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College of Arts, Humanities & Social SciencesEmergent Digital Practices


Emergent Digital Practices Program Mission

The Emergent Digital Practices (EDP) program has itself emerged from the merging of the Digital Media Studies and Electronic Media Arts & Design programs.  The new title announces two main goals.  First, it emphasizes the scope of our engagement with the digital landscape through the most contemporary forms of technology-based artistic, media and cultural practices.  Second, it represents our commitment to those practices that enable new strategies for dialogue and collaboration across a wide range of techno-cultural forms and disciplines.  We feel that an emphasis on theoretical praxis as well as the "emergent" acknowledges our desire to avoid disciplinary codification and to remain open to the interdisciplinary fluidity that prompted us in the first place.

Among our student cohort, faculty and alumni, we have identified a strong desire to push beyond the tools and skill sets that first shaped the DMS and eMAD programs and which are now largely ubiquitous across our campus and most others.  The EDP program will ensure our capacity to discover and develop the new approaches, concepts, and pedagogies necessary to provide historically grounded, contemporarily engaged students who are not just responding to technologies at points of cultural saturation and ubiquity; rather, the program will encourage the growth of new leaders in the development and application of the emerging, the previously untried, and the otherwise unimagined forms that will shape our future.

Further, the EDP program participates in a global movement toward advanced information and idea-based economies in which previous lines between artists, designers, scholars, and inventors have dissolved, presenting a class of more broadly defined creative types and critical thinkers who make and use technologies in ways that have little to do with polarizing notions of art, industry, and singular disciplines.  The EDP program will prepare students who seek to work in the vibrant spaces between and beyond the familiar and the already defined.

EDP takes a two-fold approach to its pair of degree paths (BA/BFA and MA/MFA), with one path serving students interested in careers in art (as makers, critics, historians, and curators) and the other addressing EDP as a broader cultural phenomenon that intersects with a wide variety of additional majors, minors, or joint degree interests.  We anticipate that trends toward combined areas of student emphasis will not only continue but in fact become more necessary.  And so our program plan draws on faculty expertise in precisely such domains of edge-bridging research and practice while asking our students to interweave their experience in EDP with other majors and minors.

Calling our program Emergent Digital Practices not only takes best advantage of the research being carried out by our faculty, it clearly sets us apart from other institutions in Denver and beyond that now offer programs fusing media, technology, and the arts.  We also feel that this new program is unique for the way it leverages core ideas within the University of Denver's Vision, Values, Mission, and Goals.

EDP offers students unique access to understand and experience how technology exceeds and empowers across academic disciplines, professional fields, share communities, and our personal lives.  Our program, then, both responds to and anticipates student demand and needs by offering a compelling new take on interdisciplinary student development at DU at both undergraduate and graduate levels.