The East Asian Program in the Department of Art History pursues research that balances innovation and fundamentals in several major fields of study. Extending widely in both area and time span, our strengths include the examination of early Chinese art in ritual, religious, and funerary context; social and institutional perspectives in the study of Chinese painting; and the transnational art histories of modern and contemporary East Asia.
Coursework in the Program is integrated, and encourages both interdisciplinary inquiry and broad thinking, based on rigorous grounding in visual and textual analysis. Graduate students are expected to engage methodological, theoretical, and historiographical issues both in their areas of specialty and in art history generally. The Program's close affiliation to the Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations also enables intensive preparation in area studies such as languages, literature, religion, and history.
The vibrant intellectual community of the University and the numerous cultural institutions of the city of Chicago provide many additional opportunities. The Center for the Art of East Asia is an integral part of the Program. The Center organizes symposia and lectures, and hosts a post-doctorate research position. Some additional funding is available for travel and language training in the East Asian field. Students have numerous occasions for professional experiences. Related activities, such as workshops where students and invited scholars present works-in-progress, involvement with faculty organized exhibitions, and direct engagement with works of art during field trips to museums are emphasized as important elements of an advanced degree in the Program.