About Us


Communication, Culture & Technology Building at the University of Toronto Mississauga campus

The Department of Visual Studies offers degree programs in Art History, Art and Art History, Cinema Studies, Visual Culture, and Visual Culture and Communication. The Department of Visual Studies is also home of the award-winning Blackwood Gallery.

Working with our internationally renowned faculty, students will have the opportunity to earn a Specialist, Major and Minor degrees. Learn more about our programs »

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We wish to acknowledge this land on which the University of Toronto operates. For thousands of years it has been the traditional land of the Huron-Wendat, the Seneca and, most recently, the Mississaugas of the Credit River. Today, this meeting place is still the home to many Indigenous people from across Turtle Island and we are grateful to have the opportunity to work on this land.

DVS is committed to doing its part to effect positive change. We strive to create an anti-racist, inclusive, diverse, and equitable learning environment where everyone belongs. We are a diverse community, with BIPOC, Latinx, and other people in underrepresented groups working together as professors, staff members, sessional instructors, postdoctoral fellows, and teaching assistants. This doesn't mean our work is done—far from it. Only 18 per cent of DVS's regularly offered cinema, art history and visual culture courses focus on regions outside Europe. And even though some of the other DVS courses address non-European contexts and BIPOC and Latinx artists, theorists, and filmmakers, we must do better. We are offering more courses focused on African, Afro-Canadian and Caribbean topics in the coming terms and recruiting BIPOC instructors to teach them. We are also providing support for the faculty to develop creative pedagogies that can work toward decolonizing the classroom and addressing the hierarchical structures of white privilege embedded in the art and film worlds. We are revising our curriculum to better reflect the needs and concerns of students today. We are also expanding our student recruitment efforts in racialized communities across Ontario.

For those of you who are current DVS students or graduates, we are continuing to reach out with anonymous surveys for you to help us gain a more complete view of the inequities and racism students are experiencing inside and outside DVS classrooms. The surveys are already helping us understand what kind of changes — both large and small — you'd like to see in your programs; your answers are helping us do a better job of upholding and promoting our fundamental values of diversity, inclusion, respect, and civility, both now and as we plan for the future.

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