CMS News Archives
The current edition of MIT's ZigZag podcast (Episode 12) features CMS Director (and Project NML Primary Investigator) Henry Jenkins and Project NML Research Assistant Neal Grigsby discussing the Project NML Exemplar Library, and the TATs Cru graffiti exemplar in particular.
Check it out at http://web.mit.edu/zigzag (it's about a third of the way through Episode 12).
In Mediasnackers podcast number 54, Jenkins discusses such topics as the current youth media climate, the growing divide between young people and educators, (or people who work with the young) his latest book, and the future of media. The podcast is approximately twelve minutes in length.
Listen to the Podcast
Today and tomorrow is The Futures of Entertainment Conference, co-sponsored by C3 and the Comparative Media Studies Department here at MIT. Since seating is limited and registration closed almost a month in advance, the C3 team will be providing updates throughout the next few days on the C3 blog in hopes of including readers in the discussion.
Check back throughout the day today and tomorrow for updates, and look through the program for the conference.
Business Week writes about the MacArthur Foundation's "five-year initiative to study online culture and media literacy, and its impact on modern youth" and our role within it.
Read the full article
The participation gap. In 2005, Henry Jenkins, the director of the Comparative Media Studies program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, received $500,000 for research that was published to coincide with the launch of the new initiative. His paper, Confronting the Challenges of Participatory Culture: Media Education for the 21st Century, examines what Jenkins calls the "participation gap."
While educators used to worry about the "digital divide"--whether all students had equal access to computers and technology--they should now consider the "participation gap", or whether students who can only use computers in the school library have enough time to develop the same media literacy and skills as peers who spend hours designing, communicating, editing, networking, and learning on their home computers.
Based on the results of his research, Jenkins' Comparative Media Studies Program at MIT will receive a further $1,800,000 to develop a media-literacy curriculum in conjunction with the Center for Urban School Improvement in Chicago.
Curriculum products will include a library of day-in-the-life videos of people who have excelled in digital media and a Remixing Melville project, in collaboration with the New Bedford Whaling Museum. Students will use video, sound, and other multimedia tools and techniques to re-imagine Herman Melville's novel Moby Dick in the context of their own lives--an innovative way to introduce classic literature.
CMS Director Henry Jenkins was recently profiled in the Living Arts section of the Boston Globe by staff writer Joseph Kahn. The story touches upon recent issues such as his new book, and current research as well as providing an overview of his life and career thus far.
Read the full story
Science, Technology, and Society scholar Timothy Stoneman shared his research on missionary radio with the CMS colloquium on Nov. 2. Stoneman's recent doctoral research takes a historical look at how Christian missionaries utilized radio in developing nations to evangelize.
This proliferation of broadcasting is directly linked to a “sea change” in shifting the locus and population of Christianity from the north to the south on a global basis, Stoneman said.
Stoneman focuses his research on the period between 1931, with the first missionary broadcasts, through the 1970s when the transistor radio changed the medium dramatically. Evangelical radio relied on community receivers, often supplied by missions for free or highly subsidized. The radio functioned as a more social, group activity in developing nations because they were relatively rare. Missionaries were innovative, Stoneman finds, to put the technology to use in a way that fit with the local environments. Often radios were “pretuned” to receive only evangelical broadcasts.
While the radio cannot be solely accredited for conversion, Stoneman asks us to reframe the question from conversion to legitimization. The radio, he argues, made Christianity part of everyday life, normalized, legitimate. While this is not the same as a spontaneous conversion, over time the radio broadcasts have paved the way for a slower, more gradual acceptance and practice.
Other inherent qualities of the medium such as repetition, oral communication, and the personal association with voice all helped radio achieve the mission it was set out to do in developing nations throughout the 20th century.
At the heart of the Oct. 26 colloquium conversation about art and technology was the question “what is art?” In an engaging roundtable discussion, CMS Professor Beth Coleman, Rhizome Executive Director Lauren Cornell and author and curator Jon Ippolito explored this question in the context of a networked world. How does the Internet change art practice and its relationship to the curator, critic, and public?
Cornell presented the short history and evolution of Internet art from its beginnings in the mid 1990s and shared several examples of early works. Cornell points to the second wave of the Internet, Web 2.0, as the most significant change to the behavior of Net art due to the rise of viral distribution (the “bored at work network”) and community participation.
Rhizome, which functions as a community space and support system for Net artists, has set out to refine digital archiving with a shared vocabulary. For this task Rhizome turns to the participatory community and uses tagging and folksonomy to cull the most important and most popular expressive categories.
Ippolito asked the question, can networks be adapted to support new media or do they cause harm? His overall assessment was that the institution as it is does impede the possibilities of new media by producing an imbalance of archivists to “animateurs,” attorneys to activists, and academics to artists. Ippolito sees the distanced documentation, litigation and study of new media as contrary to the spirit of the art itself.
The essential tone of the evening was similar to the unease and confusion about exactly where participatory culture will take us: how do we talk about network aesthetics, and how will that change art in the immediate future?
Timothy Stoneman, National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow in the Science, Technology, and Society Program at MIT, discusses his research on missionary and evangelical radio in America from an historical perspective.
Continue reading "Podcast: "Media Evangelism in the Global South"" »
CMS director Henry Jenkins, as a guest video curator for Media Commons' In Media Res blog, posts "Holding Out For A Hiro," a short piece about the character Hiro Nakamura (
salary man, otaku, "superhiro," superfan) from NBC's new ensemble show, Heroes.
Read the article and feel free to comment and contribute to the discussion.
The newsletter gets a new look thanks to CMS graduate student Geoffrey Long '07; the breaking news is that CMS will spearhead the new Singapore-MIT gaming lab; also, New Media Literacies receives second-phase funding from the MacArthur Foundation; the Convergence Culture Consortium's Project Good Luck visits China; and Education Arcade's Learning Games to Go develops the puzzle game Labyrinth.
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