The Department of Art History & Communication Studies embraces the interdisciplinary study of art, culture and communications, and the technologies of information, image, and sound from all periods of time and through a broad range of historical and theoretical approaches.
The Department offers M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in Communication Studies, M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in Art History, undergraduate degrees in Art History, and has recently introduced an undergraduate minor in Communication Studies.
As well as respecting the specific traditions of each discipline, the Department further encourages those fields of research currently emerging at the intersection of Art History & Communication. These include the analysis of visual culture, studies of new media, the history of image technology, the social semiotics of the image, social contextualization, analyses of identity in art and communications, and questions of culture, nationhood, patronage and collection.
Within the Department, the Art History stream of study promotes both the history of art, architecture and visual culture from the Medieval to the Contemporary periods, and examines the development of art historical methodologies and critical theories of the discipline. The expertise offered by this stream includes Medieval art & architecture, Renaissance, Baroque and Modern (18th, 19th and 20th centuries) art history, contemporary visual culture, new media, and Eastern art history (Gretta Chambers Chair in Chinese Art).
The Communication Studies stream is concerned with the history of media communication, more specifically the social and cultural dimensions of communication media, processes and technologies. Areas of expertise include the historical relationships between communication media and knowledge, cultural and media policy, technology and democracy, the role of media in diasporic cultures, communication, media and gender, the history of sound in media, medical technology and media, discourses of trauma and victimology in journalism.