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Course options

  • Qualification

    MA - Master of Arts

  • Location

    SOAS, University of London

  • Study mode

    Full time

  • Start date

    27-SEP-21

  • Duration

    1 year

Course summary

This programme provides an unrivalled opportunity to explore methods and approaches taken to the curating of the arts of Asia and Africa. It is particularly suitable for those who wish to develop in the arts sector or cultural industries whether that be in the context of museums, galleries, festivals, online platforms, biennales, and other display contexts. It will also appeal to practicing professionals in these areas who are interested in strengthening their knowledge and critical outlook. Themes and issues addressed include but are not limited to: histories and ideologies of curating and exhibitions, theories of collecting, interpreting objects, contemporary issues and debates regarding postmodernism, postcolonialism, repatriation and decolonization, curating and writing of exhibition texts and interpretation.

Additionally, this programme provides an excellent postgraduate foundation for students interested in pursuing PhD research in the fields of curating and/or Art History/Archaeology of Asia and Africa in general.

Why study MA Curating Cultures?

  • Unrivalled expertise and focus on the curating of the cultures of Asia and Africa
  • Ideal for those planning to enter a career in the arts sector and cultural industries
  • Coverage and exploration of the most pertinent debates and issues today facing museums, galleries, exhibitions, and the sector in general.

Aims and objectives

  • Ability to critically evaluate interpretative frameworks of museums, galleries, exhibition spaces, public art, online platforms/digital curating, and other display contexts.
  • Critically analyse the role practices of collecting, display, and interpretation have in the production of meaning and value of objects.
  • Study the methods, practices and key issues surrounding ways in which Asian and African cultures and objects have been presented from both within their own traditions and from the European perspective with a particular focus on decolonisation.
  • Develop an understanding of both the theory and practice of curating.
  • Acquire in-depth knowledge of the specific areas of Asian and African art and/or archaeology that the student chooses to study, as seen in their course selection.

The Department of the History of Art and Archaeology contains some of the world’s leading experts in Asian and African art history and archaeology, whose ground-breaking research informs and is informed by their teaching. Many of them are also experienced curators and contribute to the vibrant programming in the Brunei Gallery at SOAS. Students benefit from the unparalleled knowledge and enthusiasm of staff. As members of the School of Arts, students also profit from the insights of scholars and students studying the Music, Film and Media of Asia and Africa in historical and contemporary contexts. They can also select from modules from within the School of the Arts and in other departments across SOAS, taking advantage of its unrivalled expertise in the languages, history, religions and cultures of Asia and Africa.

Teaching

Teaching consists of a combination of lectures and seminars. Classes are normally between two and three hours per week for each course. Teaching methods include lectures with discussion, seminars (at which students present papers) and museum visits. Students at all levels are expected to take an active part in class presentations. A particularly important element is the training of the student's visual memory.

In addition to their studies on the MA programme, students at SOAS can participate in a wide range of research seminars, lectures and conferences that regularly take place in the School and in the University of London.

Application deadline

30 June 2021

Tuition fees

Students living in United States
(international fees)

£ 21,980per year

Tuition fees shown are for indicative purposes and may vary. Please check with the institution for most up to date details.

University information

SOAS University of London

  • University League Table

    37th

  • Campus address

    SOAS, University of London, Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square, Camden, WC1H 0XG, England

SOAS is one of the leading centres for international foundation and pre-master's study in the UK, bringing 35 years' expertise to innovative programmes.
The programmes allow students to create their own pathway to a degree by combining options from social sciences, humanities and business/economics.
SOAS is one of the UK's most international universities, with around half of SOAS' students coming from outside the UK.

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