The core curriculum concentrates on critical approaches to the production of documentary media and on the role of documentary in framing and effecting social change. M.F.A. candidates may work in film or video; in photography (a book, a photo essay, gallery exhibition and/or time-based media); animation and multimedia; audio productions; and/or transmedia and web-platform projects. Graduates are expected to generate work that will have an impact on the world outside the academy and in the public realm. The M.F.A. thesis project, which constitutes the culmination of the two years of study, is to be given a public exhibition and becomes the springboard for continuing work after graduation.
The Master's of Fine Arts (M.F.A.) in Social Documentation (SocDoc) is an innovative and unique interdisciplinary two-year program in the Film and Digital Media Department (FDM) that trains students to critically analyze, frame and reflect upon contemporary social issues through the art of documentary media. SocDoc M.F.A. students produce documentary video, photography and other media throughout the program culminating in well-researched, socially engaged and aesthetically crafted thesis project. In a rapidly expanding and changing field, the Social Documentation M.F.A. invites students to investigate critical social issues through an interdisciplinary approach that fuses arts based, social science and humanities research methods to the art of documentary media and storytelling. We don't just tell a story; our students go beyond the story to place individuals in context and struggles in history, deepening the public's understanding of the societies in which we live and with which we connect. Documentaries produced in the program have called attention to a range of under-recognized communities, problems, and structural inadequacies.
A social Documentary photography blog
Submit a significant piece of documentary work that demonstrates competence in the field of social documentation. This project could consist of a digital video or photography project, or possibly an audio or web-based piece, focused on the student's area of study and thus constituting a parallel investigation into the subject of the Ph.D. or Master's dissertation. In certain circumstances, a documentary project on a subject other than the dissertation could be approved, but generally that would not be the case. The submitted project must meet the approval of the student's FDM faculty adviser.