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Ohio University > Fine Arts > Interdisciplinary Arts > Primary and Secondary Areas

Primary and Secondary Areas



African Arts and Literatures

For this area, students may focus on traditional African arts, contemporary African arts, African literatures, African film, postcolonialism, diaspora studies, and global and transnational theories. The courses needed to complete a student’s primary or secondary area may be taken with a range of other Africanist professors across the College of Fine Arts and the College of Arts and Sciences, in the Schools of Art + Design and Music, and the Divisions of Dance, Film, and Theater, and the Departments of Anthropology, Classics and World Religions, English, Geography, History, Linguistics, Modern Languages, and Political Science, and the African Studies Program.


Art and Architectural History

This area concerns the history of the visual arts and architecture and is based largely in the West from Antiquity to the Contemporary. Courses in the department focus on cultural history, are object-oriented, and address interdisciplinary arts concepts like word and image, art and performance, iconology, and art and power. Students are encouraged to pursue their interdisciplinary interests, and can engage with additional traditions, periods, and methodological approaches in the Art History program in the School Art + Design and across the university. 



This area concerns the intellectual history and research methods of ethnomusicology and musicology. PhD candidates in this area take courses that focus on how ethnomusicologists and musicologists have written about musical forms in various cultural, transnational, and historical contexts. PhD candidates in this area are also challenged to make use of their secondary area so that it complements their area of expertise and informs their dissertation research. 


Film Studies

This area provides students with knowledge of the key features of the Film Studies discipline. In particular, this entails an address of theory, history, and criticism. Furthermore, students are encouraged to pursue the Film Studies area with an interdisciplinary regard for how the art of cinema demands a consideration of all other disciplines that take an epistemological tact in their respective focus on visual art and culture.


Performance Studies

This area emphasizes a critical investigation of performance as subject and mode of analysis. Focusing especially on social and cultural dimensions, the study of performance encompasses dance, theater, performance art, sound, music, and everyday life. Students create a course of study that draws on relevant courses in the arts, humanities, and social sciences.


Philosophy of Art

This area focuses on the philosophical study of the fine arts and the deep relations among them, as well as with history, world-views, belief-systems, religious practices, and mythological traditions. It is open to all historical periods and regions of the world. Combining philosophy of art with philosophy of culture and history of ideas, this approach leaves behind the framework of Western vs. non-Western arts and philosophies, and encourages students to study them as dynamically connected, historically conditioned, and continually interacting parts of the global circulation of concepts and symbols, as well as ritual and artistic practices.



Students in this area have the opportunity to study a wide range of topics in theater and drama with professors from the School of Interdisciplinary Arts, Theater Division, and Department of English. The focus is primarily in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, but courses are also available in Elizabethan, Restoration, and eighteenth-century theater and drama. In addition, students have the opportunity to learn about theater worldwide, for example, with courses from experts in Southeast Asian puppetry and contemporary German theater and drama. Finally, students can take related seminars in areas of Performance Studies to complete their theater studies.