The Pitzer College Council is expected to vote on whether to confirm the creation of a new full-time photography faculty position this week. The college will also upgrade its facilities to include a darkroom and digital photography studio.
The plan is a response to student demand, art professor Kathryn Miller said. She also said that art classes at Pitzer currently fill up quickly.
The new professor will also serve as an academic adviser for art majors who work with photography, Miller said.
“Pitzer students in general seem to be very engaged and curious about art,” visiting photography professor Melanie Schiff said. “Photography especially has been growing rapidly since I started four years ago.”
The discussion of adding a full-time photography faculty member began a couple of years ago when the college was adding faculty positions to several departments, art history professor Bill Anthes said.
“This is the outcome of a very long process that isn’t over yet,” Anthes said. “Pitzer has offered classes in photography for 25 years and these have always been taught by part-time people.”
Anthes said the new professor will likely have experience teaching as well as an “ongoing artistic practice of their own.”
If the council approves the creation of a new position, a search committee comprised of students and photography professors from the 5Cs will recommend a candidate next year, and the professor will begin teaching in fall 2013.
The professor will teach digital and film photography classes. Part of the Scott Hall basement will be converted into a darkroom.
Anthes said the creation of a darkroom is important because, if a student learns film photography skills early on, “they’re more deliberate and thoughtful in the way that they use digital tools.”
“I think Pitzer should have its own analog photography facilities,” said photography student Elizabeth Bartoli PZ ’12. “Part of what I love
about working in a dark room is I get to use my hands and I get to learn a really basic form of photography.”
As currently envisioned, the new photography professor would teach a mix of digital and film photography classes.
“As part of the new building and a collaboration with Media Studies, there is going to be a new lab just for digital imaging,” Anthes said.