The PhD in Intermedia Art, Writing and Performance
The Intermedia Art, Writing and Performance (IAWP) unit is an interdisciplinary digital arts and humanities research unit with a practice-based PhD. Core faculty collaboratively investigate past and present forms of digital art, writing, and performance and offer graduate students a hands-on, experiential-based learning environment in which to explore emerging forms of creativity triggered by practice-based research methodologies.
The research conducted in the program reflects the rapidly transforming knowledge systems and digital media economies emerging from the substantial technological shifts currently taking place in our society. Digital creative work and critical media literacy play a defining role in our information society and are transforming all aspects of contemporary life, including the way many professional visual artists, multimedia performers, writers, publishers, digital humanists and archivists pursue their practice.
Traditional scholarly and creative work outputs such as the single-authored print book or conventional gallery exhibitions have already been challenged by the emergence of multi-authored and/or hybridized forms of transmission such as Internet art sites, electronic literature, live audio/visual performance, multi-platform storytelling or transmedia narratives, software art, interactive installations for public spaces, augmented reality, game art, networked media activism, and innovative art applications for mobile devices and tablets.
IAWP’s internationally-renowned and affiliated faculty network collaborate with graduate students probing the significance of a digitally-expanded, process-based research environment located in a cluster of interdisciplinary research labs. The program provides a flexible pedagogical structure that will lead to the creation of new and hybridized forms of art, writing, performance, scholarship, theory, design, curation, exhibition, and publication appropriate for our current cultural moment.
The program concentrates its curriculum on digital forms of creativity so as to cultivate cutting-edge investigations into the practice, theory, history, and philosophy of media and its relationships to creativity, communication, technology, and information.
Doctoral students in the IAWP PhD program take 30 credit hours of required coursework in the first two years of the program followed by 30 dissertation credit hours for a total of 60 hours. At the end of their second year, students will take their General Examination. Once they have passed the General Examination, their research will focus on the creation of an original and substantial project centered on practice-based research. The final outcome of their research will result in a creative work accompanied by a significant dissertation.
The required coursework will include an interdisciplinary set of IAWP classes that introduce students to collaborative, practice-based research processes in the digital arts and humanities. The course work includes an Introduction to Practice-Based Research, Intermedia Studio Collaboratory, Doing Digital Humanities, Transmedia Writing and Publishing, Advanced Topics in New Media Art and Theory, Performance Making, and the Intermedia Seminar. Students are also encouraged to take approved courses located across departments inside and outside the College of Media, Information and Communication.
Students are expected to complete the program and their practice-based research project in 4-5 years.
Applicants to the PhD program in Intermedia Art, Writing and Performance are expected to hold a Master's degree (MFA or MA preferred) or its equivalent from an accredited college or university and provide transcripts from every institution attended. In exceptional cases, applicants without a master’s degree may be considered for admission.
We encourage applications from interdisciplinary digital artists and/or humanists who have already started developing experimental modes of practice-based research in contemporary forms of artistic expression. Completed domestic applications must be received by the program no later than Jan. 15 prior to the fall semester for which entrance is sought. International applications should be submitted by Dec. 1. Late applications may be considered under special circumstances.
Successful applications typically meet or exceed the following criteria:
- Provide transcripts from all institutions the applicant has attended as an undergraduate and graduate.
- Have an undergraduate cumulative GPA of at least 3.2 and a cumulative GPA of at least 3.5 in previous graduate work.
- Provide three letters of recommendation.
- Provide a 1000 word artist statement and proposal for a practice-based research project.
- Provide a resume or CV that includes academic and employment experience.
- Provide a portfolio of intermedia art work such as digital/Internet art sites, electronic literature, video and/or film work, digital humanities projects, mobile and web applications, audio files, etc. Format preference is web-based and could include links to Vimeo, Soundcloud, online publication and/or exhibition sites, personal sites, etc. DVDs with QuickTime files, images, texts, etc. are also accepted.
Meeting these criteria does not guarantee acceptance into the program. Because we accept relatively few new doctoral students each fall, we may have more qualified applicants than available openings.
Financial Support: Research or teaching assistantships, including a tuition waiver and stipend, as well as fellowships, are available. PhD students may receive assistantships for a maximum of four years.