Thursday, August 31, 2006

faculty position: global media studies

great new job position from indiana university:

The Department of Communication and Culture and the International Studies Program at Indiana University invite applications for a tenure-track assistant professor position to begin Fall 2007. We seek an individual who focuses on Global Media Studies (film, television, and/or new media) through a humanities perspective and who situates his/her research on particular areas of the world with respect to transnational or cross-cultural media theory. Although the geographical area is open, possible regions of interest include South- and Southeast Asia, East Asia, or the Middle East.

The candidate's tenure line and majority of teaching will be in the Department of Communication and Culture, an innovative, interdisciplinary department that approaches Media Studies, Rhetoric and Public Culture, and Performance and Ethnographic Studies from a critical cultural studies perspective. He/she will teach one course a year in International Communication in the International Studies Program, and will have some service and advising responsibilities in that program.

Applicants are expected to have a strong research agenda and a commitment to excellence in teaching. Preference will be given to candidates who have their Ph.D. in hand by the date of appointment. Applicants should send a letter of application, curriculum vitae, writing sample, and three letters of recommendation. All materials should be received by Nov. 1 to assure consideration. Address applications to: Professor Joan Hawkins, Chair, Global Media Search, Department of Communication and Culture, Mottier Hall, 1790 E. 10th St., Indiana University, Bloomington, IN 47405-9700. For more information on the department or the program, please see: or

Indiana University is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer with a strong commitment to the principle of diversity in all areas. The university actively encourages applications and nominations of women, minorities, applicants with disabilities, and members of other underrepresented groups.

september project events at a college, community college, or university near you

although the majority of september project events take place in public libraries, many academic libraries are also hosting events.

for example, the exhibit taking place at cornish college of the arts library, in seattle, washington, sounds fascinating:
    On May 24, 2005, the U.S. Department of Education released a Notice of Implementation, announcing that all educational institutions receiving federal funding must provide an educational program commemorating the September 17, 1787 signing of the Constitution.

    This year, in honor of Constitution Day, an exhibit will be installed in the Cornish College of the Arts' Library to facilitate reflection and understanding of separation of powers. On display during the second half of September, the display treats the current controversy over George W. Bush's extensive use of presidential signing statements. Selected statements have been put up in the library. The purpose of the installation is to engage students in a contemplation of the importance of separation of powers, and the responsibilities we have as citizens to be aware of how our government works.
at susan colgate cleveland library learning center, at colby-sawyer college in new hampshire (where my friend and colleague melissa meade teaches!), the librarians are organizing displays (which include 9-11 coverage from the college's school newspaper) and discussions:
    The library at Colby-Sawyer College will be hosting a display of materials on globalization, free speech, freedom of religion, and life after 9/11. We will include reproductions of reports from our student newspaper of September, 2001, and welcome the campus community for ritual and discussion to commemorate the events of 9/11/01.
and the j. willard marriott library, at the university of utah in salt lake city, utah, is organizing a series of inspired events:
    The September Project 2006:
    Democracy and Informed Citizenry

    Free Speech 101: the Utah Valley Uproar over Michael Moore
    Monday, September 11 - 11:45 A.M. - 1:00 P.M. at the Hinckley Institute of Politics Caucus Room in 255 OSH: Joseph Vogel, UVSC graduate and author of Free Speech 101: the Utah Valley Uproar over Michael Moore, will speak about the experience of bringing filmmaker Michael Moore to the UVSC campus. Vogel will be signing books at the U of U Bookstore following the lecture.

    The U.S. Immigration Debate: Local Issues and Global Implications
    Wednesday, September 20 - 12:00 P.M. - 1:00 P.M. in Libby Gardner Hall: Rachel Swarns, Washington correspondent for The New York Times since 2003, will speak about the issue of immigration and the surrounding politics. Previously she served as chief of The Times bureau in Johannesburg and on the metro desk covering social services, including welfare reform and foster care in New York City. Before joining The Times, Ms. Swarns was a reporter at The Miami Herald from 1991 until 1995 covering immigration, housing, federal courts and general assignments. Before that she was with The St. Petersburg Times covering criminal courts.

