Launch of New M.A. Program in Human Rights and the Arts

By March 29, 2021April 14th, 2021No Comments

The OSUN Center for Human Rights and the Arts announces today the launch of a pioneering M.A. program in Human Rights and the Arts, and looks forward to welcoming its inaugural class in Fall 2021.

Designed by the Center’s core faculty team of Tania El Khoury, Thomas Keenan, Gideon Lester, and Ziad Abu-Rish, the interdisciplinary program will bring together scholars, artists, and activists from around the world to explore the productive and contentious relation between the arts and struggles for truth and justice. The program expands the curricular and extra-curricular elements of the OSUN Center, directed by El Khoury.

“Academic institutions have lagged behind the on-the-ground encounter between human rights advocacy and artistic practices,” said El Khoury. “This program builds on Bard’s historical strength in the study of both human rights and the arts, while creating a new framework to think about, practice, and shape their intersections.”

The M.A. program offers students an advanced interdisciplinary curriculum that takes stock of the growing encounter between human rights and the arts, as fields of both academic knowledge and professional work. Students in the program will pursue a core of courses in critical human rights theory and practice, as well as in the political potential of various art forms, supplemented with electives across the social sciences, humanities, and arts.

“The ideal incoming class will be a combination of artists, activists, and researchers,” added Abu-Rish, director of the M.A. program. “We look forward to the explosion of ideas, proposals, and work that will emerge from this encounter, and to the effects that this sort of incubator will have on practices in both advocacy and the arts.”

The Center has set a May 1 priority application deadline and a June 15 final deadline. Ample need-based financial aid is available to cover tuition and other expenses.

The following information sessions will be open to the public and prospective applicants (register by emailing [email protected] with your full name and intended session to receive a Zoom link).

  • Tuesday, April 6, at 8:30am NYC Time (2:30pm Vienna / 6:30pm Dhaka)
  • Wednesday, April 7, at 4:00pm NYC Time (10pm Vienna / 2:00am Dhaka)
  • Monday, April 12, at 8:00am NYC Time (2:00pm Vienna / 6:00pm Dhaka)
  • Thursday, April 15, at 4:00pm NYC Time (10pm Vienna / 2:00am Dhaka)
  • Friday, April 16, at 4:00pm NYC Time (10pm Vienna / 2:00am Dhaka)
  • Monday, April 19, at 8:00am NYC Time (2:00pm Vienna / 6:00pm Dhaka)

Prospective applicants unable to register for any of the above sessions are encouraged to contact the program for additional possible sessions or a one-on-one meeting with the MA program director. More information about the MA program is available on the Center’s website (, and prospective students are encouraged to email the M.A. program directly at [email protected].

The MA program and the Center for Human Rights and the Arts are supported by the recently-founded Open Society University Network (OSUN), a global network of educational institutions.

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