Homepage | Faculty | Graduate | Undergraduate | VMC | News+Events | Contact
Art, Art History & Visual Studies - Duke University
Current Events


Beginning in August 2014, the Department of Art, Art History & Visual Studies at Duke University will offer a new Master’s degree in Historical and Cultural Visualization. The Board of Trustees approved the new degree at their December meeting.

Developed by the Wired! group at Duke (dukewired.org), the 18-month program integrates historical disciplines and the study of cultural artifacts with digital visualization techniques for the analysis and presentation of research. The program builds on courses and well-developed strengths at Duke, and requires 10 courses over three semesters in addition to summer research.

Students will affiliate with an existing faculty research initiative, from which they will develop their own independent research project for the M.A. thesis. Common themes that unite the various projects are the visualization of process, the representation of change over time, recontextualizing displaced objects and object biographies.

The M.A. prepares students for future work in such fields as public history, city planning and architectural design, cultural heritage, museum exhibition design and visualization-based journalism, and provides a springboard for more advanced study in art history, archaeology, architectural history and visual studies.

The ideal candidate seeks engagement with the Digital Humanities, and conceptualizes digital visualization as a way of doing research. The program encourages applicants from across the Humanities and Social Sciences, whether from established disciplines, such as history, archaeology and art history, or emerging fields of study, such as spatial history, media arts & sciences and cultural geography.

For more information and to apply, visit dukewired.org.


Media Arts + Sciences Lab Posters and Videos


Second floor, Bays 10-11, Smith Warehouse
Duke University
114 S. Buchanan Blvd., Durham, NC 27705
(enter through Bay 12)

Department News


Lectures in Lisbon

In conjunction with the exhibition, Under the Sign of Amadeo. A Century of Art, at the Fundacao Calouste Gulbenkian/Modern Art Centre, in Lisbon, Portugal, Patricia Leighten, professor of art history and visual studies, and Mark Antliff, professor of art history and visual studies, gave lectures in November as part of the Centre’s conference series. Leighten spoke on “Modernism, Antimilitarism and War.” Antliff presented “Henri Bergson and the Parisian Avant-Garde: Subjectivity and the Road to Abstraction.”

The conference series interrelated modernism and the work of Amadeo de Souza-Cardoso, the great pioneer of Portuguese modernism and a key figure in twentieth-century art. Some of the themes explored included the impact of World War I on art, the role of representation in modernism, the applications of photography, and the relationship with poetry and philosophy. The series was co-organized by the Art History Institute and the Centre of Communication and Language Studies of the Nova University of Lisbon and the Modern Art Centre.

Amadeo de Souza-Cardoso, Clown, Horse, Salamandra, 1912.

The exhibition celebrated the thirtieth anniversary of the Modern Art Centre’s opening to the public on July 25, 1983 by surveying a century of art and displaying some of the most significant works of twentieth-century Portuguese art alongside landmark international paintings. The exhibition presents the entirety of the Centre’s collection of works by Amadeo de Souza-Cardoso.

New Book Published

Northwestern University Press has just published Making Modernism Soviet: The Russian Avant-Garde in the Early Soviet Era, 1918-1928, by Pamela Kachurin, visiting assistant professor in the departments of Art, Art History & Visual Studies and Slavic and Eurasian Studies.

Making Modernism Soviet provides a new understanding of the ideological engagement of Russian modern artists such as Kazimir Malevich, Alexander Rodchenko and Vera Ermolaeva with the political and social agenda of the Bolsheviks in the chaotic years immediately following the Russian Revolution. Focusing on the relationship between power brokers and cultural institutions under conditions of state patronage, Kachurin lays to rest the myth of the imposition of control from above upon a victimized artistic community. Drawing on extensive archival research, she shows that Russian modernists used their positions within the expanding Soviet arts bureaucracy to build up networks of like-minded colleagues. Their commitment to one another and to the task of creating a socially transformative visual language for the new Soviet context allowed them to produce some of their most famous works of art. But it also contributed to the ‘Sovietization’ of the art world that eventually sealed their fate.”


Media Arts + Sciences

The conditions for knowledge production in today’s global world have been fundamentally altered by the computational revolution. From experimental practices in the sciences to research methodologies in the humanities, knowledge has come increasingly to depend on the gathering and analysis of large aggregates of data that in some crucial ways cannot be understood or manipulated without the assistance of sophisticated computational methodologies, new forms of visualization and media technologies.

Media Arts + Sciences at Duke looks to integrate multi-modal inquiry, including computational design, data analysis and new media art, with scholarly investigation at the interface of the humanities, the social sciences and the natural sciences. As scholars in both the traditional and the digital humanities, we have understood that computational media has profoundly transformed the research paradigms and epistemology of the humanities and the many disciplines it affects.

Media Arts + Sciences has a university-wide reach with an infrastructure that now include nine fully operational, experimental, and interdisciplinary labs and groups in Smith Warehouse, Bays 10-11.

MFA in Experimental & Documentary Arts


The Master of Fine Arts in Experimental & Documentary Arts (MFAEDA) at Duke University brings together two forms of artistic activity — the documentary approach and experimental production in analog, digital, and computational media — in a unique program that will foster collaborations across disciplines and media as it trains sophisticated, creative art practitioners. Successful completion of the program requires the development of a complex understanding of documentary practices and traditions as well as creative skills in experimental media and new technologies. THE MFAEDA is a joint program between the Department of Art, Art History & Visual Studies; the Center for Documentary Studies; and the Program in the Arts of the Moving Image.


George Bellows, Love of Winter, 1914, oil on canvas. Art Institute of Chicago.

NewsByte is published biweekly during the academic year. It is published monthly during June, July, and August. Please refer all relevant departmental information for inclusion in our e-newsletter to John Taormina, Director, Visual Media Center, at taormina@duke.edu.

Homepage | Faculty | Graduate | Undergraduate | VMC | News+Events | Contact
2010 Department of Art, Art History & Visual Studies, Duke University. Unauthorized use is prohibited.