Digital/Cross-Disciplinary Track

For those who apply to work as Digital and Cross-Disciplinary MFA candidates, the department’s faculty anticipates that these practitioners will have work that incorporates materials from a discipline other than writing, such as music, visual, or performance art.

I thought Literary Arts at Brown was the best place to study Electronic Writing and Digital Language Arts. What if this is what I want to concentrate on?

Candidates whose chief engagement with literary or language art is digitally mediated or distinctly computational will continue to be well-supported and enabled to specialize thanks to the strong tradition and expertise in the department with this specific mode of practice.

All members of the cohort, including MFA candidates in fiction and poetry, will be encouraged to sample modes of practice beyond their primary genre or discipline. So much literary and language arts practice today incorporates other media and is inherently cross-disciplinary. All writing practices are reliant on the support of new technologies and certain increasingly prominent practices of language art are profoundly influenced and changed by networked and programmable media.

What do Digital and Cross-Disciplinary graduate students actually do? What have they done?

To date, cross-disciplinary students have worked at interfaces between literary arts and textile art, performance, multimedia, and installation. Digital writers have worked with everything from mixed hypermedia, through aesthetic computation, creative hacking, computer graphics, animation, sound art, digital video, and even artificial 3D audiovisual environments (VR and XR) for which Brown has special facilities.

What about the literary, creative writing aspects of graduate study and practice?

The department’s focus remains, consistently, on literary and language art, on writing, and on taking seriously the writer and language artist’s commitment to language as their primary medium.