The project of Curatorial/Knowledge is simultaneously a teaching programme for postgraduate research and a mechanism for bringing together the experiences of working within art institutions and environments with modes of theoretical reflection and analysis being explored within the university. Both forums urgently require a complex mode of dialogue and exchange with one another, one in which experience and reflection can come together. As the boundaries between theory and practice continue to erode, we all feel the need to explore how these might come together beyond context or illustration.
The area of inquiry explored by this degree is ‘the curatorial’ as differentiated from ‘curating’. One of the main reasons to differentiate between these two concepts is in order to open up a space of theoretical reflection and speculation consistently missing within the ever-increasing activity of curating and its professionalisation. The conjunction of the title ‘Curatorial/Knowledge’ implies an understanding of curating as the production of and engagement with knowledge. Thus ‘knowing’ is not the absorption of information and materials, and neither simply analysis and interpretation, but rather something we actively produce through our various practices.
The MPhil programme offers the opportunity for the student to continue their research to a PhD.
Students come together six times a year for intense three-day seminars, typically involving whole days with international guest speakers, presentations of research conducted by the programme's participants, and 'reading group' sessions engaging in textual analysis and methodological considerations.
Tutors: Professor Irit Rogoff and Dr Stefan Nowotny.
Contact the department
If you have specific questions about the degree, contact the Admissions Tutor, Dr Stefan Nowotny.
In the Department of Visual Cultures we explore and produce new forms of art history and theory
Study in a department that combines an innovative approach with passionate academics, and makes full use of London's many opportunities to study art history.
Our degree programmes deliberately move away from chronological histories: the innovative art of our time arises out of the conflict of ideas. So you’ll explore the subject in the context of pertinent social, cultural and political issues and phenomena.
That means not only investigating artefacts you might see in museums and galleries, but also those making up our everyday visual and technological environment: including urban landscapes, film and video, and popular culture.
Our academics are passionate about the subject and are at the sharp end of theoretical developments in everything from architecture to spatial theory. Some are practising artists and curators, which makes our degrees relevant and exciting.
Our teaching takes advantage of the many galleries, art spaces, museums, cultural facilities and specialist libraries in London.
How to apply
Before you apply for a research programme, we advise you to get in touch with the programme contact, listed above. It may also be possible to arrange an advisory meeting.
Before you start at Goldsmiths, the actual topic of your research has to be agreed with your proposed supervisor, who will be a member of staff active in your general field of research. The choice of topic may be influenced by the current research in the department or the requirements of an external funding body.
If you wish to study on a part-time basis, you should also indicate how many hours a week you intend to devote to research, whether this will be at evenings or weekends, and for how many hours each day.
Along with your application and academic reference, you should also upload a research proposal at the point of application.
This should be in the form of a statement of the proposed area of research and should include:
delineation of the research topic why it has been chosen an initial hypothesis (if applicable) a brief list of major secondary sources