A unique aspect of SAIC’s Master of Arts in Visual and Critical Studies program is its option of combining studio and critical practices within the context of the field of visual and critical studies. A flexible curriculum allows students to choose from a variety of courses in art history, liberal arts, film criticism, and studio practices. The artists, designers, critics, writers, and scholars who teach in the program take a variety of approaches and come from diverse fields, including; performance, sculpture, conceptual practices; film, video, and new media; visual communication design; sociology; political science; art history; anthropology; and literature; among others. They share a common interest in understanding the cultural and social meanings of visual experience.
- Professor Joseph Grigely is an artist and critical theorist. His exhibitions include the Whitney, Venice, and Berlin Biennials, and his publications include Textualterity: Art, Theory, and Textual Criticism and Exhibition Prosthetics.
- Professor Maud Lavin is a writer and scholar who has written a number of cultural studies books such Push Comes to Shove: New Images of Aggressive Women published by MIT Press in fall 2010. She is currently co-editing the anthology Queer Fan Cultures of Mainland China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan with Ling Yang and Jing Zhao.
- Professor Shawn Michelle Smith is a specialist in the history of photography, with an emphasis on photography and culture. Her books include Photography on the Color Line: W.E.B. Du Bois, Race, and Visual Culture and the forthcoming Pictures and Progress: Early Photography and the Making of African American Identity (Duke, 2012).
- Associate Professor Karen Morris is a cultural anthropologist with a focus on the Cote d'Ivoire. Her publications include Guide to the West African Holdings of the American Folklife Center and the Library of Congress.