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About US

(1) To face up to the age of visual cultures in Taiwan
The Institute aims to develop talents who are equipped with interdisciplinary capabilities, an enthusiasm for social issues and practices for social reforms. Therefore, they could meet the need environment today where information regarding visual arts swells to near explosion. Graduates with a macro-perspective and critical thinking developed at school may take positions such as jobs of presentations or administration from visual arts industry, publication in distribution jobs of film industry, edits or criticism vacancies in publishing firms, documentary or publication jobs concerning literary or history-related films, jobs offered by visual media, and promotion or administrative openings from bio-medical/technological visual cultures and so forth,. The Institute hopes to be a graduate school with advanced visions that can endow graduate students with capabilities to analyze and criticize this image-oriented or vision-centered world, in hopes of creating a paradigm for humanities and liberal arts in Taiwan. The Institute not only wishes to develop young talents for Taiwan’s advanced education, but desires to make necessary changes for the advanced education for our country.
(2) To connect with the top trends concerning global academic study
Studies in visual cultures in Europe and America have emerged at the end of the 1970s when contemporary humanities, social science and technological study have begun to put the visual or picture-related issues in high premium. A name of the “visual turn” was even coined for this trend. In the 1980s, studies in visual cultures have gained its momentum and become newly emerging graduate institutions in US and UK prestigious universities since the 1990s. In regard with graduate and above education, the Visual and Cultural Studies at University of Rochester, the Graduate Program in Visual Studies at University of California, Irvine, Visual Studies at University of California, Santa Cruz, the Visual Studies Initiative from Duke University, and the Visual Studies Program from University of Southern California are all signature programs in the States. In the UK, the History of Art & Visual Culture Program at University of Oxford, and Institute for Research into Visual Culture at the University of Nottingham are both renowned programs, whilst there is the Center for Visual Fields at the University of Sussex and Art History and Visual Studies at the University of Manchester. With regard to the undergraduate education, Chicago University, Cornell University, University of Pennsylvania, Duke University, the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Houston University have all established visual culture majors or related programs.

Now it is essential for Taiwan to cultivate young talents who have expertise in cross-fields studies in visual cultures, so this age with richly diversified visual cultures can further evolve. We shall emulate the way graduate institutions have been widely set up around US and UK since the 1990s. One of the goals of the Institute is to connect with the sweeping trend developing in the western world. In addition, the spectrum of visual cultures are wide, and seeking cross-fields, cross-departments approach has become an urgency. The Institute makes endeavors to bridge Taiwan with the international academic development that saw the founding of the master’s and doctoral programs of visual cultures in US and UK in the past 20 years, and hopes that by taking an active role in multi-disciplinary integration—disciplines including visual culture and humanities, social science and bio-medical/ technological research, we can create a wider and more diverse arena for advanced studies.