We Go Back to 1888, And We Create Media Futures
On Wednesday, Oct. 3, 1888, under the stewardship of President Isaac Hopkins, the Georgia School of Technology opened its doors to the first 84 students, and English was one of the original six subjects taught. The aim of the English Department was, in the words of President Hopkins, “to train [the] student in the best methods of expression, to cultivate in him true literary taste and appreciation, and to give him an adequate knowledge of the history of the English language and of literature.”
Since then, our School, under different names, has moved away from the relatively clear task we had at the beginning. As we grew, together with Georgia Tech, we moved to the forefront of linking technological and scientific change with humanistic perspectives, enriching the educational value of a degree from Georgia Tech with courses relating to Biomedicine, Multimodal Communication, Composition, Creative Writing, Critical Race Studies, Cultural Studies, Digital Media, Digital Humanities, Film, Literature, Law, Performance Studies, Science Fiction, Video, and many more.
Our two undergraduate majors, both Bachelor of Science degrees, are deeply interdisciplinary and encourage students to be “critical makers” interested in both evaluating AND producing the media (texts, images, games, video, objects, etc.) with which they engage. Our Literature, Media, and Communication (LMC) major allows students to focus on one of six threads from an exciting interdisciplinary banquet of courses: Communication, Literature, Media, Social Justice Studies, Interaction Design, and Science, Technology, and Culture. Our Computational Media (CM) major, which we offer in collaboration with the College of Computing, allows students to select one thread from LMC and one from Computer Science to forge a similarly interconnected experience. CM students may concentrate on Intelligence and Film, Performance, and Media, People and Game Studies, Media and Interaction Design and Experimental Media, to name only a few. Finally, at the graduate level, we provide nationally renowned M.S. and Ph.D. programs in Digital Media which comprise the areas of Arts & Entertainment, Civic Media, and Creativity & Knowledge.
From a distance, of course, LMC resembles somewhat the description you will see if you search for our School acronym on Wikipedia. There, you will find that LMC stands for a nearby “irregular type galaxy,” the “Large Magellanic Cloud,” a “faint ‘cloud’ in the night sky of the southern hemisphere,” “undergoing vigorous star formation activity.” We are indeed “irregular” in that we consciously and joyfully (re)combine and (re)connect what academic specialism has separated over the last 125+ years so that our work may have an impact inside and outside the ivory tower. Our “vigorous star formation” includes faculty who garner major grants with the National Science Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and who disseminate their research in renowned academic publications as well as discuss it publicly on the Colbert Report and MSNBC’s Melissa Harris Perry show, in The Atlantic, the Chronicle of Higher Education, Inside Higher Ed, and Slate.com. And in addition to national and international recognition, LMC faculty are recent recipients of the Georgia Board of Regents Teaching Excellence Award, the Governor’s Award in the Arts and Humanities, and the Georgia Writers Association’s Author of the Year Award.