    The Broken Branch and its Impact on Citizen Involvement

    Thursday, September 21 - 10:45 A.M. - 12:00 P.M. in the Hinckley Institute of Politics Caucus Room, 255 OSH: Thomas Mann, Brookings Institute scholar and author of The Broken Branch: How Congress is Failing America and How to Get it Back on Track, will speak about the role and history of the U.S. Congress and its impact on citizen involvement in the democratic process. The Sam Rich Program in
    International Politics has sponsored the filming of this event. Mann will be signing books at Sam Weller's Bookstore on September 20 at 8:00 PM.

    "Democracy and Informed Citizenry" Book Displays
    Student Government sponsored 9/11 Memorial Event
it is exciting to see so many academic libraries involved in this year's september project!

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

requiring students to blog

this semester's digital democracy is the first class i've taught where i require students to blog.

my thinking is that blogs will serve as a great tool for students to archive their ideas, research, and findings - for themselves, for me, and for their fellow students. i also think that the blogs - like a course listserv, a wiki, or a good old fashioned class discussion - will serve as a collaboration platform upon which students and myself can share, develop, and implement ideas. i am also hoping that the blogs will serve as vehicles of collaboration with other students in other classes, including martha mccaughey's new media activism class at appalachian state university and, hopefully, with david de ugarte's cyberactivism class which i believe has students distributed across argentina, bolivia, chile, greece, and spain.

but most of all, i am hoping that the blogs will help - in a minor or major way - students find, develop, and broadcast their voices. but more on that in a moment.

when introducing a new kind of media to my students i usually reserve a class period or two in a computer lab. over the last ten years, i have devoted entire class periods (or multiple class periods) to using email (this was in 1995! email was still new then!), listservs, basic html, ftp, dreamweaver, photoshop, wikis, and facebook. i like building media and so do most of my students so these labs have always been engaging, energetic, and fun. plus, one of the best ways to understand new media is, i believe, to build new media.

yesterday, the second day of class, i tried something new. near the end of class, i gave the students their first homework assignment:
    set up your own blog by thursday.
i did not teach them how to set up their blogs. i did not book a computer lab to help them set up their blogs. i just told them: go set up your blog by thursday.

i told them about blogger and how i like it because it is free and it is way easy to use. i made it clear, however, that there were other kinds of blogger software, all acceptable for our class, and some more blog-savvy students chimed in with some suggestions: livejournal, wordpress, moveable type.

i told them i wanted them to blog non-anonymously - that is, i wanted them to blog under their first and last names. when asked why, i said that there is certainly a time and place for anonymous blogging but i wanted them to blog words, ideas, and concepts that they believe in, that they believe in publicly, that they are willing to stand by, that they are willing to be responsible for. for some, that was enough of an explanation but for others there was a noticeable sense of discomfort until one student asked, "can we just use our first names?" i asked why and upon hearing a few students' reasons i agreed that they could blog by first name or by first and last name. i dug it that student spoke up for their own interests - this is a class on democracy after all.

finally, assigning them their first blog post. i don't really remember telling them what to blog about for their first entry; i just told them to blog about something, anything. (i gave them a second homework assignment - a one page essay on a cause or social movement that interests them greatly - but said they could blog the essay or type it up and turn it in.) not assigning a particular topic for their first post was deliberate.

asking our students to blog is a tricky scenerio. essentially, i believe, we are asking them to extend our space (the space where we come together in class to talk about ideas and readings) into their space (digital spaces like blogs and facebook and myspace where an increasing amount of their social interactions take place). for our students, a lot is a stake - in some cases, nothing less than their digital identities, which, of course, inform and influence and compose and shape many components of their offline selves.

long story short: i told my students to blog about whatever they desired. later in the semester, as we get more comfortable with the classroomsphere and the blogosphere, as we begin to recognize and respect our own voices and the voices of others, we'll get more advanced. there's plenty of time over the semester to discuss blog ethics, tones, and styles; there's plenty of time to discuss the virtues of RSS, various design strategies, and the magic of a well thought out comment.

in the meantime, this week's goal is two-fold and quite simple: 1) let's begin to blog and 2) let's begin to find our voices.

