The Major of Art Studies is made up of four courses: The Musicology Course, the Film Studies Course, the Art History Course, and the Art Media Course. While researching deeply in their own specialization, this course enables students to pursue studies in the other disciplines in order to broaden their perspectives. For example, it goes without saying that film arts such as cinema and video are deeply related to other fine arts and to music. Given this, specialized study of one art will fail to flourish in the absence of a broad and flexible perspective on other related arts. Today’s vigorous art scene presents numerous examples of works that cross established genre boundaries, underlining the necessity for broad perspectives of this type. Meiji Gakuin’s Major of Art Studies is unique in offering students the opportunity to pursue high-level studies in each subject. This inclusive breadth and depth provides an ideal environment for students wishing to engage in specialized study in the field of art. The aim of this major is, through exposure to a diverse range of subjects taught by academics at the forefront of their fields internationally, to foster individuals with wide-ranging perspectives, able to freely understand and consider art from a foundation of abundant knowledge. In terms of their careers following graduation, in addition to research and teaching, our students can consider a variety of career paths in which they are able to make active use of the flexibility that the Major in Art Studies makes theirs. Numerous possibilities open up: Gallery or museum curator, artistic director of theater or event space, producer or supervisor of planning and implementation in another capacity, or perhaps a career in a position supporting artistic productions, or related to broadcasting, publishing or other media.
The Art Media Course, launched in 2010, corresponds to the Department of Art Studies Performing Arts and Media Course (established in 2006). It is the newest and youngest course in the Major of Art Studies. The aim of the course is to provide a space for a unique and unparalleled study of art and media. The course emphasizes in particular a boundary-crossing orientation. While remaining closely in touch with the existing categories of fine art, music and film, the course also actively looks at phenomena which have not necessarily previously been regarded as art. This perspective encompasses a diverse range of phenomena, including physical expression and the performing arts, issues related to advertising and broadcasting, newspapers, publishing, mobile telephones and the Internet, subcultures including cosplay, manga, anime and gaming, media art, cities and architecture, and theme parks and tourism. You could almost say that anything goes. This characteristic of the course is rooted in an orientation which, rather than simply thinking about art and media in parallel, seeks to reach a much broader and deeper understanding of both. The course does not look at phenomena individually, but rather focuses on the communication which is at their core. Communication is not merely the transmission of information; it creates a space that involves various layers. What creates this space is media in the broadest sense, and it is concepts such as body and corporeality that hold the key. Reexamining the possibilities of culture and the human from the perspective of art in a contemporary society which has been entirely mediatized by digital technology: This is precisely the orientation which it is the role of the Major of Art Studies to pursue. It is our hope that the teachers of the course and the graduate students take bring together their abilities in order to do so. If you have a desire to pursue these questions together with us, we are waiting for you. We also welcome motivated individuals from outside the university, in particular individuals with experience of positions in the art world.
In principle, Meiji Gakuin University provides a portion of the cost of conducting investigation and research, then giving presentations overseas (100,000 yen or 200,000 yen per person) to six people each year as a subsidy, with the aim of supporting the research of students at the Graduate School of Arts and Letters (particularly those enrolled in the Doctor’s course). Furthermore, we also provide grants for students enrolled in the Graduate School of Arts and Letters (up to 30,000 yen per person) to travel to conferences within Japan.