The MA in Human Rights & the Arts program is a dynamic full-time curriculum comprised of 42 credit hours (11 three-credit courses & a two-semester thesis project sequence).

The program is designed for full time students to complete the degree in two years.

Students have considerable flexibility in designing their program in order to meet their academic and professional goals and interests. To complete the program, students must meet the following requirements:

  1. Completion of five core courses (15 credits)
    • HRA 501 – The Politics of Interactive Art
    • HRA 502 – Oral History, Archives, and Ethnography: Methods of Inquiry
    • HRA 503 – Critical Perspectives on Human Rights
    • HRA 504 – Who Is the Audience? Collaborations and Community-based Art
    • HRA 601 – Practicing Revolution: Human Rights and the Arts Survey
  2. Completion of six elective courses (18 credits)
    • At least two electives should be offered through the Center for Human Rights and the Arts.
    • At least one elective should be a practice-based or studio art course.
    • No more than one elective course requirement may be satisfied by means of an independent directed study with a core or affiliated faculty member of the Center for Human Rights and the Arts.
  3. Completion of two-semester thesis sequence courses (9 credits)
    • Students must enroll in and pass both HRA 602 – Thesis 1 and HRA 603 — Thesis 2 during the third and fourth semesters, respectively.
    • These two courses provide the general framework for progress toward the required thesis project (see below), each with their own specific components to ensure steady progress toward thesis project completion.
  4. Submission of Thesis Project
    • Students have the choice between writing a research-based academic MA thesis or creating a research-based artistic installation/performance.
    • Both options will be supervised by a thesis advisor and evaluated by a three-person faculty committee in conformity with Bard College guidelines for graduate degrees.

Sample Elective Courses from 2021–22:

  • HRA 511: Meet the Frankfurt School: Political Praxis, Critical Theory, and Cultural Production
  • HRA 521: Evidence in Human Rights
  • HRA 522: Food, Labor and Human Rights
  • HRA 541: Filmmaking — Chronicle of a Season
  • HRA 543 Decentering Photography: Human Rights Strategies for Unsettling
  • HRA 544:Documenting Voter Suppression and Exclusion
  • HRA 571: Contagiousness, Vulnerable Environments: Architecture as Research
  • HRA 572 Modernism and Fascism: Cultural Heritage and Memory
  • HRA 573 Exhibiting (Im)mobility: Art, Museums, Migration
  • HRA 582: Environmental Justice: Art, Science, and Radical Cartography
  • HRA 592 Music and Rights
  • HRA 602 Mapping Global Foodscapes
  • HRA 603: Below the Threshold of Detectability: Aesthetic & Methodological Alternatives to Lacking Information
  • HRA 604 The Great Divide: Human vs. Nature in the Question for Human Rights
  • HRA 605 The Clash of Images and Human Rights Advocacy

The director of the MA program will serve as the general academic advisor for all enrolled students. Each student will formally identify their intended thesis project supervisor by no later than April 1 of their first year, and their thesis committee by no later than December 1 of their second year.

For additional information about program requirements, please contact the MA in Human Rights & the Arts program at hra@bard.edu.