newsflash! for the first time, i am using technorati tags. i am doing this so that this blog entry will be found and considered by the collective team of editors at teaching carnival. teaching carnival is a smart attempt to collect and annotate various blog posts related to teaching in higher education institutions. if you are interested in higher education teaching, you should seriously consider getting involved. the more we are, the smarter we get.

technorati tag:

Monday, August 28, 2006

bush in biloxi

when i see pictures of today's visit by bush to biloxi, i can't help but think of stevie wonder's perfect song, "big brother," and those devastating lines in the middle of the song:

I live in the ghetto
You just come to visit me 'round election time.

students making media about september 11 - and talking about the media they made on september 11 - at depauw university

[crossposted from the september project blog]

i've never met kevin howley, an associate professor of media studies at depauw university in indiana, but his book, community media: people, places, and communication technologies, is on my read-this-book-asap list.

on monday, september 11, 2006 at 4 pm in the peeler auditorium on the depauw university campus, a video memorial produced by and featuring depauw university students will be shown with a moderated discussion to follow. here's the press release:
Student Video, "The September Project," Premieres at DePauw University on 9/11 Anniversary

GREENCASTLE, IN. -- August 28, 2006 -- "The September Project," a video memorial produced by and featuring DePauw University students, will have its world premiere on the fifth anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States.

Produced in conjunction with DePauw's Roy O. West Library, "The September Project" features student recollections of the events of 9/11. Undergraduates also discuss how America has changed in the five years since the terrorist attacks and consider the role of the public library in democratic societies.

"The September Project" was one of several video projects-including public service announcements, advertisements, "man on the street"-style interviews, and news features-produced by students enrolled in DePauw's First Year Seminar, "Video as Cultural Politics."

According to project supervisor, Dr. Kevin Howley, associate professor of media studies at DePauw University, "The September Project" had enormous educational value. "Aside from providing a hands-on lesson in video production, students came away from this project with a greater understanding of video's capacity to promote dialogue and debate. Students came to appreciate the value of community video in amplifying voices, opinions and perspectives that are rarely heard in mainstream media."

"The September Project" gets its name from a grassroots effort to encourage communities, in conjunction with local libraries, to provide a forum for people to discuss a host of issues: democracy, war and peace, terrorism, militarism, religion, and conflict resolution.

The September Project will foster civic events around the world on September 11th such as poetry readings, film screenings, art competitions, public lectures and community forums. The September Project events are designed to bring people into their local libraries and get them talking about important issues in politics, culture and religion in a safe and civil manner.

"The September Project" will be screened on Monday, September 11, 2006 at 4PM in the Peeler Auditorium on the DePauw University campus. A moderated discussion will follow. Admission is free and the public is welcome.


Dr. Kevin Howley
Associate Professor of Media Studies
DePauw University
(765) 658-4491
i love this september project event!

i love how the event engages university students - and the greater university community - with media made by students. i love how the media text under discussion was made by students enrolled in a first year seminar called "video as cultural politics." bravo!

Sunday, August 27, 2006

looking away from war

a brief, spot-on editorial in today's newsday by josh gamson (sociology, university of san francisco) about popular media's irrational ability to turn our attention away from that which matters. from the piece:
Certainly the loss of JonBenet Ramsey 10 years ago is a sad event, especially for her family, but the deaths that have been taking place now in Iraq, Lebanon and Israel, to name a few spots, are no less so. That they are not perpetrated by sick individuals but through organized violence makes them sadder and more newsworthy. That they are so easily pushed aside for the Karr Show is grotesque.
"A character made of tidbit and rumor" - august 27, 2006.

Friday, August 25, 2006

the university of peace

i first heard of the university of peace (in san josé, costa rica) in july, when their library signed up to participate in the september project. this morning, we learned what they have planned for their event:
At the University for Peace, in its main campus en el Rodeo de Mora, San José, Costa Rica we will have two main events:

1. A display in the Library about Sept. 11th, 2001 and Sept. 11th, 1973.

2. A showing of the movie "Missing", a film by Costa-Gavras with Jack Lemmon and Sissy Spacek. Following the screening there will be a round table with Dr. Víctor Valle, Dean of Latin American Studies, Dr. Ronnie de Camino, (Chilean), Prof. Environment and Peace and Simon Stander, Prof. of International Peace Studies.
two quick observations:
  1. this year i am struck by how many professors (and, at the university of peace, a dean) are participating in the september project as speakers, discussants, and moderators. in this case, the interdisciplinarity of the participating professors - latin american studies, environment and peace studies, and international peace studies - is quite impressive and interesting. i would love to be able to attend this event.

