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Announcement
September 17, 2018

PhD in Art Theory, Philosophy and Aesthetics

Institute for Doctoral Studies in the Visual Arts (IDSVA)

View of Nam Jun Paik, I Never Read Wittgenstein, 1997. Hamburger Bahnhof Museum. Photo: Mercedeh Mirshamsi.

The Institute of Doctoral Studies in the Visual Arts is now accepting applications for May 2019 enrollment, with a priority deadline of December 14, 2018.

IDSVA offers a world-class low-residency PhD in art theory and philosophy to visual artists and creative scholars. IDSVA’s pioneering curriculum—fusing distance learning with intensive residencies—allows working art professionals to pursue rigorous advanced scholarship without having to interrupt or abandon their teaching careers, art practice, or other professional responsibilities.

As part of IDSVA’s one-of-a-kind Topological Studies Program, IDSVA students engage in Global Travel. Residency & fieldwork sites include Rome, Spannocchia Castle (Tuscany), Siena, Florence, Venice, Berlin, Paris, Athens, and NYC. Madrid, Barcelona, Mexico City, and Casablanca will be added as new sites in 2019 and 2020. The purpose of Topological Studies is to help students grasp the relation between the history of ideas and the history of art and visual culture as a concrete interaction between time and place, especially as that interaction takes shape vis-à-vis Ancient, Medieval, Neoclassical, Baroque, Modern, Postmodern, and contemporary modes of thought and artistic practice.

Delivered through virtual mediation, rigorous fall and spring semesters reinforce the Topological Studies experience. Seminars span the history of ideas and visual culture with a general focus on Continental Philosophy. Independent Studies allow students to pursue individualized research projects under the tutelage of leaders in their field of interest.

The IDSVA Visiting Faculty brings together the world's leading philosophers, artists, and scholars. These internationally renowned educators join students at residency sites and lead seminar discussions about the site's historical, aesthetic, and ideological significance.

More and more artists are coming to realize the importance of theory and philosophy in today’s art world. There is a strong sense among today’s artists and educators that training beyond the MFA and similar degrees would benefit many artists, architects, curators, and creative scholars, especially those who grapple with issues surrounding contemporary media and culture.

What may be most surprising about IDSVA is the sense of community students and faculty share, despite the fact that IDSVA is largely a distance-learning program. This close-knit kind of so-called “digitally mediated education” results from IDSVA’s special blending of intensive residencies and digital education.

For more details about application requirements visit our website or contact Molly Davis, Co-Director of Admissions at: mdavis [​at​] idsva.edu or T 207 771 8887.

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