Visual and Material Culture Studies


Visual and Material Culture Studies is an interdisciplinary program that studies images, objects, and spaces from various cultural contexts and historical periods.

Overview

Visual and Material Culture Studies is an interdisciplinary program that studies images, objects, and spaces from various cultural contexts and historical periods.

Visual and Material Culture Studies shifts away from the interpretation of texts, which has dominated critical discourse for centuries, toward an examination of images, objects, and spaces.

At a Glance

Degree options
Bachelor of Arts (BA), major or honours
Minor
Undergraduate certificate

Curriculum

At Mount Allison, Visual and Material Culture Studies courses are offered in two streams.

  • Visual culture — pertains to images, viewership, visual media, and practices of looking.
  • Material culture — encompasses all human-made and modified objects from the past and our contemporary world.

Visual and Material Culture Studies offers students innovative programming unique in its multidisciplinary composition, cross-cultural and trans-historical approach, and inclusive focus.

Program options:

BA in Visual and Material Culture Studies

Visual and Material Culture Studies integrates both streams of courses in visual and material culture.

At its core, this program is the study of non-verbal or non-textual forms of expression from an interdisciplinary perspective.

Visual and Material Culture Studies is available as:

  • BA major
  • BA honours
  • Minor in any degree (24 credits)
Minor in Visual Communication and Culture

(24 credits, courses in visual culture stream)

A minor in Visual Communication and Culture offers cross-cultural and interdisciplinary programming that encourages students to develop a comparative perspective on visual expression, communication, and culture.

Core courses are designed to provide theoretical and contextual knowledge of visual culture.

Certificate in Visual Literacy and Culture

(18 credits, courses in visual culture stream)

An undergraduate certificate in Visual Literacy and Culture is intended to assist you in developing visual literacy skills — decoding visual communication, describing and interpreting images, using visual materials proficiently and creatively, and understanding the impact of visual culture.

Not sure about the difference between a major, a minor, an honours, and a certificate?

VMCS student Kawama Kasutu’s independent study looked at the connection between Black bodies and colonial fashion, specifically in the Victorian era. As part of her study, Kasutu created a Victorian corset dress out of African material featuring handmade corset stays.

Related programs:

Faculty Spotlight

Dr. Lauren Beck
Associate professor, Hispanic Studies/Visual and Material Culture Studies

» Mount Allison professor named Canada Research Chair in Intercultural Encounter
» Dr. Lauren Beck awarded 2021 Paul Paré Medal

Careers

Whether you're entering the job market or continuing your education, your Mount Allison degree will stand out.

Mount Allison has been recognized by Maclean's as the top primarily undergraduate university in Canada more times than any other university.

With experiential learning and career development opportunities available in every degree, you'll also graduate with hands-on learning and on-the-job experience.

Our graduates also boast extraordinarily high acceptance rates to top graduate programs and professional schools such as law and medicine.

Popular career paths in visual and material culture studies include:

  • the arts, culture, and creative industries
  • communications and media relations
  • government and not-for-profit leadership
  • heritage and conservation
  • journalism and publishing
  • tourism
  • marketing and advertising

Testimonials

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This program is phenomenal for those who enjoy an interdisciplinary program while expanding and challenging their original ways of thinking. This program also allows you to explore areas of interest in experiential ways. My favourite experience was pursuing an independent study on Korean Series and Visual Culture. Pursuing this degree has definitely been one of the best choices I have made while attending Mount Allison.


Amy
Walker
'21
Visual and Material Culture Studies, minor in French
Pointe-du-Chêne, NB

Extras

Centre for Early Modern Visual Culture

Mount Allison is home to the Centre for Early Modern Visual Culture (CEMVC), a physical and virtual resource for scholars, students, and the public.

The Centre offers research collections focused primarily on engravings and maps published in books between 1400 and 1900. Researchers examine critical questions about visuality from this period, questions that continue to impact how we see the world around us today.

Several Mount Allison students work as research assistants in the Centre, enriching their undergraduate experience through experiential learning.

 

 

/current-students/visual-and-material-culture-studies-program

Bachelor of Arts

Admission Requirements

Our admissions decisions are based on your academic record, leadership skills, a high level of commitment, and the potential for personal growth. The drop down menu below will help you find information on what pre-requisites are recommended for a Bachelor of Arts; however, minors can be combined with any degree.

Academic Awards

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Mount A is 3rd in national academic awards won by students


Maclean’s ranks Mount Allison second for student satisfaction and third in the number of students who have won national academic awards. To date, 55 Mount Allison students have become Rhodes Scholars.

Next Steps

Take the next step to be part of the #1 undergraduate university in Canada