  2. this year, multiple participating libraries are bringing together september 11, 2001 and september 11, 1973 - juxtaposing these two days of massive historical and global importance. i am unsure whether many americans know about september 11, 1973, and i am even less sure about whether many americans know the role of the united states in the events of september 11, 1973.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

a mighty blast from the past

yesterday, my first grade teacher contacted me via email. i haven't spoken to mrs gregory since, well, i was in first grade. mrs gregory was and continues to be one of my all-time favorite teachers and she helped foster in me (and in, i believe, my sisters cara, lisa, and nancy) a thirst for learning, especially reading. the good news is that she visits the bay area frequently and we'll be meeting up face to face in the near future.

what a perfect email to receive the day before fall semester begins.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

eric olson, candidate for prince george's county council, maryland

i was lucky to begin graduate studies in american studies at the university of maryland while eric olson was there finishing up his masters. eric helped me navigate the waters of graduate school and taught me a lot about the city of college park. indeed, it's difficult for me to think of college park without thinking about eric.

eric olson is extremely committed to making better communities. since 1997, eric has served on the college park city council and now he is a candidate for prince george's county council, maryland.

his bio is impressive:
Eric directs the national Sierra Club's Healthy Communities Campaign, where his work includes promoting public transportation, creating more walkable, vibrant communities and combating sprawl. His work has included bringing attention to the incredible waste of hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars for Alaska's proposed "Bridges to Nowhere" while roads and bridges throughout the nation need repair.

He has previously worked as Deputy Director of the Center for Voting and Democracy, a national organization committed to election reform and voting rights. Eric also has four years of Capitol Hill experience as an aide to Congressman Bernie Sanders (I-VT), where he worked on environment, transportation, energy, democracy, human rights and agriculture among other issues and where he served as staff coordinator of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.
other people have many good things to say about eric. there is also a page where you can donate to his campaign and it's really easy - it takes about 3 minutes.

if eric wins, prince george's county council will be that much more stronger, creative, and experienced. good luck, eric!

september 11 in wayne, michigan

[crossposted from the september project blog]

an engaging set of events on september 11 and throughout the month of september at wayne public library, in wayne, michigan:
On September 11, 2006 at 8:00 a.m., the community and civic leaders of Wayne will hold a service of reflection at the Veterans Peace Memorial located at the Wayne Public Library. Police, fire, city officials, local churchs, community leaders and the members of the local high school will participate in this ceremony. All citizens are invited to attend.

Throughout the month of September the library will also display book, dvds, and other related materials in our showcases and throughout the library.

We will be having programs for adults, teens, and children.

The adult program will feature guest speakers relating their personal immigration stories. The children's program will include screening the Reading Rainbow film "Watch the Stars Come Out" based on the book by the same name. Participants will talk about what it might be like to come to America from another country and work with their parents on a simple family tree project.

Teens will be making paper peace cranes for display in the library throughout September.

Our library newsletter includes information on all these programs and will be delivered to every home and business in our city, and everyone is invited to attend these free programs.
i think it's great how wayne public library:
  1. reaches out to so many diverse segments of wayne: police, fire, city officials, local churchs, community leaders, and members of the local high school;

  2. involves a local high school! how cool is that?

  3. designs programs for three audiences: adults, teens, and children.

