MA in Critical Theory and Creative Research Call for Applications

MA in Critical Theory and Creative Research Call for Applications

Pacific Northwest College of Art (PNCA) at Willamette University

December 17, 2011
MA in Critical Theory and Creative Research Call for Applications

Application deadline: March 15, 2012
Portland, Oregon

The supplemental portion of the application to the Master of Arts in Critical Theory and Creative Research at PNCA explores creativity, critical thought, sense-based intelligence, ethical vision, and the ability to combine aesthetic and socio-political critique in innovative ways. Select two of the images above, static or moving, and submit a critique for each of them. One of the two must be written—150 words maximum—while the other can take a visual form or a mixed visual-verbal form. Find links to the images/videos below.




The MA in Critical Theory and Creative Research at PNCA is an accelerated 45-credit, seminar-based program that prepares students for new opportunities at the intersection of art, theory, and research. Co-chair Anne-Marie Oliver is a cultural theorist, photographer, and documentarian who since the late eighties, has concentrated largely on the role played by media in political movements. She is Assistant Professor of Intermedia and Contemporary Theory at PNCA and Research Scholar in Global and International Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Co-chair Barry Sanders holds a Ph.D in Medieval Literature and was first to hold the Peter S. and Gloria Gold Chair at Pitzer College, teaching for over 30 years at the Claremont Colleges in the departments of Literature and the History of Ideas.  


The CT+CR Program combines the study of critical theory as a mode of socio-political critique and creative research as a process-driven form of inquiry, pushing both theory and research in new directions within the context of a 21st-century art school. The program is devoted to people and ideas and to rethinking the present and future of cultural production; of arts-based research and research-based arts; of curatorial practice, documentary, and the Archive; and of social and political reconfiguration in relation to major sites of contemporary contestation. The program accepts applications from distinctive graduates in the arts, humanities, and sciences who are capable of thinking completely outside any box and who are interested in developing new combinations of art, theory, research, and critique. Students admitted into the program study toward an MA (one year + summer intensive) or a joint MA/MFA (three years + summer intensive).




Row 1
Oliver Brodwolf and Florian Dombois, Sonification of Tohoku Earthquake, Japan
via YouTube 


Christian Boltanski, No Man’s Land
via The New York Times



Guillermo Vargas Jiménez, Eres Lo Que Lees (You Are What You Read)
via The Guardian 


Row 2
Agnes Denes, Wheatfield-A Confrontation
via Greenmuseum 


Keith Mayerson, Ode to Falling Man
via Eyes Towards the Dove 


Invisible Octopus
via YouTube 


Row 3
David Attenborough, Lyre Bird
via YouTube 


Video of Bruce Nauman’s MAPPING THE STUDIO II (Fat Chance John Cage) at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago
via YouTube 


Xu Zhen, The Starving of Sudan
via Art in America 


Row 4
Atta Kim, ON-AIR Project/ “Eight Hours”
via Atta Kim 


Patricia Piccinini, The Young Family
via Patricia Piccinini 


Jake & Dinos Chapman, Insult to Injury
via The Guardian 




About Pacific Northwest College of Art
Since its founding in 1909, Pacific Northwest College of Art (PNCA) has become a leader in innovative educational programs that connect students to a global perspective in the visual arts and design. In addition to its ten BFA degrees, PNCA offers graduate education with an MFA in Visual Studies, a Low-Residency MFA in Visual Studies, an MA in Critical Theory and Creative Research, and an MFA in Collaborative Design, as well as an MFA in Applied Craft and Design developed in collaboration with Oregon College of Art and Craft.

PNCA is actively involved in Portland’s cultural life through exhibitions and a vibrant public program of lectures and internationally recognized visiting artists, designers and creative thinkers. With the support of PNCA+FIVE (Ford Institute for Visual Education), the College has a partnership with the nationally acclaimed Museum of Contemporary Craft. For more information, visit


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Pacific Northwest College of Art (PNCA) at Willamette University
December 17, 2011

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