Visual and Critical Studies

May 30, 2009 at 9:33 am (interesting, life, teaching)

I talk a lot about teaching at SVA, but one thing I don’t mention as much is what department I’m in. I’m actually in a few, but nearest to my heart is the brand new Visual and Critical Studies department. So far, it’s tiny – only a little more than 30 kids in the whole program – but it’s off to a really great start. We’ve had to grapple with our identity a little bit (the question “So what is Visual and Critical Studies?” is a valid one no matter where you are, but it probably seems even more pressing in a school where most majors are named straightforward nouns like “Photography” or “Film”). In brief: In VCS, you take the same amount of studio classes as you would in any other department, but you take a wider variety of classes. Instead of only studying photography for four years, you take a mix of drawing, photo, printmaking, sculpture, and so on. On top of that, the major also promotes a series of really demanding art history and philosophy courses, which help create a context for the studio classes you’re taking.

Anyway, enough of my sales pitch. Below is a video our department chair Tom Huhn commissioned last year, and I love it. If you look quickly, you can see me lurking in the back (!).



  1. katie said,

    My favorite part of the video is when we hug, and I look like a little boy in a dress! A great moment!

  2. Andrew Thornton said,

    Where, oh where was this when I was in school at SVA? Probably just a glimmer in Tom Huhn’s eye.

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