The Department of Aesthetics and Science of Arts is primarily concerned with research into the fields of aesthetics, art theory, art history, musicology, and art management.
Aesthetics and art theory is a discipline that theoretically explores issues regarding the production and interpretation of artwork across the arts. Recent courses have dealt with fundamental issues in aesthetics and art theory, considering the systematic and historical development of synopses and hypotheses. Other lectures include diverse issues seen in a variety of artistic media that include modern and contemporary dance, photography, and film.
Art history includes empirical and historical research into Western as well as Japanese and other Asian painting, sculpture, craft, and architecture from different eras of history. Western art history holds lectures that tackle theories on art—from ancient to contemporary—in England, France, Germany, and Italy. It also includes wide-ranging lectures on art theory from many different countries, regions, and eras. Japanese and Asian art history is centered around Japanese painting from ancient times to the present day. Lectures also explore theories on sculpture, craft, and modern art as well as the art histories of places like China, India, and Tibet.
The discipline of musicology is concerned with historical and theoretical research regarding composers, their compositions, and other musical phenomena. While most lectures focus on a survey of Western music from medieval to present times, other lectures are also offered on modern and traditional Japanese music.
Moreover, in arts management and art production lectures, students learn about issues concerning the management of arts organizations as well as cultural policy, cultural economics, and nonprofit studies.
In order to study the theories and fundamental methodologies that form the basis of specialized research, the curriculum includes introductory lectures on the fundamentals of art research and a practicum on aesthetics and art history. Additionally, students build essential academic linguistic and research skills in small-group seminars where students read historical classics in their original language.
An undergraduate thesis is required for graduation. Third- and fourth-year students choose a seminar where they receive thesis advisement from tenured faculty. Many of the themes students choose center around artists and their artworks or theoretical research.