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Ohio University > Fine Arts > Interdisciplinary Arts > About Us > Welcome from the Director

Welcome from the Director

The School of Interdisciplinary Arts is flourishing.  We interdisciplinary scholars and scholar/ artists search for those fissures that lie between yet unite disciplines, allowing us to uncover new truths about the arts.  By addressing multiple disciplines, our discoveries are limitless.

We have a vibrant student body that includes regional, national, and international students from countries like Cambodia, Germany, and Malaysia, and with disciplinary backgrounds as diverse as anthropology and linguistics.  The original focus of Comparative Arts (the name of the school at its foundation in the early 1960's) on music, theater, and the visual arts has expanded to include aesthetics, African arts and literatures, film, and performance studies.

Our interdisciplinary seminar, at which all the faculty and first-and second-year students are present, continues to be the crown jewel of our students' training.  In this forum, a variety of methodological approaches percolate, including theoretical, historical, and critical, resulting in knowledge that expands traditional disciplinary approaches to the arts.  Our faculty prides itself on pedagogical training as well.  After a semester of assisting faculty in teaching our Introduction to the Arts courses, our students begin teaching their own versions of these courses.  While pursuing their degrees here, they are actively engaged in presenting their scholarship at conferences, publishing, and creating new works of art.  In 2012 we hosted a successful graduate student conference as part of the College of Fine Arts 75th anniversary celebration, which brought students to Ohio from universities across the country.

Our graduates are at the forefront of interdisciplinary approaches to the arts both nationally and internationally; around 90% are finding employment in academic teaching, arts administration, and arts production.  Recent graduates have become employed at such high-powered institutions as Indiana University and Sackler Art Gallery at the Smithsonian Institute.  Of our seven faculty, six are now tenured, and all have published or are close to publishing at least one scholarly book.  These include the renowned presses at the University of Pennsylvania and Indiana University.  This is an exciting moment in Interdisciplinary Arts. Disciplinary limitations are being broken down; we are the academic avant-garde.

 

Charles S. Buchanan

Director of Interdisciplinary Arts