New Genres is an area of study within the Department of Art & Art History focusing on software and hardware within the fine arts context.  We offer BA, BFA, and MFA concentrations for students interested in explorating the connections between technology and art.

Students have access to cutting-edge equipment, dedicated workspaces, as well as high-end digital printing and equipment checkout via the Department's Digital Lab.  Many students form a hybrid area of study that mixes New Genres, Graphic Design, and other fields as well as through internships at local and regional design agencies and galleries.


Please note: all New Genres courses require students provide a laptop with the required software.  For more information, please visit the Department's Laptop Requirement page.

Designed for students interested in interdisciplinary, technically-advanced study, New Genres offers courses that cover video, audio, programming, 3d modeling, and electronics/physical computing within a structure of artistic inquiry and exploration.  Students interested in applying these skills and methods to the fine arts as well as design fields will benefit from in-depth study.  New Genres is also the ideal fit for students working outside of or across traditional media; students interested in performance, social practice, and curatorial work will fit right in with the conceptually-rigorous and contemporary approach.

The New Genres sequence of 200, 300, and 400-level courses introduce students to the requisite technical knowledge within a structure of personal artistic investigation.  By the 300-level, students are expected to be developing self-directed projects and learning technologies outside of the basic curriculum.

In addition, Special Topics courses will be offered that supplement the regular course offerings.  In the past, these have included Creative Programming, Data Visualization and Infographics, Curatorial Practice as Art Practice, and Digital Drawing.  These courses are intended to be topical and reflect current technologies and practices.

All New Genres courses require Visual Literacy as a prerequisite, but for students outside the Department with particular interest, that requirement can be waived.


The MFA program in New Genres at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln's Department of Art & Art History is now taking applications for its first students for the fall of 2012.  As fine arts, studio-focused program, students interested in artistic research that explores the intersection of art and technology are encouraged to apply.

The MFA program in New Genres accepts graduate approximately 1-2 students per year.  For more information on applying, please visit the Department of Art & Art History MFA Application page.  For specific questions, please feel free to contact Prof. Jeff Thompson.

Particular research interests include (but certainly are not limited to):

  • Video and sound art
  • Data visualization
  • Programming and algorithmic processes
  • Interactive and media installation
  • Physical computing and interface
  • Art games
  • Performance

As part of an open and interdisciplinary MFA program, students wishing to pursue graduate work in New Genres will work alongside other graduate students and faculty working in a diverse range of media.  Thesis committees are made up of 4-6 faculty members from a variety of areas, including Art History.  Many graduate students work across disciplines, and New Genres students are encouraged to work in ways that cross into more traditional media, as well as media that are not ordinarily considered part of artistic practice (biology, computer science, writing, curatorial work, etc).

Graduate students will compete for funding, but it expected that many incoming New Genres graduate students will receive a Graduate Teaching Assistanceship (GTA) and will teach as instructor of record during their time at UNL.

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln is a Big 10, Research I university, located in downtown Lincoln, Nebraska.  Other resources available include studio space, access to the Holland Computing Center (the supercomputing facility for the University of Nebraska system) for students interested in massive computational projects, and a day's drive to cities such as Omaha, Kansas City, Denver, Minneapolis, and Chicago.

For more information on the MFA program in New Genres or to discuss your research interests, please feel free to contact Prof. Jeff Thompson (jthompson9@unl.edu ).


Jeff Thompson Assistant
Professor of Digital Arts + New Genres
Artist-in-Residence, Holland Computing Center

MFA: Rugers University
BFA: Minneapolis College of Art & Design

Office: Richards Hall 202
Office Hours: Monday/Wednesday 10-11am and by appointment
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Scott Cook