History of Art/Visual Culture

Faculty of Humanities

History of Art/Visual Culture

Department of Visual Arts

The Department of Visual Arts, part of the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts at Brock University, announces a new major in the History of Art and Visual Culture (HAVC). This complements our existing major in Studio Art. Students concentrating in History of Art and Visual Culture graduate with a BA Honours degree.

Students majoring in the History of Art and Visual Culture take courses that not only examine the development of artistic styles as well as the critical and aesthetic issues that these styles bring into play, but that look at the interaction of art with other forms of visual culture. Major artists and movements are related to artistic traditions as well as popular forms of the visual in both contemporary and historical periods. With the choice of a major or minor in the History of Art and Visual Culture, as well as a Concentration in Curatorial Studies, students can explore the cultural, theoretical or practical methods involving the interpretation or exhibition of works of art.

In the future our page will include information on recent AHVC graduates and Thesis projects. Below we have listed a few profiles of recent graduates from our Art History program:

Elysia French

My experience in the Visual Arts department at Brock University prepared me for a career in Visual Culture and Art History. The courses offered were diverse and compelling, providing me with a rich background, and the professor’s dedication and enthusiasm inspired my own teaching methods and values. After receiving my BA (Honours) from Brock University I continued my studies at Queens University where I am currently completing my Masters degree, and will begin the PhD program this fall. My interests focus on Visual Culture, Environmental Art, Landscape Aesthetics, Earthworks and Land Art, the Site-Specific, Environmental Ethics and Activist Art. My research explores the manner in which landscapes have been constructed, interpreted, and consumed.

Candice Bogdanski

Candice Bogdanski is an ABD doctoral candidate under the advisement of Dr. Malcolm Thurlby at York University in Toronto, Ontario Canada. Working on medieval architecture in the northern British Isles and Scandinavia c.1100-1300, her current research revolves around the concept of a ‘North Sea School of Architecture,’ using Nidaros Cathedral in Trondheim Norway as a focal point for the discussion. Her dissertation will consider the cathedral in comparison to related sites surrounding the North Sea in architectural, stylistic and patronal terms, emphasizing socio-political contexts and ultimately highlighting the significant role of the Sea as a site for the exchange of constructional practices and sculptural techniques. She received her Honours B.A. in History/Art History from Brock University and her M.A. in Art History from University of Toronto. Candice has just recently completed a research trip and international conference presentation in Scotland, with proceedings to be published later this year. Candice has also returned to Brock University as a course instructor in the Medieval and Renaissance Studies programme, teaching Medieval Architecture and Society during the Winter 2011 term. Candice's research is generously supported by a Joseph-Armand Bombardier SSHRC CGS Doctoral Scholarship.


My research is largely interdisciplinary, employing multiple methodological approaches from art history and history in order to establish a well-rounded, highly contextual analysis of the medieval architecture around the North Sea. I attribute this multi-dicsiplinary focus to the academic foundations I established during my undergraduate degree at Brock University (2003-2007). As neither a medieval or art history major existed during my degree period, I was able to pick and choose courses from history and art history, resulting in a unique programme of study that emphasized the medieval period, but also afforded me a well-rounded background in both disciplines from the Ancient to Modern periods. I found my professors at Brock to be both accessible and nurturing of my interests, allowing me to pursue unique and advanced research projects throughout my degree. Before I completed my Hon. B.A., I had the opportunity to gain excellent professional experience as both a research and teaching assistant in the history and art history departments. Because of my unique experiences at Brock, I was well-positioned to begin graduate work immediately after the completion of my B.A., and I was accepted to my programme of choice in Art History at the University of Toronto. Since then, I have maintained the contacts made during my undergraduate studies and have used the knowledge I gained at Brock in my own doctoral research as well as in my approaches as a university course instructor. It has been an honour to return to Brock in this capacity, and I am certain that the new Art History major will afford many students similar opportunities to advance into their own exciting and original course of studies.



I graduated in 2009 from the Brock Visual Arts Program with a Four-Year (BA) Honours degree. Since my graduation I have returned to the Brock University Visual Arts Department as a Teaching Assistant in Visual Culture courses and carried out a thesis research paper under the guidance of Brock Faculty. Currently I am in my first year of a two-year Masters in Art History program at the University at Buffalo (SUNY). The graduate level seminars I have taken thus far concentrate on the relationships of artist, identity, media and cultural setting in the visual post-war art world.

My studies at Brock University in the visual studies courses focusing on contemporary artists from the past half-century had a great impact on my interest in art-making and art theory. Furthermore, these upper year courses and the guided thesis research I conducted at Brock prepared me for the demands of graduate level courses and research projects.

For more information click HERE to visit the Brock Calendar page.

Click HERE to view a gallery page featuring Student Projects from the Visual Culture & The Human Body Course.

This page is currently in development. Please visit us again soon to view further details about our program including profiles of past Art History graduates, and out-lines of advanced independent study projects in Art History & Visual Culture.