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Mixed Reviews for Harvard’s Theater, Dance, and Media Concentration

By shsmin
In News
Sep 14th, 2017

Perhaps one of the most difficult decisions that a college freshman must make is selecting and committing to a college major. Many students are just stepping out of their parents’ homes for the first time and being asked to choose a major or a concentration by their university can feel as though they are being asked to answer a daunting question about what the rest of their life will look like. If a student has chosen a large university that is home to many different schools, such as an engineering college or a design department. the choice of which course of study to commit to can be even harder to make.

Fortunately for students who are enrolling at Harvard University that choice has become a little easier. Students who are interested in spending their time in college learning about dance, the craft of acting and the broad discipline of media will be in luck. Two years ago the university launched a concentration in Theater, Dance and Media according to the university’s student newspaper The Crimson. The program calls Farkas Hall home, named for alumni Andrew Farkas. The concentration was created as part of the university’s greater interest in cultivating young artists. During the launch of the concentration in 2015 one alumni stated that they believed that the Theater, Dance and Media concentration would create “the next generation of artists.”

Unlike some other disciplines in the humanities like history, literature or philosophy, the university’s Theater, Dance and Media concentration stands out for being hands on. Students in the concentration are required to complete not only traditional assignments such as exams or writing research papers but there are also performance elements to the course of study that students are expected to complete in order to demonstrate that they have achieved the learning objectives that their instructors have established for them.

According to The Crimson some students in the small concentration have found it challenging to harmonize both of these elements. But fortunately some students have found the challenging nature of the concentration to be rewarding for other reasons: the concentration’s small size. The Theater, Dance and Media concentration contains less than 30 students, a number that is likely much smaller than those of other departments. This, according to one student who is enrolled in the concentration, the small number of students has meant that TDM students receive much more individual attention than they would in other majors.

One student noted that it was difficult for them to determine how to best go about working on their thesis because the department itself was not “exactly sure what a TDM thesis looks like.”

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