Doctoral program in “Media History of the Arts”

Doctoral programs enable outstanding thesis projects to be embedded in a specially designed framework, while at the same time ensuring international standards of supervision. Workshops, field trips, and seminars are designed to promote subject-specific and interdisciplinary dialogue and to develop core scholarly competencies and transferable skills.

The structured doctoral program "Media History of the Arts" is the result of a joint initiative funded by the University of Zurich, the Institute of Art History, and the Center for Studies in the Theory and History of Photography, Dr. Carlo Fleischmann-Foundation. The doctoral program was created to give doctoral candidates the opportunity to write excellent theses within a supportive network.
Support is given to outstanding doctoral degree projects in the fields of fine arts, architecture, sculpture, and craftsmanship with reference to the history of artistic media from the Middle Ages to the present day. Current teaching and research priorities at the Institute of Art History include European and North American history of art and architecture, East Asian art history, Medieval archeology, theory and history of photography, and global art historiography.
With its focus on the media history of the arts, the doctoral program creates an overarching scholarly framework that is based on a recently re-discovered international and interdisciplinary research interest in the historic aspects of function and meaning in media productions and in the various manifestations of the visual arts in a cultural, perceptive, and intellectual historical context. The cross-epochal structure of the program enables specific partnering activities between the chairs of the Institute of Art History.

In addition to the focus on content, the program also offers supervision by program managers, national and international networking and mobility via partner institutions, workshops conducted in collaboration with partners, and international summer schools. By providing doctoral candidates with various platforms for academic exchange, the overall goal is to foster candidates both in their individual projects but also within the context of organized and coordinated scholarly teamwork. In order to secure the sustainability of the program, networking activities are held with universities in Switzerland and abroad as well as with research and arts centers, with the particular aim of initiating the exchange of research findings and positioning doctoral candidates in an international research network.

Requirements to be accepted to the doctoral program are the qualifications stipulated by the University (click here for information) and the approval of the research subject by a member of the program direction (first step in the supervision process). Detailed information on the doctoral program can be found in the guidelines.

Introduction to the doctoral program (in German) (PDF, 146 KB)



Services and Activities
The program coordinators assist the doctoral candidates in conducting their research on an active and visible basis at national and international level. Doctoral candidates are also entitled to financial support to attend international congresses and travel for research purposes. The collaboration and mobility concept also includes inviting renowned scholars to Zurich.
In addition, other events are held on a regular basis, including lecture workshops, writing workshops, and methodology workshops. Regular events foster contact with the professors.
Every two years, an international summer school is held. The doctoral candidates play a significant role in organizing the school by establishing the time and content frame, by presenting selections from their own research projects, and by inviting guest speakers.