Liberal Arts

Freedom of the mind

Through multiple lenses of history and art history, philosophy and literature, creative writing and the sciences, KCAI’s liberal arts program provides you with the kind of intellectual, civic, and aesthetic grounding that is both meaningful and lasting.  “Chance,” said Pasteur, “favors the prepared mind.”

We offer our students a liberal arts education with no expiration date

  • Small classes
  • An accomplished faculty—practitioners themselves in their respective disciplines
  • An opportunity for innovative student work grounded in fundamentals
  • A mutually-supportive thoroughfare between liberal arts and studio practices

Students can double their career possibilities

 

"Every single professor is an expert in their field. They proved to me how necessary a broad education is in a world where a highly- specialized education is more often made a priority. Now I have four years of conversations to return to and build upon in my research and studio practice."

Molly Dillon
Creative Writing/Painting, 2015

Full-time Faculty

Michele Fricke

Professor & Program Head of Art History

Michele Fricke teaches ancient and renaissance art and the history of textiles and ceramics. A practicing artist, Fricke creates fiber work that has been shown in exhibitions across the country and which also is represented in many private collections. She has been published in Ceramics Monthly and Fiberarts and is a regular contributor to the Surface Design Journal. Her current research involves an investigation of historical architecture, interpreted in knitted form. Fricke received KCAI’s “Excellence in Teaching Award” in 1993. She has spoken at numerous venues including the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, the National Association of Colleges of Art and Design, the Red Star Studio in Kansas City, and recently, at Baylor University on “Fiber Art: The New Dynamism.” Before coming to KCAI in 1988, she taught at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, Ill.; St. Mary’s College in Notre Dame, Ind.; and the University of Nevada in Las Vegas. At the last two schools, she also served as the director of exhibitions. Fricke earned a B.S. degree in education, an M.A. degree in art history and an M.F.A. degree in fiber from Northern Illinois University.

Contact: Mfricke@kcai.edu

Phyllis Moore, Ph.D.

Professor & Chair

Dr. Phyllis Moore is the author of A Compendium of Skirts, a collection of short stories (Carroll & Graf, 2002).  She is Chair of the Liberal Arts Department, Program Head of the Creative Writing Program, and co-director of the Paris Study Abroad Program.  She earned her Ph.D. in English from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Her stories have been listed in the Best American Short Stories and the Pushcart Prize anthologies. Her stories and poems have been reprinted in various anthologies and special editions, and she is the recipient of five arts council grants from the states of Illinois and Florida. She is presently at work on a book of minute fiction titled The City Wife.  In 2011, she was honored with KCAI’s Excellence in Teaching Award.

Contact: Pmoore@kcai.edu

Reed Anderson, Ph.D.

Associate Professor

Reed Anderson, Ph.D., holds a doctorate in American art from the University of Kansas and has taught a variety of classes since coming to KCAI in 2004. He specializes in the history of prints and printmaking, which inspired an exhibition and catalog sponsored by the Spencer Museum of Art, University of Kansas. Dr. Anderson earned a Bachelor of Arts degree and a Master of Arts degree in art history from the University of Washington, Seattle. His dissertation for the Ph.D. degree is entitled “An Epic of the American Farm: James Chapin and the Marvin Paintings.”

Contact: Sanderson@kcai.edu

Anne Boyer

Assistant Professor

A widely-published poet and essayist, Anne Boyer has been teaching at the Kansas City Art Institute since 2007. Her latest book, Garments Against Women (Ahsahta, 2015) spent four months as the Small Press Distribution number one best seller in poetry. Recent essays have appeared in Guernica, Fullstop, The New Inquiry, and Mute Magazine. Her teaching areas include experimental writing, aesthetics, gender studies, and digital culture. Critical appraisal of Boyer’s contributions to poetry and poetics is discussed in Piotr K. Gwiasdá’s 2014 book, U.S. Poetry in the Age of Empire, 1979-2012. She was voted “Best Writer” of 2014 in The Pitch’s annual “Best of Kansas City” issue. Boyer earned an M.F.A. with distinction in creative writing in 1997 from Wichita State University and a B.A. degree in English literature in 1996 from Kansas State University. Before coming to KCAI, she taught creative writing and literature at Drake University in Des Moines. Author website: http://www.anneboyer.com

