Critical Visions

The undergraduate critical visions certificate is a joint endeavor between faculty from the College of Arts and Sciences (A&S) and the College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning (DAAP). The cross-college curriculum will teach students how to effectively combine critical theory and social analysis with art, media and design practice and has two primary goals: (1) Increase students' understanding of what is at stake in how we see, including the social and political ramifications of advertising, art, media, popular culture and science, among other dominant and subversive visual forms and visualizing practices. (2) Develop new artistic, media or design forms and practices that will intervene in dominant ways of seeing and explaining the world.

Through core classes and approved electives, students will critically examine the relationships among power, image and imagination; situate and theorize vision alongside other modes of perception; and historically and cross-culturally explore a range of forms of seeing. Through studio and production courses they will learn to reflexively produce and rethink the ontology and epistemology of vision. More than just promoting a sophisticated, academic visual literacy, the certificate will enable students to actively engage, critique and reinterpret the visual objects and forms they encounter in their everyday lives.

In addition to core courses in anthropology and fine art, students will enroll in at least one studio course at or above the 2000-level from DAAP and between nine and twelve units of electives from across the two colleges. After fulfilling these requirements students will enroll in critical visions, where they will develop and execute independent projects organized around a critique of a dominant way of seeing. The goal of these projects, which will be sponsored by two core faculty members from opposite colleges, is to wed together the three core components of the certificate: critical theory, social analysis and art, media, or design practice. Ultimately, we envision having a student-edited art/media/design and theory journal, annual exhibition or virtual venue to display and circulate student projects, stimulating discussion and broad university engagement with their work.

Student Learning Outcomes

  1. Identify and describe the social and political ramifications of both dominant and subversive visual forms and visualizing practices such as advertising, art, media, popular culture and science, highlighting the relationship among image, imagination and power.
  2. Using methods and theories from critical theory and social analysis, situate and theorize vision alongside other modes of perception, recognizing its historical, social and cultural contingency.
  3. Using art, media, or design practice, gain a deeper understanding of how visual forms are produced while also becoming more reflexive and thoughtful in producing them.
  4. Develop new artistic, media, or design forms that effectively combine critical theory, social analysis and creative practice to intervene in dominant ways of seeing and explaining the world.


Admission Requirements

Students already pursuing a degree in any college at UC can add the certificate to their program. Be sure to submit a declaration of the certificate program using our online form.

In addition, you must meet with the program director so that they are aware that you are pursuing the certificate and can advise you appropriately. Do this early enough to avoid delay in obtaining your certificate.

Students not currently pursuing a degree may declare the certificate after establishing non-matriculated status.

Application Information

Program Code


Program Details

Program Requirements


1 year

Graduation Requirements

Make sure that you have declared the certificate program online. Next, make sure that the certificate program director is aware of when you are finishing the program. If you are pursuing another bachelor's degree, then your certificate will be reviewed at the time that you submit your separate degree application.


The University of Cincinnati is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

Additional career options are listed on the Center for Exploratory Studies website.


Core Curriculum

This curriculum information is intended as a general information guide for students considering enrollment in this program. These online tools are designed to assist you, but are not a substitute for planning with an academic or faculty advisor.

If you are currently confirmed or enrolled, you can check your degree requirements online. If you are considering transferring to this major from another school, use to see how credits you have earned will transfer to UC. See course descriptions by college.

Curriculum Guide Versions:Critical Visions Curriculum Guide
Predominant Program

Required Core Courses

►ANTH3074, Forms of Seeing, SE, 3
►ANTH5075, Critical Visions, , 4
►FAA1080, Introduction to Contemporary Art and Visual Culture, , 3


►EMED2001, Digital Video, , 3
►EMED2010, New Media 1, , 3
►EMED3002, Post Production, , 3
►FAA2031, Introduction to Animation Art, , 4
►FAA2032, Introduction to Game Art, FA, 4
►FAA2033, Introduction to Interactive Art, FA, 4
►FAA2034, Introduction to Internet Art, FA, 4
►FAA2035, Introduction to New Media, , 4
►FAA2036, Introduction to Programming for Artists, FA, 4
►FAA2038, Introduction to Video for Artists, FA, 4
►FAA2054, Introduction to Relief Printmaking, FA, 4
►FAA2061, Introduction to Sculpture, , 4
►FAA2071, Introduction to Photography 1, , 4

