About Us

Computational Media, Arts & Cultures represents a collection of related activities at Duke University. Originating in the Department of Art, Art History & Visual Studies and the Mellon-supported Visual Studies Initiative, CMAC has evolved to include various graduate programs and collaborative research initiatives.  We are organized around an interdisciplinary PhD program and labs co-sponsored by Art, Art History & Visual Studies, the Literature Program, the Franklin Humanities Institute, and Information Science + Studies, among others. Related degree programs include the MA in Digital Art History/Computational Media within the Department of Art, Art History & Visual Studies, the undergraduate and graduate Certificates in  Information Science + Studies, and, starting in Fall 2021, an interdepartmental undergraduate major and minor in Computational Media.

The CMAC PhD program — small, experimental, and interdisciplinary — focuses on the intersection of media arts and humanities, sciences, and technology, both in theory and in practice, a commitment that carries through all our activities. At the core of the program's origin is the computational revolution, and its implications for how we live, think, work, create, and communicate within and across various disciplines. Rather than being the purview of any one discipline, the study and creation of computational media is part of many. Critical engagement with the global, social and cultural impact of computational media is a central feature and value of the program, alongside media affordances and effects within existing and emerging fields. As a community we are founded upon, and encourage collaboration at every level.

CMAC is housed in the historic Smith Warehouse at Duke. Our home base of operations is in Bay 10, where many of the interdisciplinary labs associated with CMAC are are located. These labs form a part of the Media Arts + Sciences Consortium, which also includes international partners focused on various aspects of our activities.

The extended CMAC community includes faculty, staff, and students from all over campus and beyond. We are tied closely to the Franklin Humanities Institute, which hosts the Digital Humanities Initiative @ FHI and PhD Lab in Digital Knowledge, the Rhodes Information Initiative, Bass Connections, and other innovative projects on campus. We offer our students ways to formalize their participation in such activities as part of their coursework, thesis projects, and co-curricular activities.