The MA Curating Cultures programme at SOAS provides an unrivalled opportunity to explore methods and approaches taken to the curating of the arts of Asia and Africa. It is particularly suitable for those who wish to develop in the arts sector or cultural industries whether that be in the context of museums, galleries, festivals, online platforms, biennales, and other display contexts. It will also appeal to practicing professionals in these areas who are interested in strengthening their knowledge and critical outlook. Themes and issues addressed include but are not limited to: histories and ideologies of curating and exhibitions, theories of collecting, interpreting objects, contemporary issues and debates regarding postmodernism, postcolonialism, repatriation and decolonization, curating and writing of exhibition texts and interpretation.
Additionally, the MA Curating Cultures programme provides an excellent postgraduate foundation for students interested in pursuing PhD research in the fields of curating and/or Art History/Archaeology of Asia and Africa in general. The aims and objectives of this MA programme is for students to:
- develop the ability to critically evaluate interpretative frameworks of museums, galleries, exhibition spaces, public art, online platforms/digital curating, and other display contexts.
- critically analyse the role practices of collecting, display, and interpretation have in the production of meaning and value of objects.
- study the methods, practices and key issues surrounding ways in which Asian and African cultures and objects have been presented from both within their own traditions and from the European perspective with a particular focus on decolonisation.
- develop an understanding of both the theory and practice of curating.
- acquire in-depth knowledge of the specific areas of Asian and African art and/or archaeology that the student chooses to study, as seen in their course selection.
The MA has two main purposes. First, it can be used as a training programme for those who hope to go on to higher independent research (for a PhD), especially if their BA background lies in another field (such as the History of Western Art, or Asian/African area/language studies). For such students, the MA provides the necessary grounding in the material and techniques in the study of Asian and African art or archaeology. Secondly, for those who already have some background in this field, it provides an opportunity to broaden or deepen their knowledge at a higher level.
The Department of the History of Art and Archaeology contains some of the world’s leading experts in Asian and African art history and archaeology, whose ground-breaking research informs and is informed by their teaching. Many of them are also experienced curators and contribute to the vibrant programming in the Brunei Gallery at SOAS. Students benefit from the unparalleled knowledge and enthusiasm of staff. As members of the School of Arts, students also profit from the insights of scholars and students studying the Music, Film and Media of Asia and Africa in historical and contemporary contexts. They can also select from modules from within the School of the Arts and in other departments across SOAS, taking advantage of its unrivalled expertise in the languages, history, religions and cultures of Asia and Africa.
With a student population of around 4,000 from over 100 countries, our relatively small size ensures that we offer a friendly and welcoming environment while at the same time being able to take advantage of all University of London facilities.
- International class
- International faculty
- International study tours
- Issuance of foreign diploma and certifications