With concentrations in media and urban studies, critical theory, and global thought, the MA in Aesthetics and Politics established itself at the cutting edge of contemporary investigations into the visual, literary and performing arts, with course topics such as bio-politics, finance, neoliberalism, democracy, social media networks, mega-cities, speculative realism, and accelerationism.

Now, ten years later, the MA in Aesthetics and Politics strengthens its commitment to excellence with a significant expansion of its faculty, curriculum, and professional opportunities.

Beginning in September 2017, the MA will change from a concentrated one-year, full-residency course to a two-year, mixed-residency structure. Students will spend the first two semesters in full-time residence at CalArts, and complete the third and fourth semesters on a low-residency basis.

This expanded program enables MA students to take advantage of the rich interdisciplinary community of CalArts’ campus life, providing them access to the diverse cross-section of faculty, theorists, and artists across the Institute’s Schools of Dance, Art, Theater, Film/Video and Music. Students will also be able to explore a greater range of elective courses and independent studies, and develop interdisciplinary collaborative projects with faculty and students.

Advanced MA candidates will find the two-year structure provides more time to research and write their final thesis project, with the flexibility to complete their thesis whilst pursuing separate professional opportunities in the field, some of which may qualify for academic credits at CalArts. New internships and study abroad options will provide more opportunities for students to conduct theoretical and creative research in new professional and practical contexts as well as to hone their career choices for life after graduation.

For 2017, we are also delighted to announce new faculty in Contemporary Art Theory and New Media and Digital Technologies to further our commitment to providing world-leading education at the intersections of practice and theory.

The MA Aesthetics and Politics Program is already accepting applications for admission to its new, expanded iteration.

To learn more about this program, its world-class faculty, its international roster of distinguished visitors including this year’s visiting faculty member Stephen Wright and theorist-in-residence Lauren Berlant, and the work being carried out by its up and coming students, go to, or contact Seth Blake at [email protected], T +1 661 253 7716.

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California Institute of the Arts (CalArts)
October 6, 2016

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