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History of Art and Visual Culture Department
Offering the most diverse Art History and Visual Culture curriculum in the University of California, HAVC interprets images and objects with historical and social contexts. Our work leads to a stronger understanding of human societies and cultural traditions.
HAVC is the only program in the nation–if not the world–featuring faculty who research visual cultures around the globe such as Africa, the Indigenous Americas, Asia, Europe, the Mediterranean and the Pacific Islands–in addition to traditional fields. Faculty research includes Contemporary Art in a Global Context, Technocultural approaches to Visual Culture, Digital Art and Culture, Art and Ecology, Latin American and Latino Studies, Critical Race and Ethnic Studies, Modern and Contemporary Architecture and Design, and the Art and Visual Culture of Colonialism. This exemplary research, along with the creative works produced and analyzed by students have a powerful impact on the world and society beyond UC Santa Cruz.
A trailblazing department, HAVC teaches visual literacy and changes the ways students see the world. In an increasingly media-saturated environment, visual literacy—the ability to understand how imagery shapes opinions, summons emotions, and instigates actions—is essential. Our students become conscious citizens, nationally and globally.
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