Letter to the editor: In response to “Bridging the Divide Between Majors”

by Rob Sabal, Dean, School of the Arts; Tom Kingdon, Assistant Dean, School of the Arts; Brooke Knight, Chair, Visual and Media Arts; Maria Koundoura, Chair, Writing, Literature, and Publishing; Melia Bensussen, Chair, Performing Arts / Beacon Correspondent • February 23, 2017

Dear Editor,

Your editorial “Bridging the Divide Between Majors” (Jan. 26) asserts that “departmental divisions” hinder students’ opportunities to take courses outside of their major. The School of the Arts shares your concerns. Improving students’ ability to move between departments and disciplines is a priority for us, and, while not instantaneous, we have made considerable improvement.

Visual and media arts created a video production gateway course for non-majors, and all VMA 200-level writing courses are open to all Emerson students. Performing arts offers Introduction to Acting for non-majors, co-teaches classes with writing, literature and publishing and VMA and is developing a course with communication sciences and disorders. WLP has long served the entire college with creative writing, publishing and literature courses. Magazine Writing and 200-level non-fiction workshops are open to any student; the 400-level Profile Writing course allows a JR prerequisite.  

Several “partnered-studio” courses draw from Journalism and WLP students, both graduate and undergraduate. Comedic Arts and Business of Creative Enterprises, new majors, are inter-departmental, and BCE is inter-school. The School of the Arts is experimenting with interdepartmental courses in audio book performance, projection design, and media production of performances.

The Beacon reported last year on the proposed interdepartmental minor in Narrative Nonfiction, which draws from all School of the Arts departments and the Department of Journalism. By expanding class prerequisites to include those from other schools and departments, the minor will allow students easier access to magazine writing and documentary video production courses highlighted in your editorial.  

We’re working hard to ensure Emerson students find permeable boundaries between departments and programs.

Rob Sabal, Dean, School of the Arts

Tom Kingdon, Assistant Dean, School of the Arts

Brooke Knight, Chair, Visual and Media Arts

Maria Koundoura, Chair, Writing, Literature, and Publishing

Melia Bensussen, Chair, Performing Arts

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