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Master of Arts in Global Communications, Visual and Material Culture Track

Course Description

The optional Visual and Material Culture Track (VMC) within the Master of Art in Global Communications (MAGC) offers an interdisciplinary and cross-cultural consideration of the increasing importance of visuality and interactivity in today’s world.

Students acquire in-depth knowledge of visual theories, contexts, and practices and their relationship to the global media—and develop critical thinking about the cultural forces behind visuality as a communicative practice.

Vision and visuality: more than meets the eye

Social, political, and economic conditions shape seeing and the production of objects and events for visual consumption. Reaching beyond traditional understandings of media and communication, we examine such things as imaging systems, screen practices, data graphics, architecture, tourism, performance, gaming, body ornamentation, race, gender, and sexuality—and all of these on both a global scale and within regional traditions.

Incorporating non-Western contributions to the field, this track combines a critical approach to theoretical and scientific understandings of vision and visuality with a rigorous consideration of the functions of the viewer, object, and environment in specific circumstances.

Ideal candidates—and outcomes

Students pursuing this track will likely have studied or worked in art, anthropology, cultural studies, psychology, design, publishing, marketing, image-based journalism or film—or be interested in pursuing careers in those fields.

The VMC track prepares students for professional careers in communications or further graduate study.

Structure of the specialized track

As in the regular MA in Global Communications program, coursework can be completed in three semesters, including the summer. The length of the internship or thesis may vary, however—many students choose to take additional time for these components.

The program requirements for the MAGC Visual and Material Culture Track are as follows:
-Three core courses (12 credits)
-Three core electives (12 credits)
-Four elective courses from the general Global Communications graduate course offerings (16 credits)
-Final project: thesis or internship (8 credits)

Core courses focus on the fundamentals of global communications and the physical and cultural conditions of vision. You may explore how people come to identify—and believe in—brands, or study representations of gender in a globalized media environment.

As for electives, you have the choice of several practicums, including in video, broadcasting, branding, and advertising, as well as courses as diverse as identify formation to color as communication in marketing and art.

Coursework and Research Masters

The MA in in Global Communications, Visual and Material Culture Track is a 48 credit Coursework and Research Masters that can be completed in one calendar year. The length of the internship or thesis may vary, however—many students choose to take additional time for these components. Coursework and Research Masters at AUP open up international horizons and enable career-transition through an extensive range of classes blending theory and practice. Students develop precision in their problem-solving skills through challenging hands-on modules and the choice of an internship or a personalized research project.

Visit the Master of Arts in Global Communications, Visual and Material Culture Track page on the The American University of Paris website for more details!

(Student Profile)

Ivon Rashti

At the end of my master’s degree, I began an internship as an Assistant Client Manager at Landor Associates, a branding and design agency. My internship in Paris was a remarkable experience, where I learned a lot and was able to integrate things I learned during my studies. My master’s degree played a significant role in better understanding the way a communication and branding company works. In particular, the theories, strategies and research methods I learned, were support for work at Landor. Thanks to great professors who taught the class topics well and supported me in the course of my studies, I was able to find the field of work that suits me and that I enjoy.

Happily, my internship turned into a job. As a client Manager, I serve as an interface between clients and designers, creators and producers. I prepare creative briefs, meetings and conference calls, as well as follow the creation, development and execution of projects. Moreover, I ensure daily follow-ups of projects, such as budget, book keeping and administration, timing, resources, and delivery of color-proofs and files. Some of my clients are Bel Group, Campofrio Food Group, Philip Morris, Marlboro, and Danone. At Landor, one quickly realizes that language skills are a significant advantage – I make daily use of my French, English and German skills.

(Student Profile)

Robin Lee

Through the MAGC program I was able to dive deep into my love for global culture and for understanding how best to both communicate my own message and elevate the messages of others. My interests are vast, and it's one of the reasons I was drawn to the interdisciplinary program, and to being in Paris. I was able to oscillate between engaging with branding (which is deeply serving me now as I establish my own company), exploring incredible art and visual culture theory simultaneously, and to be well-versed in the digitization of information. It gave me a very strong jumping-off point from which to launch myself into the world, well-equipped with knowledge from arenas as vast as human rights and as niche as sustainable fashion. I now fuse my interests in travel, writing, movement, and being of service to the world through my own entrepreneurial venture Wild, Healthy, Free.


Entry Requirements

Graduate students must maintain a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.00. This can be subject to chance, see the website for the latest admission requirements: View Website

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