  4. couples a major event on september 11 with activities that take place throughout the month of september.
a truly civic event coming from wayne public library.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

a few days before classes start

today on campus there was a huge student fair - about 4 or 5 dozen tables representing student groups, organizations, and activities. if i were a student, i'd be blown away by the number of opportunities.

the fountain outside gleeson library (which i learned today is connected to the water sculpture inside the library) looked like this today.

it's part of earthly concerns, a collection of site-specific installations, photography, documented actions, public artworks, and a performance piece currently in thacher gallery in gleeson library. the show features artists from WEAD - women environmental artists directory.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

dodgers 5, giants 2

the only scary part of today's game was during the 6th or 7th inning when it was announced that all of us in attendance (42,052) should immediately stand up, take out our visa cards, and wave them madly in the air. surveillance cameras across the stadium captured a few dancing buffoons and broadcasted them on the jumbotron video screen in center field. the winner, a particularly enthusiastic visa card holder, received $100 credit on his next bill.

on a positive tip, it sure was great taking public transportation to a ballgame. sarah and i muni'd; my brother in laws jeff and steve caltrained; and we all converged under the huge statue of willie mays.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

new faculty orientation at USF

i spent most of thursday and friday on campus as part of a two-day new faculty orientation at USF. it was long and it was a lot of information to process. it was also quite exciting.

i learned way too many things to blog them all here. plus, in an hour, sarah and i hit the road to drive down to santa cruz where we'll be celebrating my nephew aleks' seventh birthday! a day of fun at the santa cruz boardwalk and an evening of pizza, cake, and presents at my mom's place. (update: fun, fun, fun.)

here's some highlights:
  • the incoming crop of new faculty - dissertation scholars, term professors, and tenure-track professors - are extremely interesting and engaging. although we represent different fields and disciplines, we all seem to share a commitment to doing good. the academics i met, albeit way too briefly, over the last few days seem committed to change - positive change, healthy change, humane change.

  • whether it was the dean, the associate deans, or president privett speaking, all of them spoke about the importance of teaching. USF, by all accounts, takes teaching very, very seriously and they offer multiple teaching workshops and seminars. one clear take-away from the two day orientation: USF expects and requires excellent teaching.

  • collaborations - among faculty, among faculty and students, among departments, and among communities - are encouraged and desired.

  • at the end of the first day of orientation, the jesuits invited us to their home and garden for wine, snacks, and conversation. their garden, with an incredible northern view of san francisco and the bay, was a treat and a retreat and made the agenda-filled day suddenly slow down, calm down, and wind down.

  • we had a great dinner with many of the new faculty's partners, wives, and husbands joining us. dinner was a low-key opportunity to actually get to know one another.
the two-day orientation was exhausting but it also made this new job - still a bit of a dream - become more real. it certainly helps to begin the school year with such an exciting cohort of new faculty, including john kim, a dissertation scholar who will teach this year in media studies.

and with that, we're off to santa cruz.

september project events in and around new york city

similar to 2004 and 2005, there are plenty of september project events in and new jersey and new york city in 2006.

as we approach september 11, there are many events being planned across new york city.

participating for the third year in a row, the brooklyn public library has designed another inspired program:
Once upon a time members of the Catholic, Muslim, and Jewish faiths lived peacefully with one another. They borrowed from and enriched one another's intellectual and cultural traditions. In retrospect, fifteenth-century Spain seems idyllic in this respect. That is why we have chosen to present a concert of music from this period as Brooklyn Public Library's way of commemorating the fifth anniversary of 9/11. The concert, presented by critically acclaimed guitarist Gerard Edery, accompanied by Christian Puig, will take place on Sunday afternoon, September 10 at 2:00 PM.
there are also events across multiple buroughs of new york city sponsored by september eleventh families for peaceful tomorrows.
September 8-14, 2006 / New York City
"Civilian Casualties, Civilian Solutions"

Please find attached a list of public panel events hosted by September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows, nominated for the 2003 and 2004 Nobel Peace Prize. To commemorate the 5th anniversary of 9/11, Peaceful Tomorrows is convening 30 families from across the world who have been personally affected by violence and war. These extraordinary individuals are working to break the cycles of violence by promoting justice, reconciliation and genuine peace. Together they will share strategies, conduct outreach, and jointly launch an international network.

Friday, September 8:
New York University's Center for Global Affairs
Grassroots Solutions to Intractable Problems with Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Jody Williams
8:30 am -12 pm
15 Barclay Street in the Woolworth Building

September Space
Building Resiliency in the Aftermath of Tragedy
11 am-1 pm
520 8th Ave.

