Greetings from the School of Interdisciplinary Arts,
You may recall how welcoming summer is after a busy academic year of reading, teaching, contemplating, and creating. It is a time when both students and faculty can focus on their creative research, or in the case of those students who have completed their second year, on preparing for their comprehensive exams. The letup is brief.
For me it is a time for reflection, as my seven-year tenure as Director will be ending in mid-summer. Much has changed in the School during this span, but most importantly we continue to thrive, exploring and expanding the meanings of interdisciplinarity in the arts. While the traditional scholarly PhD continues to be pursued by some students in the School, others have embraced our new scholar-artist track, which culminates in an integrated scholarly/creative dissertation. We anticipate its first graduates in the coming academic year. In fact, the scholar-artist track is largely responsible for the burgeoning growth in our school.
While historically around four students matriculate each year, our incoming class is a whopping eight students! And in the fall of 2020 we will be expanding our undergraduate imprint beyond the traditional general education courses (which undoubtedly you remember teaching), by administering a new Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Interdisciplinary Arts. These students will combine two or more different art forms: dance, film, music, theater, and the visual arts, and will be embedded with professors in those other Schools within the College of Fine Arts, while being grounded in interdisciplinary scholarship at which our School excels. We anticipate this being an excellent path for future IARTS doctoral students.
Leading our vibrant, interdisciplinary community of scholars and scholar/artists has been an honor and will always be a highlight of my professional career. It is a privilege to work with such an accomplished and collegial faculty, and I am particularly pleased that all of our positions continue to be tenure-track: the backbone of higher education and academic freedom. I look forward to re-joining our faculty in the roll of colleague.
Enjoy the enclosed accounts of the illustrious careers of a few of your fellow alumni, and, as always, keep us informed of your professional activities, so that they too can be shared with our IARTS community.
Director of the School of Interdisciplinary Arts