Welcome to the Department of Theory and History of Art and Design

Welcome to the website of the Department of Theory and History of Art and Design (THAD) at the Rhode Island School of Design. The THAD department offers courses focused on a wide range of media, spanning time periods from ancient to contemporary and embracing diverse critical perspectives. Open to both undergraduate and graduate students, THAD courses are taught by faculty with diverse interests including global design history, psychoanalysis and visual culture, African and African diaspora art, material culture and history of fashion, prehistoric art of China and East-West exchanges, documentary film and screen cultures, colonial photography, memory studies, modern architecture and urbanism, globalization and “Third World” development, modern and contemporary art of the Americas, postcolonial theory, modern and contemporary art of the Islamic world, Medieval narrative and architectural sculpture in France, multiple modernities, global contemporary art, and the global south.


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