Fordham University
War or Peace: Drawing Hope from Tragedy
11:30 am ­ 1 pm
441 E. Fordham Rd., Bronx

St. Paul's Church
International Press Conference
3 pm -5 pm
209 Broadway

Unitarian Church of All Souls
Transcending Tragedy: Does Healing Require Forgiveness?
7 pm- 8:30 pm
1157 Lexington Ave.

Saturday, September 9:
Battery Park
Yoga for Peace

Sunday, September 10:
Voices of September 11th Information Forum
Transforming Tragedy: An International Perspective
9:45 am - 10:30 am
Marriott Financial Hotel at 85 West St.

Lafayette Avenue Presbyterian Church
Healing Words: 9.11, Rwanda, Apartheid
11 am ­ 11:30 am
85 S. Oxford St., Fort Greene

Monday, September 11:
Columbia University - School for International and Public Affairs
From Afghanistan to Zimbabwe: Creative Responses to Violence
12 pm -­ 2 pm
420 W. 118th St.

El Puente
Teaching Peace, Building Hope: Voices from Colombia, Chile and Spain
1:30 pm -­ 3 pm
211 S. 4th St., Williamsburg

Church of the Holy Trinity
Sudan to Chile: Women Waging Peace
With Moderator Phoebe Griswald, Founding Member of Anglican Women's Empowerment
5:30 pm- 6:45 pm

UN Church Center
People Powered Solutions to Conflict
Hosted by Cora Weiss
5 pm -­ 6:30 pm
777 United Nations Plaza at 41st St.

Columbia University - School of Public Affairs
Remember 9/11's of the World
7 pm -­ 8:30 pm
525 W. 120th St.

Jewish Community Center
Encounter Point film and panel discussion
Co-hosted by Parents Circle- Families Forum
7:30 pm -­ 9:30 pm
334 Amsterdam Ave.

Thursday, September 14:
McGinn Cazale Theatre
Genocide and Reconciliation: Response to the play "Lemkin's House"
With the Ambassador of Cambodia
8 pm ­ 10:30 pm
2162 Broadway

All events, unless noted, are free and open to the public.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

voters for peace pledge

this peace pledge has my full support:
I will not vote for or support any candidate for Congress or President who does not make a speedy end to the war in Iraq, and preventing any future war of aggression, a public position in his or her campaign.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

from bangladesh to battery park

a lot of september project growth today.

early in the morning, two libraries from bangladesh - north south university library and IUB library - both from dhaka, both involved in 2005, signed up to participate.

later, three public libraries from the beautiful state of mississippi - jesse yancy memorial library, lumberton public library, and purvis public library - joined to participate for the first time.

then, marsha irvine emailed to say that 11 branches of king county library system - bothell regional library, crossroads, des moines library, federal way 320th library, kirkland library, lake forest park library, north bend library, redmond regional library, sammamish library, shoreline library, and vashon branch library - would be participating in this year's september project.

(together with libraries from kitsap regional library, seattle public library, and university of washington, the seattle / puget sound area has a lot of september project events to chose from!)

and then, ten new events, all in new york city, from the bronx to battery park, organized by the september eleventh families for peaceful tomorrows.

i'll blog more about these events later in the week.

Monday, August 14, 2006

"reach through reading" - harney county library, burns, oregon

this is the time of year when the september project begins to grow very rapidly. this morning alone, over a dozen new libraries have signed up. by the end of the week, there should be september project events being planned in over 300 libraries around the world.

this is also the time of year when librarians begin to submit their event ideas. our director of technology, john klockner, has been working hard on our explore event ideas page and it's really coming together nicely. to me, this is the most inspiring part of the project. to share ideas for creative civic engagement among some of the world's most engaged librarians is a treat and privilege.

this morning, harney county library, located in burns, oregon, shared their event with the september project community.
This year's Harney County Library September Project exhibit will include the culmination of a ladder installation. (The first year the ladder was presented lying down to represent a walkway; the second year it was propped up on its side in a piece called "Mending Fences.") This year the ladder will stand with the theme: "Reach Through Reading." A bookmark has been designed by artist Terry Keim with the ladder representation on the front, and a listing of ten books on the back pertaining to democracy and freedom. The bookmarks were paid for by a grant from the Harney County Cultural Coalition, the local branch of Oregon Cultural Trust.

