College of Humanities and Social Sciences to offer new BA in Screen Arts

December 22, 2017

Taylor Delpidio, LSU Reveille

The annual fall graduation and commencement ceremonies will have an unorthodox companion. On Oct. 13, the University Board of Supervisors approved the request to offer a Bachelor of Arts in Screen Arts starting in fall 2018. This degree will replace the Film and Media Arts concentration and move it into its own separate degree program, said Dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences Stacia Haynie.

“We are very happy that the new Screen Arts BA is moving forward,” interim Film and Media Arts director Paolo Chirumbolo said. “It is an exciting program that gives our students the opportunity to study visual cultures from a number of perspectives, and prepare for work in the film industry. We are sure that this new program will attract more students to LSU in the coming years.”

The College of HSS will offer the degree as an interdisciplinary degree, employing classes taught by many departments, including Film and Media Arts, Film and Television, Digital Art, Communication Studies, Education, English, French and Foreign Languages, History, Philosophy and Religious Studies, Mass Communication, Management, Marketing, Music, Social Work, and Theatre, according to the request sent to the Board of Regents. Offering the degree as a Bachelor of Arts opens pathways for students to pursue multiple tracks, including study of film theory and criticism, film production, screenwriting and digital, Haynie said.

The degree comes as an evolution and upgrade of the Film and Media Arts concentration as it grows. The concentration has grown from granting eight degrees with an FMA concentration in 2012-13 to 21 in 2016-17. The number of seats/courses offered has also risen from 70 in spring 2013 to 175 in spring 2017.

“As these interdisciplinary programs gain students, it can become an avenue to move into a degree,” Haynie said. “Which is what happened here.”

The interdisciplinary format of the degree means that only one faculty member will be employed under the Screen Arts banner while the curriculum features classes from across the University, Haynie said.

“I think it’s a great idea. It really shows that the University is taking seriously what students wanted in terms of moving into media,” said Glen Pitre, associate professor and lone Screen Arts faculty. “They’re gonna be pioneers. They’re going to be the ones to invent the new ways of being educated and it’s our job to give them that foundation.”

“This degree is going to be a great partnership with these film companies,” Haynie said.

The request to offer the degree goes to the Board of Regents in December, where approval is expected, Haynie said. If approved, the degree will be entered into the course catalog and will begin to be offered next fall. The B.A. is also the first of many. Under the Screen Arts banner, other degrees could be offered.

“We see this as the first of an expanded focus as an area for students,” Haynie said.

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