The Department of Art History, Theory, and Criticism is pleased to welcome three new tenure-track Assistant Professors: for fall 2014 Shiben Banerji, Seth Kim-Cohen, and starting in fall 2015 Mechtild Widrich. Also, promoted to Adjunct Assistant Professor from Instructor are Margaret MacNamidhe and (with the Department of Fiber and Material Studies) Shannon StrattonThis coming year, we will be conducting a search for another full-time faculty addition to the department to teach Modern and Contemporary Art in East Asia or the Middle East.

Starting in fall 2014, we launch the Master of Arts in Art History Design History Track, a specialized course of study within the Master of Arts in Modern and Contemporary Art History.


The Master of Arts in Modern and Contemporary Art History (MAAH) is a two-year, 36-credit masters program specializing in modern and contemporary art in its international contexts. Faculty research extends to art and design practices around the world and remains on the cutting edge of present trends in the field. Students engage in the study of a wide range of artists, artistic practices, and art institutions. Their research culminates in an original contribution to scholarship in the form of a Masters thesis written under the supervision of a full-time faculty member in the department. In addition to modern and contemporary art and performance, MAAH students also have the option of pursuing a course of study focusing on modern and contemporary Design History.

MAAH students enjoy successful careers after graduation, going on to influential positions in museums, art galleries, alternative venues, publishing, and academia.

Globally Recognized Faculty

The department's full-time faculty are the core faculty for the MAAH graduate program. All PhD-level art historians with global reputations, they have published widely and are winners of many national and international fellowships and honors, including NEH, École Normale Supérieure, Guggenheim, Graham, CASVA, Institute for Advanced Study, and Getty grants, as well as appointments at prominent art and cultural institutions. Their teaching incorporates ideas from a breadth of disciplines ranging from design history, museum studies, material culture studies, visual studies, philosophy, film studies, and gender studies; research specialties cover Europe, North America, South Asia, East Asia, Africa, and Latin America.

Campus and Citywide Resources

Chicago is a world-class city with a vibrant art scene, and MAAH students enjoy dynamic involvement with contemporary art and exhibitions in the area. Students have access to major cultural institutions such as the Art Institute of Chicago, its Modern Wing, the Museum of Contemporary Art, and numerous artist-run galleries and community-based organizations in the citys independent art scene.

Students also have access to SAICs libraries and research centers, including the John M. Flaxman Library, Ryerson and Burnham Libraries of the Art Institute of Chicago, Video Data Bank, Joan Flasch Artists Book Collection, Fashion Resource Center, Roger Brown Study Collection, and the Gene Siskel Film Center.

In addition, SAIC attracts numerous visiting artists, historians, and critics, creating opportunities for students to interact and network with scholars from the field. The department hosts a number of visiting art historians every year, most notably through its annual Norma U. Lifton Lecture in Art History and in conjunction with its annual MAAH Graduate Student Research Symposium.

Interested in learning more?

Click around the pages of this website for information on admissions and curriculum requirements, MAAH faculty, students and alumni, and more. For recent news, see the 2013–2014 Welcome Letter from the Chair.

Interested in learning more about how you can apply?

Visit the graduate admissions website or contact the graduate admissions office at 800.232.7242 or gradmiss@saic.edu.