MFA Curriculum

Most of the Wilson College MFA courses mix choreographers with visual artists to provide a broad interdisciplinary experience. Ample time is provided for medium-specific classroom and studio work as well. Of course, the home-based Independent Studio Work is quite specific to the discipline.

MFA Course Descriptions

First Summer Residency Intensive

  •  DNC/FA 501 Summer Residency Studio 1
    This course involves intensive making of dance or art with close mentoring and weekly individual critiques. Substantial advance preparation is expected. The students explore content, form and materials in their media specialization. Students demonstrate a cohesive conceptual and technical approach to artmaking.
  • DNC/FA 502 Summer Residency Studio Seminar 1
    This seminar brings artists together across mediums to develop skills in critiquing one another’s work and exploring the context of academic art training. Complex issues in contemporary art will be addressed and discipline specific break-out sessions will be included. Students are responsible for substantial advance preparation.
  • DNC/FA 503 Summer Residency Contemporary Arts Practice 1
    This seminar brings choreographers and visual artists together to examine the practice of art beyond media boundaries and to examine the tensions inherent in making and presenting art in the 21st century. Each student is responsible for substantial advance preparation.
  • DNC/FA 504 Summer Residency Interdisciplinary Seminar 1
    Students explore theoretical approaches to determining meaning in a variety of art mediums. Substantial advance preparation is expected. Writing skills will be emphasized.
  • DNC/FA 505 Summer Residency Media Art Seminar 1
    This course exposes students to technological mediation in artmaking by the exploration of electronic and other media. The application of technology to site-specific work will be emphasized. Substantial advance preparation is expected.

 

First Fall academic semester (student at home studio)

  • DNC/FA 511 Independent Studio Work 1
    Each student must establish a strong home-based studio practice during non-resident periods in order to produce a semester portfolio following her/his personal artmaking concerns. The student is expected to commit at least 25 hours per week to artmaking. Mentoring by local/regional onsite mentors and program faculty is required.
  •  DNC/FA 310/510 Art History Theory & Methods
    An exploration into the history of art history, the development of the theoretical framework and the methods employed in contemporary practice. Synthesis and application to case studies is stressed, particularly at the graduate level.

 

First Spring academic semester (student at home studio)

  • DNC/FA 521 Independent Studio Work 2
    Each student must continue to deepen their studio practice during non-resident periods in order to produce a semester portfolio following her/his personal artmaking concerns. The student is expected to commit at least 25 hours per week to artmaking. Mentoring by local/regional onsite mentors and program faculty is required.
  • DNC/FA 323/523 Contemporary Arts Seminar 
    Using interactive technology, this seminar will analyze the recent history of art (since approximately 1970) with extensive reading that will allow students to delve into specific application of theory and practice from previous courses. Major issues of post-modernism and post-post-modernism will be addressed.
  •  or PHI 335/535 Aesthetics
    Advanced survey of classical and contemporary theories of the meaning and function of art including visual art, literature, music, dance and other art forms), beauty and aesthetic value and the interpretive process.
  • or WS 320/520, Feminist Theory: Visual Culture
    A study of feminist theory that explores the mutually constructive relationship between gender identities and visual cultures, analyzes the way in which feminist insights drive many modes of understanding visual culture and recognizes that visual experience is one of the key modes by which gender is culturally inscribed.

Second Summer Residency Intensive
Note: Most summer courses combine first and second year students, with higher expectations for second year students.

  •  DNC/FA 531 Summer Residency Studio 2
    This course continues intensive making of dance or art with close mentoring and individual critiques. Substantial advance preparation, including a Thesis Exhibition/Performance proposal is expected. The student goes deeper in explorations of content, form and materials in their media specialization. Students demonstrate a maturing conceptual and technical approach to artmaking.
  • DNC/FA 532 Summer Residency Studio Seminar 2
    This seminar brings artists together across mediums to expand skills in verbal and written critique of one another’s work. Complex issues in contemporary art will be addressed, and discipline specific break-out sessions will be included. Students are responsible for substantial advance preparation. Writing will be emphasized.
  • DNC/FA 533 Summer Residency Contemporary Arts Practice 2
    This seminar brings choreographers and visual artists together to further examine the practice of art beyond media boundaries and to examine the tensions inherent in making and presenting art in the 21st-century. Each student is responsible for substantial advance preparation. Writing and articulate presentation will be emphasized.
  • DNC/FA 534 Summer Residency Interdisciplinary Seminar 2
    Students extend exploration of theoretical approaches to determining meaning in a variety of art mediums. Substantial advance preparation is expected. Writing and presentation skills will be emphasized.
  • DNC/FA 535 Summer Residency Media Art Seminar 2
    This course requires students to make use of technological mediation in collaborative artmaking. The suitability of this application to an individual’s concepts and projects will be addressed within the group. Substantial advance preparation is expected.

Second Fall academic semester (student at home studio)

  • DNC/FA 598 Thesis Exhibition/Performance 1
    Using an approved Thesis Exhibition/Performance Proposal, this semester will be devoted to the creation of an extensive body of work according to a rigorous project contract. Frequent interaction with both the onsite and faculty mentors is required. The student is expected to produce a substantial amount of exhibition-ready work.

 

Second Spring academic semester (student at home studio)

  • DNC/FA 599 Thesis Exhibition/Performance 2
    The student will complete and present the Thesis Exhibition/Performance with appropriate documentation as well as an assessment portfolio. All materials must demonstrate mastery of conception, intention and production. An oral defense of the Thesis Exhibition/Performance is required.

Return to Master in Fine Arts in Choreography and Visual Art

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