November 16, 2017

New MA programs address urgent issues: Global Arts and Cultures, and Nature–Culture–Sustainability Studies

Rhode Island School of Design (RISD)

Courtesy of RISD.

Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) is currently accepting applications to its first-ever degree programs in the liberal arts, with classes beginning in fall 2018. The two full-time Master of Arts programs—in Global Arts and Cultures (GAC) and Nature–Culture–Sustainability Studies (NCSS)—invite students to explore the significance of the arts and cultural production within a dynamic, highly interdisciplinary framework.

In GAC students are encouraged to examine the evolving role of cultural practices in an increasingly globalized world. Encompassing a broad spectrum of objects and processes, the program offers a foundation in critical global studies and supports focused research in such areas as modern and contemporary arts criticism, museum and exhibition cultures, and the relationship between aesthetics and politics.

Emerging from an undergraduate concentration that began three years ago, NCSS asks students to consider socio-ecological issues such as climate change from various perspectives in the humanities and social sciences. The curriculum covers a diverse range of topics—from the relationship of the environment to global politics and human rights to the impact of materials research and development on sustainable design.

Through this initiative, RISD is advancing the transformative power of the arts into new academic territory. Small class sizes promote close collaboration with Liberal Arts faculty and between MA program students whose intellectual interests also align with students in RISD’s 16 art and design-based graduate programs.

Both GAC and NCSS are designed for students who are inspired by complexity and interested in exploring new interdisciplinary approaches to contemporary issues. Graduates will be well positioned to make vital contributions in the realms of cultural development and preservation, public policy, education, environmental advocacy, urban planning and more. They will also be poised to pursue advanced doctoral study in humanities and social science fields.

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About Rhode Island School of Design
Known as the leading college of art and design in the United States, Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) is ranked #1 in Business Insider’s survey of The World’s 25 Best Design Schools. Approximately 2,450 students from around the world are enrolled in full-time bachelor’s or master’s degree programs in a choice of 19 majors. Students value RISD’s accomplished faculty of artists and designers, the breadth of its specialized facilities and its hands-on approach to studio-based learning. Required courses in the liberal arts enrich the studio experience, equipping graduates to make meaningful contributions to their communities. Through their creative thinking and problem solving in a broad range of fields, RISD’s 26,000 alumni exemplify the vital role artists and designers play in fueling global innovation. Founded in 1877, RISD (pronounced “RIZ-dee”) and the RISD Museum help make Providence, RI among the most culturally active and creative cities in the region. For more information, visit and

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