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College of Arts, Humanities & Social SciencesEmergent Digital Practices

areas of study

Promoting intellectual engagement, creativity, and technical skills, the Emergent Digital Practices program contributes to the University of Denver's mission to engage and empower students through the synergies of theory and practice. It supports a unique combination of critical thinking and imagination. And the program balances scholarly investigation with community engagement.

The overarching goal of the Emergent Digital Practices program is for the student to experience, understand and contribute to the emergent forms and practices taking shape at the intersection of the arts, media, technology, and the humanities. We aim for our majors to be able to demonstrate their abilities to thrive in independent and collaborative contexts.

We emphasize three kinds of development and participation through the program: the experiential, the emergent and the engaged.

"Experience" refers to students as you:

  • Demonstrate your ability to imagine, plan, create, and critically examine digital as well as physical spaces for connection and conversation between people, technology and ideas.
  • Demonstrate your understanding of the interaction of the digital arts, humanities, and sciences.

"Emergence" refers to students as you:

  • Synthesize your own research agendas, experiments and finished works that explore the visual, sonic, interactive, tangible, and participatory forms of 21st century art and techno-culture.
  • Demonstrate your ability to develop, incorporate, and foster sustainable practices.

"Engagement" refers to students as you:

  • Demonstrate your ability to develop and implement strategies as well as tools for personal reflection and expression, critical exchange, and public discourse.

Undergraduate Degrees:

Emergent Digital Practices provides undergraduate students with a broad understanding of the history, theory and emerging status of multiple cultural practices, both mainstream and alternative, developing alongside digital technologies. The EDP major emphasizes the new forms of interaction, collaboration, engagement, and performance developing as technology converges with bodies of knowledge and practices from across the arts, humanities, and sciences. Shaped by an investment in participatory forms of creativity and critical engagement, EDP asks students to work together to develop strategies and processes for addressing complex interdisciplinary topics and problems beyond the realm of industry standards and proven application. Together, EDP faculty and students will strive to pioneer new forms of art, experiences, media, and ways of knowing in the 21st century.

To help students acquire a broad spectrum of media literacies and practical artistic skills, the EDP major combines cutting-edge classrooms with new learning spaces that are equal parts laboratory, studio, think-tank, and stage. Integrating powerful desktop computer stations and highly mobile technologies within a variety of interactive smart-spaces, the EDP program supports new kinds of student-to-peer and student-to-faculty interactions and collaborations.

The two forms of EDP major (B.A./B.F.A.) and the EDP minor build on our belief that students in the liberal arts, humanities and social sciences should share with students in the fine arts a common, comprehensive understanding of the history and contemporary state of the digital arts, media, and technology. From this common foundation, important goals distinguish the B.A. and B.F.A. threads.

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Graduate Degrees:

The M.A. in Emergent Digital Practices combines the pursuit of advanced, investigatory technical media skill-sets with focused researched agendas contextualized within a broad liberal arts and digital humanities framework. The M.F.A. in Emergent Digital Practices emphasizes methods and production of creative scholarly research and works shaped by broader art historical and cultural contexts. Students in both of the graduate degree threads of the EDP program will share key critical, theoretical, and historical resources, will be expected to excel in areas of creative expression and hands-on media production, and will be asked to acquire specialized investigatory skills. Students will learn to work together by utilizing advanced technical platforms and facilities combined with opportunities for heightened critical reflection and dialog.

EDP Graduate students should strive to develop critical awareness, to articulate deep media literacies, to sustain new creative practices, and to foster outlooks engaged with the world around us. While invested in participatory forms of creation, performance, and interactivity, EDP graduate students are expected to engage in technical experimentation outside the realm of industry standards and creative as well as critical undertakings that surpass the limits of single disciplines. Students are also expected to be able to articulate the critical underpinnings of the things they devise and create through writing and speaking.

Advanced study in EDP will add scholarly and professional depth to the multiple artistic and cultural practices—both mainstream and alternative—that have developed alongside the powerful, networked, and mobile computing technologies of the 21st century. Advanced research in EDP will provide students with an awareness of broad contexts as well as definitive, professional-level focus and in-depth knowledge of the strategies and collaborative processes for complex, interdisciplinary cultural engagement.

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EDP Graduate Handbook