June 21, 2008
As part of his recent research, Edgar Huang of the Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis School of Informatics has posted a list of (currently) 170 new media programs in the US that offer a bachelor’s degree or higher. Any program that appeared to declare itself as a new media program was included. For whatever reason, I see that there are some interesting omissions, such as MIT’s Media Lab / Media Arts and Sciences Program and Brown’s Literary Arts program, with its fellowship each year for an electronic writer. (Additionally, in the MIT Program in Writing and Humanistic Studies, we have a digital media option for our undergraduate writing degree, which I suspect makes us a new media program, since a “BFA in Art with a Digital Art Concentration” warrants inclusion on the list.) But aside from the issue of omissions, which are inevitable in any large-scale attempt like this, it’s very interesting to see the range of programs represented, from those focusing on commercial multimedia production to performance-based programs and those growing from the visual arts. Even the term “computer science” makes appearances (two) on the list. Interestingly, given that Noah has spoken about this issue in years past, I can find only two program names on this list that refer to writing or the literary: Virginia Commonwealth University’s Media Art and Text Ph.D. Program, brought to you by VCU’s Department of English, and the Ph.D. in Communication, Rhetoric, & Digital Media from North Carolina State University.