January 29, 2011

CalArts School of Critical Studies: Call for Applications

California Institute of the Arts (CalArts)
MA Program in Aesthetics and Politics

In his essay on the work of art in the age of technical reproducibility, Walter Benjamin’s exploration of the relation between aesthetics and politics is limited by fascism on the one hand, and communism on the other. But surely there are other ways to think the connection between aesthetics and politics—not just in the past, but especially today, and with a focus on the future? Contemporary thinkers such as Claude Lefort, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Jacques Derrida, Gilles Deleuze, Michel Foucault, Bernard Stiegler, Giorgio Agamben, Catherine Malabou, Bonnie Honig, Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, and especially Hannah Arendt and Jacques Rancière, have been exploring what new potentialities for politics the aesthetic might hold. The MA Program in Aesthetics and Politics provides a site for such exploration, since it facilitates theoretical debate in the different fields of research that these thinkers represent. Though the MA program is not a studio program, it should be of particular interest to artists seeking to deepen the theoretical and political elements of their art; and to BA/BFA/MFA graduates who are planning to pursue a scholarly career.

MFA Program in Writing – While no one would today teach the visual and performative arts as if Abstraction, Surrealism, Dada, Feminist Art, Fluxus, Body Art, Pop, Minimalism, Conceptualism, Post-Colonialism, and Deconstruction had never occurred, this is precisely what happens in many writing programs; it is as if writing had simply stopped developing a century ago. But this is not the case. For this reason the CalArts Writing Program fosters a critical awareness of modern literary history and its contexts, alongside a focus on students’ own writing.

The program should be of particular interest to writers seeking to broaden their range of textual methods, and develop their understanding of the historical, conceptual and social contexts of contemporary writing and its histories. The Program is non-tracking, and all faculty have multi-disciplinary practices, with experience in publishing, editing, reviewing, criticism, scholarship, collaboration and translation. Students are encouraged to explore multiple genres and modes, including, the novel and short story, micro-fictions, prose poetry, lyric poetry, assemblage and found poetry, sound poetry, critical essays, lyric essays, reviews, and hybrid compositions of all kinds.

Financial aid packages for both programs are available in the form of scholarships, grants, research assistantships, and teaching assistantships.

For more information visit our website:

Apply to CalArts

Portfolio Guidelines

Visiting Writers Series

Visiting Lectures Series

Thank you!

An email with a confirmation link has been sent to the email address you entered. To complete your subscription, click this link.