Contact: aboyer@kcai.edu

Cyrus Console-Soican, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Cyrus Console-Şoican is the author of Brief Under Water (Burning Deck, 2008), for which he received a Fund for Poetry award, The Odicy (Omnidawn, 2011), and Romanian Notebook (forthcoming from Faber/FSG). Recent poetry has appeared in Boston Review, Critical Quarterly, Lana Turner: A Journal of Poetry and Opinion, Seattle Review, and No: a journal of the arts, where he served as contributing editor 2002-2009.  He holds a B.S. degree in organismal biology from the University of Kansas, an M.F.A. degree in writing from the Milton Avery Graduate School of Arts at Bard College, and a Ph.D. in literature and creative writing from the University of Kansas, where his poetry won several notable prizes.

Contact: Cconsole@kcai.edu

Rebecca Dubay, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Rebecca Dubay, Ph.D., joined the KCAI faculty in 2011 as an assistant professor of art history, specializing in contemporary art and theory. Her teaching interests include global contemporary art, art theory and criticism, art and gender, and more. Previously, she taught in the M.F.A. in studio art program at Moore College of Art & Design. As a graduate student, she received outstanding teaching awards at Bryn Mawr College and Tufts University. Dubay received a B.A. degree in art history and business management from the University of South Florida, an M.A. degree in art history from Tufts University, and M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in the history of art from Bryn Mawr College.

Contact: Rdubay@kcai.edu

Milton Katz, Ph.D.

Professor & Vice President for Academic Affairs

Dr. Milton Katz teaches American studies; art, literature, and peace and conflict resolution. He is the author of “Ban the Bomb: A History of SANE, the Committee for Sane Nuclear Policy,” 1957-1985 (Greenwood Press, 1986); and more than two dozen articles, book chapters and reviews on peace and social justice issues in contemporary American history. He consults and is a visiting professor at the Institute for Creative Conflict Management at Syracuse University. He worked with the Midwest Center for Holocaust Education in its “Witnesses to the Holocaust” project served as its Vice President of Education. He has presented lectures on art of the Holocaust in educational and religious institutions throughout the U.S and Europe. In 1998, he received the KCAI Special Projects Award; in 2001, the college’s Excellence in Teaching Award; and in 2007, the KCAI Distinguished Achievement Award. A member of the KCAI faculty since 1974, Dr. Katz earned a bachelor’s degree from Rockford College in Illinois and holds master’s and Ph.D. degrees from St. Louis University.

Jan Kennedy, Ph.D.

Associate Professor & Program Head of Asian Studies Certificate Program

Jan Kennedy joined the faculty at KCAI in 2006, previously working as a lecturer at KCAI and adjunct assistant professor at Washburn University in Topeka, Kan. She received a B.A. in the history of art and English literature, an M.A. in the history of art, and a Ph.D., all from the University of Kansas. Her major area for her Ph.D. was 17th Century Dutch and Flemish paintings and prints, and her minor areas were Venetian Cinquecento painting and Japanese painting of the Edo period. More recently, she was a keynote speaker presenting her current area of research on the Christian art of Japan. Kennedy is a member of the College Art Association, the Historians of Netherlandish Art and the Association for Asian Studies.

Contact: Jkennedy@kcai.edu

Rush Rankin

Professor

Rush Rankin, who joined the KCAI faculty in 1975, teaches creative writing, fiction, poetry and aesthetic philosophy. Rankin earned a bachelor’s degree from Duke University; a M.A.C.T. from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill; and an M.F.A. degree from the University of Iowa. He has many published works of fiction, essays and poetry. As a tribute to his teaching, he was selected to the National Faculty of the Union of Independent Colleges of Art in 1980. Rankin’s story “Smart Men,” which was published by TriQuarterly in 1982, was listed as “distinguished” by “Best American Short Stories,” 1983. Rankin’s book, “Bene-Dictions,” selected by Rosanna Warren, won the Vassar Miller Prize.

