Certificate in Art History and Visual Culture

This certificate is open to currently registered Dalhousie and King's students in all Faculties.

The Certificate in Art History and Visual Culture is designed for students in the arts, social sciences, and sciences who are interested in advancing their visual literacy. The ability to interpret meaning from images and objects is critical in our increasingly image-saturated culture. This certificate program will provide students with solid training in visual analysis, art history methodologies, research, and communication.

A Certificate in Art History and Visual Culture would be most obviously beneficial to students considering graduate studies or careers in Art History, Museum Studies, Museum Education, Arts Administration, Conservation, Cultural Studies, etc. However, the importance of developing visual literacy is being recognized much more broadly in today’s digital, image-based world (for example, courses in art history are now required at several top medical schools). Indeed, in many fields visual thinking is considered as crucial as verbal thinking. A Certificate in Art History and Visual Culture would therefore provide a sound complement to any area of studies in the humanities, sciences, or social sciences.

Learning Outcomes:

Students will cultivate visual literacy—the ability to interpret works of art both as formal structures and in relation to social, political, and cultural contexts—and develop a working knowledge of the vocabulary of art history and criticism.

Students will learn to effectively use objects as primary sources and to articulate the relevance of art as both evidence of, and stimulus for, historical, social, political, and intellectual movements.

Students will develop the ability to communicate their knowledge of visual culture both orally and in writing by learning how to synthesize a wide range of primary and secondary sources.


HIST 2900.03 Ways of Seeing: An Introduction to Art History and Visual Culture (Cross-listed GWST 2900.03)

And nine additional credit hours drawn from the following list of electives:

  • CLAS 3021.03 Ancient Art and Architecture from the Pyramids to the Forum
  • CTMP 2316.03 The “Pictorial Turn” in Recent Thought, Art and Theory
  • CTMP 2340.03 Theories of the Avant-Garde
  • EMSP 2215.03 Violence and Wonder: Baroque Art
  • EMSP 2230.03 Picture and Poetry in Early Modern Culture
  • EMSP 2415.03: The Art of Global Encounters in the Early Modern Period
  • EMSP 3350.03: Art, Optics, and Technologies of Illusion (cross-listed HSTC 3350)
  • EMSP 3270.03 Leonardo da Vinci: Between Art and Science (cross-listed HSTC 3270.03)
  • EMSP 2510.06 Early Modern Art, Literature, and Politics in Florence, Italy (Summer Study Abroad)
  • EMSP 3280.03 Love, lust, and desire in Italian Renaissance Art (Cross-listed GWST 3280.03)
  • EMSP 3290.03 The Renaissance Print and Cross-Cultural Exchange
  • EMSP 4500.06 Aesthetic Theory Honours Seminar
  • ENGL 2088.03 Images and Texts
  • HIST 3303.03 De-Colonizing Modernism: Critiquing the Legacy of Modern Art (Cross-listed GWST 3303.03)
  • HIST 4303.03 The Birth of Pop: How Visual Culture Makes Meaning (Cross-listed GWST 4303.03)
  • HSTC 4120.03 Artefacts: The Material Culture of Science and Technology
  • INDG 3400.03 Contemporary Indigenous Art (Cross-listed CANA 3400.03)
  • PHIL 2260.03: Philosophy of Art
  • HIST 2042.03: Capital of Europe: Paris in the Nineteenth Century
  • HIST 4162xy.06: Advanced Seminar in Baroque Culture [taught in the Czech Republic]
  • HIST 4175.03: Bella Figura: Display Behaviour in Baroque, Italy

Questions? Contact the program coordinator, Dr. Lisa Binkley: lbinkley@dal.ca

Find this certificate in the Dal Academic Calendar.

See the certificate flyer here .