Advanced Critical Studies courses take deep dives into some of the theoretical, political, social, and ethical issues that help shape contemporary art and culture today. These classes emphasize intense investigations of the work of contemporary artists and scholars to help you think about your own art practice – and its place in the world – in new ways.

Here are a few recent advanced courses:

Black Utopias: Writing Ourselves Into a Better Future
This course is an exploration of the empowerment and self-determination that African Americans use to visualize a better world for themselves. In this class, youwill research the Afro-futurist and Afro-utopian ideologies found in literature, film, and art, and their opposition to canonical American utopian ideals.

Queer Art & Culture
Surveying the unapologetically queer voices of the past five decades, this critical studies course introduces students to the layered methods in which queer bodies claim space, fight for basic rights, and spurn cultural assimilation. Inclusive of race, gender, and class along with visual and cultural privilege, the class will formulate a queer lexicon of creative strategies for resistance, mourning, and ecstasy.

Art and Science
Considered polar opposites in the popular imagination, art and science were seen as part of the same grand project: trying to understand the world. This class challenges you to find common ground between the two disciplines and consider how they can work together to create new areas of human knowledge and expression. 

Decolonize Now!
This course explores ways to “delink” art making and its history from colonial power, including economic, social, and intellectual control. How has white, heteronormative, and patriarchal power influenced who gets to make art, what art we value, and how we interpret artwork? How can you, as an artist, push back against dominant Western thought to learn about and create new ways of being?

Art & Activism
When can art be activism? When can activism be art? This course will ask you to investigate the relationship between art and activism through investigating artists’ participation in broader social movements, direct action, institutional critique, political art in unusual contexts, everyday acts of dissent, and metrics for success across fields.