►AFST2064, African Literature II: Drama, HU, 3
►AIST2083, Introduction to East Asian Films, DC, HU, 3
►ANTH3027, Identities and Material Culture, DC, HP, 3
►ANTH6028, Spatial Archaeology, , 3 - 4
►ARTH2070, Survey of Chinese Art, , 3
►ARTH2071, Survey of Japanese Art, , 3
►ARTH3030, West and Central African Art, , 3
►ARTH3055, Baroque Art, , 3
►ARTH3071, 19th-Century Art to 1850, , 3
►ARTH3072, 19th-Century Art, 1850-1900, , 3
►ARTH3097, Public Art and Public Funding in the U.S., , 3
►ARTH6050, History of Japanese Prints, 1670-1970 , , 3
►ARTH6061, African American Art, 1619-1945, , 3
►ARTH6062, African American Art, 1945-Present, , 3
►ARTH6064, History of Photography to 1945, , 3
►ARTH6065, Photography and Visual Culture Since 1945, , 3
►ARTH6067, Video Art History, , 3
►ARTH6081, Spatial Politics, , 3
►CLAS2011, Classics and Cinema, FA, HU, 3
►CLAS2021, Art and Archaeology of Ancient Egypt, FA, HP, 3
►CLAS2022, Art and Archaeology of Ancient Greece, FA, HP, 3
►CLAS2023, Art and Archaeology of Ancient Rome , FA, HP, 3
►CLAS3011, Palaces of the Bronze Age Aegean , DC, HP, 3
►CLAS3012, The Acropolis of Athens: An Ancient City's Sacred Heart , FA, HP, 3
►CLAS3013, Roman Cities , DC, HP, 3
►ENGB3069, Modern British Drama, , 3
►FAA2080, Visual Art Concepts 1, , 3
►FAA3080, Visual Art Concepts 2, , 3
►FASH2080, History of Fashion 1, , 3
►FASH2081, History of Fashion 2, , 3
►FREN3031, French Culture Through Film, , 3
►GRCD3080, History of Visual Communciation, , 3
►GRMN1051, Introduction to Film Studies, FA, HU, 3
►HIST3046, Museums and Collecting, , 3
►HIST3047, Art, Race and Nation: Citizenship and Identity in the United States , , 3
►HIST3085, Film and the History of World War II, , 3
►HIST4022, Style and Power in 19th Century America, , 3
►HIST4068, Film in the Middle East and North Africa, , 3
►INTD3021, Interior Design History Theory Criticism 1, , 3
►ITAL3031, Italian Film, , 3
►JUDC1090, Monuments to War and Tragedy: Engraving the Mind and Remembrance, SE, HU, 3
►JUDC2071, Jews in American Film, DC, HU, 3
►JUDC2072, Israeli Cinema, DC, HU, 3
►JUDC2073, Film and Holocaust, DC, HP, 3
►JUDC3090, Art and Judaism, , 3
►JUDC6012, Special Topics in Judaic Studies: Literature, Art, and Film, , 1 - 6
►SPAN1085, US Latino Culture through Film, DC, HU, 3
►SPAN3031, Spanish Film, , 3
►SPAN3032, Latin American Film, , 3

►ANTH2072, Anthropology of Media, DC, SS, 3
►ANTH4078, Beauty, Race, and Gender in the Marketplace, , 3
►ARTE6050, Community-Based Environmental Art, , 4
►COMM2025, Introduction to Media Literacy, , 3
►COMM2026, Introduction to Mass Communication, , 3
►COMM2028, Communication and Popular Culture, HU, SS, 3
►COMM4044, Visual Culture and Rhetoric, , 3
►COMM4047, Theories of Mediated Communication, , 3
►COMM4048, Media & Identity, , 3
►COMM4068, Communication of Technology and Science, , 3
►ENGC2040, Topics in Drama , HU, 3
►ENGC3025, Introduction to Critical Theory, , 3
►ENGC3026, Introduction to Cultural Studies, , 3
►ENGC3028, Topics in Critical Theory, , 3
►ENGC3091, Introduction to Film Studies, , 3
►ENGC3092, Genres of Film, , 3
►ENGC3094, Issues in Film Studies, , 3
►ENGC3095, The Horror Film, , 3
►ENGL2034, Contemporary World Literature: Drama, HU, 3
►ENGL2067, Topics in Film, FA, HU, 3
►ENGL3035, The Films of John Huston, , 3
►ENGL3036, Classic Film Comedy, , 3
►ENGL3037, American Literature and Film, , 3
►ENGL3038, Film Noir and Neo Noir, , 3
►ENGL3039, Western Films, , 3
►ENGL3052, Advanced Topics in Film Studies, FA, HU, 3
►ENGL3077, Visual Rhetoric, , 3
►ENGL3078, The Films of Alfred Hitchcock, , 3
►FAA1085, Current Arts Forum, , 3
►JOUR2030C, Principles of Photojournalism, , 3
►JOUR3070C, Photojournalism, , 3
►PHIL2050, Philosophy and The Arts , FA, HU, 3
►PHIL2051, Aesthetics for Fine Arts Majors , FA, HU, 3
►PHIL3050, Aesthetics, FA, HU, 3
►PLAN1011, Principles of Planning Design Graphics I, , 3
►PLAN1051, Introduction to Urban Planning, DC, 3
►PLAN1061, Understanding the Urban Environment, DC, SE, 3
►PLAN6079, Social Justice and the City, , 3 - 4
►SOC3015, The Media and Society, SE, 3
►SOC3032, Body and Society, SE, 3
►WGS2061, Gender in Popular Culture, DC, HU, 3
►WGS3072, Gender and Artistic Expression, DC, FA, 3

Special Features

Special Opportunities

Students in UC's College of Arts and Sciences enjoy many benefits afforded through study at a research-intensive institution ranked among the nation's top 25 public research universities. UC's urban, Tristate location offers exciting opportunities for global education, research and service learning, while its student-centered focus includes an 11:1 student-faculty ratio, a nationally recognized Center for Exploratory Studies and a highly successful First Year Experience program that teaches critical skills for first-year students and provides connections with important campus resources.


Professor Stephanie Sadre-Orafai

Phone: 513-556-3569 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 513-556-3569 FREE end_of_the_skype_highlighting

448 Braunstein Hall
PO Box 210380
Cincinnati,OH 45221-0380