Contact: Rrankin@kcai.edu

Hal Wert, Ph.D.

Professor

Hal Wert teaches the history of World War II, the Cold War and Modern Japanese Literature. He is the author of a number of scholarly articles as well as books with unique perspectives on Herbert Hoover. In addition, Dr. Wert has written many book reviews published in the Journal of Military History and the Military Review. In 2006, he was a finalist for the William Rockhill Nelson Award for Literary Excellence. He has been awarded many prestigious grants for his work. In 1999, he was awarded the KCAI Excellence in Teaching Award and has been named four times to “Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers.” In December 2000, he was the recipient of the Missouri Governor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching.

Contact: Hwert@kcai.edu

Adjunct Faculty

Erin Dahl

Lecturer

Erin Dahl is an adjunct professor with the Kansas City Art Institute and Metropolitan Community College. Dahl has previous experience teaching with the University of Kansas and Rockhurst University in Kansas City. Dahl’s teaching philosophy is centered on the context for art in terms of motive, significance and impact of social, political, historical and cultural underpinnings.

Contact: Edahl@kcai.edu

Deborah Dickson

Lecturer

Deborah Dickson has taught at the Kansas City Art Institute since 1999. She earned her Bachelor of Science in biology and, in 1997, a Master of Arts in art history at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. In the last decade, she has published more than 100 art museum and gallery exhibition reviews in the local publications The Pitch and Review.

Contact: Ddickson@kcai.edu

Ben Furnish, PH.D.

Lecturer

Ben Furnish (Ph.D., theatre and film, University of Kansas; M.A., English, University of Missouri-Kansas City; M.Ed., Harvard University) is the author of Nostalgia in Jewish-American Theatre and Film, 1979-2004 (Lang), and he has contributed to such journals and books as Studies in Jewish Civilization, Holocaust Literature, Yiddish Poets and the Soviet Union, Jews & Sex, and Dictionary of Literary Biography. He has presented conference papers at Film & History, Literature & Film Association, and at international symposia sponsored by Oxford, Heidelberg, and Harvard universities. He is managing editor of BkMk Press, University of Missouri-Kansas City, and books he has edited have received attention from major awards and reviewers.  His grant proposals in literary publishing have received funding from the Missouri Arts Council, ArtsKC, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Contact: Bfurnish@kcai.edu

Chuck Haddix

Lecturer

Chuck Haddix is the director of the Marr Sound Archives at the University of Missouri–Kansas City. He also hosts the “Fish Fry,” a popular radio program featuring the finest in blues, soul, rhythm and blues, and zydeco on kcur.org FM 89.3, a public radio station. His book “Charlie Parker Bird: The Life and Music of Charlie Parker” was published in the fall of 2013 by the University of Illinois Press.

Contact: CHaddix@kcai.edu

Tracie Whiting Kipper

Lecturer

An alumna and former coordinator of the Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Programme, Tracie formerly served as an economic analyst with the Consulate General of Japan in Kansas City. She has lived in Japan, taught Japanese, and offers Japanese-English translation services. She provides her students with insights into Japanese customs and culture as well as instruction in Japanese language.

Contact: Twhiting@kcai.edu

Eleanor Lim-Midyett, Ph.D.

Lecturer

Eleanor Lim-Midyett, Ph.D., has taught at the Kansas City Art Institute since 1994. She received a B.A. degree in English literature from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., and earned M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in East Asian languages and literature from Yale University. She was also a writer for AMagazine: Inside Asian America.

