Dean's Message

August 19, 2019
Hollis Robbins

Hollis Robbins, Dean 

Welcome!  I am excited about the 2019-2020 academic year in the School of Arts & Humanities. We are looking forward to new and continuing students majoring in Art, Music, Philosophy, American Multicultural Studies, Theatre Arts & Dance, Modern Languages & Literatures, English, Chicano & Latinx Studies, Communications & Media Studies, and Liberal Studies.

I believe that majoring in an Arts & Humanities field can be the best education for students in a world of fast technological change. In Silicon Valley and all around us in the Bay Area, new products are being developed that seek to mimic human behavior. The tech world is actively seeking to create artificial beings with artificial intelligences. The root of “artificial” is from the Latin artificialis—"of or belonging to art”—from artificium—"a work of art; a skill or theory of art.” Our focus on human expression, on art and culture, provides our students a fundamental understanding of technology as a fully human endeavor. 

Look for three new initiatives in Arts & Humanities this year:

Film Studies. Our minor in Film Studies has moved to the Communications & Media Studies Department where we are hoping to expand it to a major as well, offering courses in Film Production, Animation, and Film Music. We’re excited too about SSU’s new Film@Sonoma student club.

Media Innovation Lab.  We are excited about our new Communication & Media Studies lab devoted to teaching and exploring innovative communication technologies. We expect more podcasting, more campus interaction, and more collaboration between COMS and other A&H departments.

Native American Studies. We will begin a comprehensive program review with an eye to expanding our minor in Native American Studies into a major. New courses may include Native American Languages and Linguistics, Sovereignty Law, and Native American Ecology.

While you are here on our website, please take a moment to explore what we offer in the School of Arts & Humanities. You will find that our faculty are passionate about their teaching, scholarship and artistry. Their passion inspires our students in classrooms and studios every day, and attracts national recognition in fields as diverse as dance, the philosophy of roboticspoetry and ceramics.

Browse our departments, learn about internships,and our many exciting places in Arts and Humanities. Feel free to contact us with any questions or concerns.

Hollis Robbins, Ph.D.