New PhD in Curatorial Practice launches

December 11, 2013

Monash Art Design and Architecture (MADA) has announced a new PhD program specialising in curatorial practice, the first in Australia and among the first in the world.

Launching in 2014, the practice-based Curatorial Practice PhD will be an active part of the newly emerging discipline of curatorial practice and its related lines of inquiry, which includes the politics of display and the history of exhibitions.

It will provide a home for advanced curatorial projects that engage these histories or are especially experimental in form and content. It also aims to foster curatorial projects that test the limits of arts institutions and elevate the discourse of curatorial practice locally and internationally.

Callum Morton, Head of Fine Art at MADA, says the university is excited to be the first in the country to offer the practice based PhD. Commencing in March 2014, the program is initiated and led by Tara McDowell, newly appointed Associate Professor and Director of Curatorial Practice at MADA.

McDowell was Founding Senior Editor of The Exhibitionist, the first-ever journal on curatorial practice and exhibition making, and holds a PhD in the History of Art from the University of California, Berkeley.

A trailblazer in curatorial publishing and critique, McDowell has held curatorial appointments at the CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts in San Francisco, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, where she mounted over two dozen group and solo exhibitions.

McDowell has assembled an advisory board for the program comprised of acclaimed artists, curators and academics, all of whom have strong ties to MADA or curatorial education and will offer input into the spectrum of doctoral projects.

This program is ideally suited to independent curators with a significant research project that would benefit from being sited within an academic institution.

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