Akademie der bildenden Künste Wien
Akademie der bildenden Künste Wien

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The Academy of Fine Arts Vienna is offering a new Master programme in Critical Studies.

It is an artistic-academic course of study, which lasts four semesters with an artistic-academic project being developed in the final semester. The course is completed with a Master of Arts (MA) degree.

The programme is aimed at students who either possess a diploma or B.A. in an academic subject or those who have achieved a corresponding qualification in an artistic subject.

The programme pursues three teaching objectives. It is intended to prepare students for academic doctoral studies, primarily in art theory and cultural studies but also in the disciplines of education in the arts and in architecture. It is intended to equip students to continue artistic research towards a Ph.D. in practice or a comparable qualification. It is intended to prepare students for activities in public artistic and cultural fields of practice, especially for work in journalism, specialised and academic journalism as well as for curatorial, archival, mediational and other such activities.

The programme has artistic, theoretical, propaedeutically preparatory, practical and such parts in which forms of practice are purposefully intermingled and their clear demarcation called into question.

The programme comprises of five modules. Students must enrol for one course unit from each of these modules during each of the first three semesters. In the first module students individually join one class at the Institute for Fine Art and participate to a limited extent in the artistic tuition. In the second module students develop artistic-academic approaches in a study project with various teaching staff. In the third module students select seminars from the Institute for Art Theory and Cultural Studies. In the fourth module students attend a practice-oriented seminar held by an external specialist. In the fifth module students are inducted into methodologies of academic work. In the fourth semester students develop their master's project.

The Master's programme in Critical Studies follows the critical traditions of the 20th century (from the Frankfurt School and the psychoanalysis to the New Left, Post-structuralism and Deconstruction), expanded by those developments, ramifications and problematisations of critical standpoints inspired in recent decades by fields such as Gender Studies, Postcolonial Studies, Subaltern Studies, Cultural Studies and Queer Studies. In addition, approaches developed in relation to new theories of the visual, medialities, the public and the social will be treated - consistently in relation to artistic processes.

Students will work in small teams and groups of rarely more than ten. They will be tutored by lecturers from a large pool from almost all the institutes at the academy. There will be a constant change in lecturing staff to ensure a variety of perspectives and expertise. Nevertheless, continuity in staff will also be guaranteed.

The teaching staff in the first year of study will include:

Sabeth Buchmann
Diedrich Diederichsen
Marina Gržinić
Jens Kastner
Jakob Krameritsch
Dorit Margreiter
Constanze Ruhm
Johanna Schaffer
Ruth Sonderegger
Felicitas Thun-Hohenstein

Admission Examination for the Master of Arts programme in Critical Studies

Registration online from 10.7. until 2.9., 5 pm

Online registration

Submission of the examination assignment 

By post: until 2.9.. The date of the postmark does not count but instead the written answers to the assignment questions must arrive at the academy by 2.9. at the latest. Address: Akademie der bildenden Künste, Institut für Kunst- und Kulturwissenschaft, Schillerplatz 3, 1010 Wien

Assessment the assignment by a commission: 3. - 8.9.

Applicants invited for a personal interview / oral examination will be notified most probably on the 9.9 by email or shortly afterwards by post.

Oral examination of the invited applicants by a panel: 16.9. at the Institut für Kunst- und Kulturwissenschaft (Institute for Art Theory and Cultural Studies). Please keep this date free. The commission will decide on who will be admitted after this date. The results will be relayed to you by email.

Examination Assignment: Please sketch an artistic-academic project you could envisage wanting to realise as a Master's thesis at the end of the programme. Elucidate on the type of research methods you intend resorting to, how and whether you intend discussing questions pertaining to the arts or cultural studies, which artistic techniques for design and realisation might be employed. In which social context could your project be relevant, do you have a certain public in mind, how is it to be involved?

Length: Please submit no more than 10,000 characters preferably and no less than 4,000.

Form: Use your own words but define your terminology. You are not expected to apply a specific academic or artistic jargon. Substantiate your decisions.

Language: Your text can be composed in either German or English.