Contact: Elim-midyett@kcai.edu

Alison Miller

Lecturer

Alison Miller holds M.A. degrees in Asian art history and museum studies from the University of Kansas. She is currently a doctoral candidate at KU, specializing in modern and contemporary Japanese art. She holds B.A. degrees in art history and anthropology from Northern Illinois University, and she spent a year at the Inter-University Center for Japanese Language Studies in Yokohama, Japan.

Contact: amiller@kcai.edu

Paula Rose

Lecturer

Paula Rose, a lecturer in the School of Liberal Arts, has a master’s degree in art history from the University of Kansas and a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in painting and art history from KCAI. Her areas of specialization include modern and contemporary art, popular culture and feminist art and theory. She has been teaching at KCAI since 2008.

Contact: Plrose@kcai.edu

Jordan Stempleman, M.F.A.

Lecturer

Jordan Stempleman is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop where he was a Leggett Schupes Fellow in Poetry. In addition to lecturing at KCAI, he is the author of six books of poetry and also associate editor of The Continental Review, a video-only forum for contemporary poetry and poetics. He is the faculty advisor for KCAI’s literary magazine, Sprung Formal; he teaches the class “The Literary Magazine” each spring which produces this student publication.  He is also, “A Common Sense Reading,” which pairs KCAI creative writing students with established writers.  In 2013, The Huffington Post listed Mr. Stempleman as one of “The Top 200 Advocates of American Poetry.”

Contact: Jstempleman@kcai.edu

Lesley Wheeler

Lecturer

Lesley Wheeler is a writer, artist and teacher. She also is a graduate of the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, N.Y. and the Iowa Writer’s Workshop. Her chapbook “Dream Treatment” (2013) is available from Dancing Girl Press, and her photo-essay “A Little Hell of its Own” won the 2013 Bone Bouquet Experimental Prose contest.

Contact: Lwheeler@kcai.edu

Art History Major

The art history program stimulates and enriches critical thinking, intellectual inquiry, investigation, research and analysis between liberal arts and the studio disciplines. Investigating art historical methodology and scholarship within the context of a studio-based environment provides the student with insights and perspectives regarding the relationships between concept and practice. Read more about art history.

Studio Art in Creative Writing Major

The creative writing program encourages contemplative, broadly educated artists whose training and work in visual media and literary genres will be mutually supportive. Here, the visual arts and the literary arts share the goal of accuracy of vision. The strength of the program lies in its interdisciplinary and multi-contextual nature. Read more about creative writing.

Classes

Whether you major or double-major in creative writing, you will have over 50 courses to choose from to meet your requirements. For additional electives and liberal arts courses download the complete course course catalog.

Lower-division required core courses:

First-year Seminar

  • Art History I
  • Art History II
  • History of Thought I
  • History of Thought II

Upper-Division required electives:

  • Art History
  • History
  • Literature
  • Philosophy
  • The Sciences
  • Liberal arts electives

At least 5 of these upper-division classes must be taken at the 3000 level or the 4000 level.

At least 1 of these upper-division classes must be a class in global/comparative studies.

Other Choices Students Have to Fulfill their liberal arts requirements

Study Abroad Program to Buenos Aires – This program offers a course in art history.  For more information, e-mail Dr. Reed Anderson at sanderson@kcai.edu.

Study Abroad Program to China – This program offers a course in art history.  For more information, e-mail Dr. Jan Kennedy at  jkennedy@kcai.edu.

Study Abroad Program to Florence (SACI) – This program offers a course in art history.  Find out more here or for even more information, e-mail Jessie Fisher at jfisher@kcai.edu.

Study Abroad Program to France – This program offers a course in art history and a course in creative writing.  For more information, e-mail Dr. Phyllis Moore at pmoore@kcai.edu.

Study Abroad Program to Vietnam and Cambodia – This program offers a course in history.  For more information, e-mail Dr. Hal Wert at hwert@kcai.edu.

Even More Choices

  • Directed Individual Studies
  • Internships
  • Mobility programs to other colleges in the U.S. and abroad