Pathway: MA in the History of Art (Modern and Contemporary Art)
Why did you choose this programme/pathway to study?
I chose the Modern and Contemporary Pathway because of the possibility and potential inherent to contemporary art practice. I’m particularly interested in queer theory and art-technology crosspollination, two questions central to a lot of artistic output over the past ten years. This program has given me the tools and room to evolve those interests; I’ve been introduced to approaches I’d never considered before, which has really invigorated my studies. Luckily, I get to apply these ideas to my work as a graduate student partner with Yorkshire Sculpture Park, a funded placement offered through the History of Art department.
Why History of Art, and why York?
The school has an internationally-recognized research reputation, and the opportunities to learn about others’ research, fund or explore your own, and collaborate on projects are abundant. Specific to the History of Art department, I had read somewhere that they’re the friendliest department of its kind in the UK, and that reputation is definitely well-earned! The faculty are encouraging, understanding, and patient, and they get excited with you about your projects. Simultaneously, they challenge you to develop your skills independently, and to question the boundaries of your chosen field.
What skills have your postgraduate studies allowed you to develop?
I have a more acute understanding of my preferred methodologies, broader content knowledge, and higher standards for the work I produce. I definitely read more critically now than I did during my undergraduate degree. I’ve also gotten a lot better at crafting a good “elevator speech.” When everyone asks you what you’re studying, it’s good to be able to reduce complex, nuanced themes into a few succinct sentences. Ultimately, I feel far more equipped to speak intelligently about my field and closer to contributing to the existing body of knowledge.
How do you plan to use your History of Art MA and the skills you've learned in the future?
I’m really excited to apply what I’ve learned here to my future doctoral studies. And whether I stay in academia or pursue a career in museums (or perhaps both!), my studies with the History of Art department at University of York will be central to achieving those goals.