Arts & Life

‘Bringing in your own flair’: new Interdisciplinary Arts Minor launched

Oct. 26, 2021, 7:45 p.m.

The Stanford Arts Institute (SAI) recently launched a new minor in interdisciplinary arts. The program is intentionally flexible so that students from any academic background can take advantage of this opportunity to explore art.

Honors in the Arts Fellow Jessi Piggott Ph.D. ’19 said that SAI “wants STEM students to also have the opportunity to engage meaningfully in art, so that’s really at the heart of this program.”

Those like Kiara Bacasen ’21 M.S. ’22 appreciate that the new minor opens artistic opportunities up to more of the student community.

“I thought that [the minor] was really cool because it just presents another opportunity for students to be able to integrate arts and art practice into their time at Stanford in ways that are hopefully more affordable and more open to new interpretations,” Bacasen said. “The ability to be interdisciplinary was something that I think seemed really important and would open up a lot of opportunity and space for students who might have not felt there was room for them in traditional classes.” 

The minor is intended to allow students to explore art in a customizable way that fits their interests, Piggott said.

“There’s no one size fits all; there’s no single roadmap,” Piggott said. “It’s really open to whatever the student is interested in, so the kind of students we’re excited about are students who are thinking broadly about their discipline.”

Shridhar Athinarayanan ’23, the first student to declare the minor, is excited that the program encourages students to explore art from different perspectives.

“There’s definitely lots and lots of flexibility, and the choices for all the electives come from all different departments that are not just art practice,” Athinarayanan said.

The minor allows students from all academic backgrounds, including those in STEM, to pursue projects within their fields of interest. Athinarayanan plans to pursue a capstone project revealing “the scientific and mathematical processes that happen in day-to-day life.” 

“In certain classes and art practice, you’ll have to follow certain prompts and think more about art techniques,” Athinarayanan said. By contrast, “Interdisciplinary Arts is more about you bringing in your own flair to the projects that you want to create.”

Students can count a wide variety of courses towards the minor’s interdisciplinary art electives requirement; options range from film to literature, dance to music. The minor also requires the four-unit foundational course ARTSINST 101: “Introduction to the Arts: Think, Make, Create,” which will be offered during winter quarter. In addition, students will need to complete an Experiential Inter-Arts course that may be fulfilled by either an Arts Immersion trip or by a course in the ITALIC sequence (91/92/93) and complete a senior capstone project. 

Ximena Sanchez Martinez '23 is a writer for the Arts & Life section. Contact The Daily’s Arts & Life section at arts ‘at’ stanforddaily.com.

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