The Department of Fine Arts and Art History at AUB aims to foster a theoretically engaged and experimentally rigorous environment. The department’s curricula are process-driven and trans-disciplinary. They open venues for students into thinking and practicing the traditions and histories of art, music and theater locally, regionally and internationally with an aim to position themselves within today’s world. The Department’s goal is to prepare students for transforming their social environment through a multiplicity of grounded and experimental technical, conceptual and critical tools. The department offers the following degrees: BA in Studio Art, BA in Art History, and MA in Art History and Curating. Students can also minor in Music and Theater.
The Studio Art Program offers students an opportunity to create visual art in two and three dimensions. You will be encouraged to think about the ‘why’ of art making and to choose whatever medium best serves the concept you are trying to express. Studio Art exposes students to cross- cultural perspectives and a plurality of approaches in art practices and emphasizes interdisciplinarity and flexibility. The program offers students freedom for exploration while still developing proficiency within a disciplinary core. Whether your goal is to become a practicing artist or to include art making as part of your liberal arts education, AUB’s actively practicing faculty will work with you to create a program that meets your goals.
The Art History program provides a variety of courses extending chronologically to cover from prehistoric modes of representation to contemporary art practices. Its geographical scope encompasses Western and Islamic Art, along with regional art practices in modern and contemporary periods. We also concentrate on global issues related to art production, reception, and historiography. The program aims to provide interpretative tools for students to evaluate (describe, theorize and contextualize) individual works of visual culture.
The MA program in Art History and Curating curriculum blends theory, method, and practice. The program has specific strengths in Islamic, Arab and Middle Eastern modern and contemporary art, Socialist and Post-Socialist art and culture, art theory and art historiography. The curriculum combines designated research and writing seminars alongside art history, exhibition studies and critical theory courses with a professional internship. The curriculum engages Art History and Curating in a productive and mutually constitutive fashion. Art historical research that students conduct may be related to contemporary and historical exhibitions, and exhibitions themselves may be grounded in historical research.
The Music Program offers an extensive array of courses that provide opportunities to explore music history, theory and performance in both Western and Arabic music.
The Theater Arts program seeks to acquaint students with basic theoretical and practical aspects of theater performance and production. An overview of theater, past and present, from around the world offers choices of interdepartmental courses encompassing relevant history, literature, and criticism.