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Art History And Visual Culture

Faculty List

  • M. Gervers, A.B. (Princeton), M.A. (Poitiers), Ph.D. (Toronto), Professor
  • Y. Gu, M.Phil., Ph.D. (London), Associate Professor
  • E. Harney, M.A. (Harvard), M.A. (Washington), Ph.D. (London), Associate Professor​
  • E. Webster, B.A., M.A. (Toronto), Ph.D. (Case Western Reserve), Associate Professor, Teaching Stream


ACM Program Advisor: M. Hussain Email:

Art History and Visual Culture at UTSC focuses on the global and contemporary and also gives you a solid grounding in approaches to visual materials produced across time, cultures, classes, gender, and geography.  You will learn to look, read and write critically about the visual, not only in the classroom but also through the real-world learning experience in galleries and museums and in other urban situations.  You will understand how and why histories are written, how representations are formed, and how artists, critics, curators, dealers, and art historians (in other words, art world players) enter a shared discourse.  The courses reveal the multiplicity of perspectives with which art may be approached, using recent methodologies that consider the works of art in the specific visual cultures of their day and in the social, political, and economic contexts in which the artists lived and worked.

The Art History and Visual Culture Study Guide can be reviewed here.

Planning a Program in Art History and Visual Culture

Guidelines for first-year course selection:
Students intending to complete a Major or Minor in Art History and Visual Culture should include VPHA46H3 in their first-year course selection. VPHA46H3 familiarizes students with the necessary historical, theoretical, and methodological foundations of the discipline of Art History specifically and Humanities more generally. Moreover, it will introduce students to the kinds of reading, research and writing skills they will be expected to develop in the program.

Students are strongly encouraged to enrol in VPHB39H3 and ACMB01H3 early in their program of study, and certainly by the beginning of their second year of study. Both of these courses further focus studies to address deeper questions in the disciplines of Art History and Visual Culture.

Following the completion of these three foundational courses, students are encouraged to build a depth of learning in focused areas of concentration. The table below identifies the four areas of focus in Art History and Visual Culture. Students are encouraged to choose their courses from one or two of these areas.

Art History and Visual Culture Areas of Focus Table:

Creative Cities Spectacle and Display Dialogues with History Constructing Identities

Modern Art and Culture
Art and the Everyday: Mass Culture and the Visual Arts
Art in Early Modern Europe: Renaissances Outside of Italy
Gothic Art and Architecture
Art in Global Cities
A Tale of Three Cities: Introduction to Contemporary Art in China

Current Art Practices
Visualizing Asia
Our Town, Our Art: Local Collections I
Our Town, Our Art: Local Collections II
The Silk Routes

Medieval Art
Fame, Glory and Spectacle: 14th-16th Century Art in Italy
Explorations in Early Modern Art
Carolingian and Romanesque Art and Architecture
Ethiopia: Seeing History
Advanced Seminar in Art History and Visual Culture

Africa Through the Photographic Lens
Baroque Visions
Modern Asian Art
The Artist, Maker, Creator
Seminar in Modern and Contemporary Art
Home, Away and In Between: Artists, Art, and Identity

Service Learning and Outreach
For an experiential learning opportunity that also serves others, consider the course CTLB03H3 (Introduction to Service Learning), which can be found in the "Teaching and Learning” section of the Calendar.