Call for applications:
PhD in Curatorial Practice

Call for applications:
PhD in Curatorial Practice

Monash University Art Design & Architecture

Laresa Kosloff, New Diagonal (production still), 2007. Digital video, 3 minutes. Production still: Alex Martinis Roe.
September 28, 2013
Call for applications: PhD in Curatorial Practice

Application deadline for scholarship consideration: October 31, 2013
Application details at

Monash University Art Design & Architecture
900 Dandenong Rd
Caulfield East, Victoria 3145

T +61 3 9903 1837
[email protected]

Monash University Art Design & Architecture (MADA) in Melbourne, Australia announces the PhD specialisation in Curatorial Practice. Led by Tara McDowell and launching in March 2014, the PhD in Curatorial Practice is the first in Australia and among the first in the world. This program joins the field at a moment when the discipline of curating is as dynamic and contested as it is established. The Curatorial Practice PhD at MADA is practice-based, and will support a spectrum of doctoral projects, from experimental curatorial models to academic dissertations.

The program will be an international centre for radical curatorial models that reflect critically on how we engage with our cultures, our cities, and our world. It will foster curatorial projects that test the limits of arts institutions. It will support advanced scholarly work on exhibitions and their histories, conditions of art’s public appearance, and the politics of display. Finally, the program will nurture spaces of retreat to allow forms of research other than those that normally occur within the framework of educational institutions.


Candidates will have advanced knowledge of art, art history, arts institutions, and curating, or relevant fields of inquiry. They are required to hold a minimum four-year Bachelor’s degree with Honours, and will preferably hold a research Master’s qualification in a relevant discipline. Candidates will apply with a specific research project in mind. The program is open to applicants whose projects are interdisciplinary or historical in nature. Scholarships may be awarded to qualified applicants subject to University scholarship assessment and terms and conditions.


One of the strongest advantages of the Curatorial Practice PhD is its location within an art school. MADA is a catalyst for creative engagement in the visual arts, and supports an active community of some of the country’s leading artists, designers, architects, thinkers and cultural producers. Curatorial work is inherently dialogic, research based, and interdisciplinary, and candidates will benefit from regular formal and informal encounters with artists.

The PhD program occurs in collaboration with a number of key local institutions, foremost MADA and MUMA, a museum of contemporary art committed to innovative, experimental and research-based contemporary art and curatorial practice. Candidates will engage with Melbourne-based artists, curators, and thinkers, as well as international visitors.

MADA’s Curatorial Practice Advisory Board is comprised of individuals with strong ties to MADA or to curatorial education, and includes Johanna Burton, Keith Haring Director and Curator of Education
and Public Engagement, New Museum; Charlotte Day, Director, the Monash University Museum of Art; Juliana Engberg, Artistic Director, Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne, and Artistic Director, 19th Biennale of Sydney; Juan A. Gaitán, curator of the 8th Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art; Alexie Glass-Kantor, Executive Director, Artspace, Sydney; Callum Morton, Head of Fine Art, MADA; Julian Myers-Szupinska, Associate Professor, Curatorial Practice, California College of the Arts; Tom Nicholson, artist; Daniel Palmer, writer and Senior Lecturer in the Art Theory Program, MADA; Anne Wagner, Professor Emerita of Modern and Contemporary Art at the University of California, Berkeley, and Visiting Distinguished Professor at the University of York; and Tirdad Zolghadr, writer and curator.

The PhD program is initiated by Tara McDowell, Associate Professor and Director of Curatorial Practice at MADA. McDowell was Founding Senior Editor of The Exhibitionist, and has held curatorial appointments at the CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts in San Francisco, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, where she mounted over two dozen group and solo exhibitions. She publishes and lectures frequently, and writes criticism for art-agenda and McDowell holds a Ph.D. in the History of Art from the University of California, Berkeley.

CRICOS provider: 00008C
CRICOS course code: 037830A

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September 28, 2013

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