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Hello, prospective students!

My name is Pim Supavarasuwat and I am currently a second-year MA student here at the Bard Graduate Center and the current Admissions Ambassador. I can be your point of contact if you would like to hear a student’s perspective on any part of the BGC experience. Please, don’t hesitate to email me with any queries!

One of the questions I am often asked is about our core curriculum: “what exactly is Objects in Context?”

Objects in Context is a year-long lecture series that all first-year BGC students take. Each week, a speaker delivers a lecture on the material culture of a particular geographical area in a specific time period. Often, a lecture would cover many square miles and span multiple centuries. To focus the students, speakers pick eight objects that exemplify the places and periods and also make for great sites of analysis and discussion. Because the eight “study objects” from each class structure the assignments and exams for this course, you will come to know them very well!

Having come from a background in English Literature, these lectures were especially helpful to me in giving me the tools I need to learn to ‘read’ objects, extracting from them meaningful analysis like I would do with texts. One of my favorite objects from the lectures is an illuminated prayer book from Professor Ittai Weinryb’s lecture on the Early Christian, Byzantine, and Early Medieval period. The Hours of Jeanne d’Evreux, Queen of France, illuminated by Jean Pucelle is a small manuscript containing wonderful illustrations. In ‘reading’ this book as a material object and not as a text, I learned to appreciate how the grisaille illustrations make the figures look like their sculptural counterparts that stand outside cathedrals; how so many cows went into producing the pages of this book; and, how its small size meant that the devoted owner Jeanne d’Evreux can always have the book close to her body. None of which information I could have gleaned from reading the text alone.

This object resides in a local institution, like many objects featured in this course, which means that you can very often visit the objects you learned about in class. This book of hours lives at the Met Cloisters, though I have yet to go up there to see it in person and say hello.

I hope that my account has been informative and helpful in giving you a glimpse into the experience of the core curriculum. Please, reach out to me if you have more questions!: I am looking forward to meeting some of you at our virtual open house on October 14!


Pim Supavarasuwat ’22
Admissions Ambassador