Again, artists and other interested members of the public are invited to add poems, drawings, photographs, paragraphs, or just words to the ladder in order to make this an interactive display. String will be available so they can tie their offerings to the ladder for contemplation during the whole month of September.

In addition, a traveling exhibit from the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History will be at the library for the month of September. Entitled Frederick Douglass: From Slavery to Freedom: The Journey to New York City, it will feature the role that literacy played in the life of Frederick Douglass, a freed slave who fought to end slavery and championed civil rights for all Americans. This panel exhibition is made possible by a grant from the J.P. Morgan Foundation, with the cooperation of the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center.

Though Harney County Library serves only 7600 people in a 10,000 square mile county, the staff and volunteers are honored to be a part of the September Project. During this turbulent time for our country and the world, we need opportunities to take stock of the way of life we hold dear.
so much of blog reading is really blog skimming. but if you - whoever you is - have a moment, just a moment, go back and actually read the event description. see how the event integrates poetry, photography, and writing. learn how they invite and involve members of the community into the event. and witness how they collaborate with a half dozen other organizations.

i love this event. the 7600 people living within the 10,000 square mile county sure are lucky to have harney county library.

special topics: digital democracy

i hope to talk a bit about the making of this syllabus - and tag/submit that discussion to teaching carnival - later this week, but in the meantime, i'm just happy it's ready to go.
classes begin august 24.

Friday, August 11, 2006

the home lab takes shape

there's too much outside to stay much inside these days but finally i am unpacking and the home lab is beginning to take shape. it currently occupies (non-violently) a significant portion of the walls - floor to ceiling.

by monday, the paint on the walls of my office will be dry and i get to move in. our pad will be liberated of about a dozen heavy boxes and much lightness will be generated!

all eyes (again, still) on mexico

a few minutes ago, an earthquake struck mexico city, causing many downtown workers to flee into the streets, where they met protestors who have been occupying downtown mexico city until a recount is given. and in the southern mexican city of oaxaca, where "tens of thousands of teachers have been on strike for weeks, demanding higher pay and the governor's resignation," gunmen fired on the protestors, killing one man, 50-year-old jose jimenez.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

academic jobs in media and new media studies

please direct all inquiries to the contact person listed in each of the entries below.

  1. Tenure Track Faculty Position in Multimedia
    University of Oregon

    The University of Oregon Arts & Administration Program (AAD) seeks to fill one full time faculty position at the associate or assistant professor level. Multimedia focused research is desirable. Doctorate (Ph.D. or Ed.D.) or other terminal degree required preferably in a discipline or field closely related to arts administration, such as arts management, multimedia, cultural studies, cultural economics, arts marketing and development, planning, arts education, and performing arts. Applicants should demonstrate evidence of college or university teaching excellence; experience related to multimedia, arts or cultural management; administrative responsibilities; active professional service; and strong commitment to scholarly activity and publications. The ability to secure external funds and teach in non-traditional formats is also desirable. Details of Arts & Administration faculty, students, program offerings and activities can be found at

    Responsibilities: Teach graduate courses in the area of arts management. Advise students seeking the Master's degree in Arts Management. Oversee a new multimedia management area of concentration. Direct Master's theses and projects. Teach undergraduate, university arts and letters courses such as: Art & Gender, Arts and Visual Literacy, and Art and Human Values. Maintain a line of research; participate in professional organizations; and serve on school and university committees.

    Beginning salary is negotiable, depending on qualifications and will range on a 1.0 base from $40,000-50,000. The UO offers an outstanding benefit package. Applicants should send letter of application, vita, official transcripts of all coursework, three current references with phone and email, a written statement about commitment and approach to arts administration (about 500 words), evidence of scholarly work and teaching.

    Applications will be reviewed beginning November 1, 2006. The University of Oregon is an equal-opportunity, affirmative-action institution committed to cultural diversity and compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. We invite applications from
    qualified candidates who share our commitment to diversity.

    Direct inquiries to:
    Arts & Administration Program
    Search Committee Chair, Doug Blandy
    School of Architecture & Allied Arts
    5230 University of Oregon
    Eugene, OR 97403-5230
    Telephone: 541-346-3639
    FAX: 541-346-3626

  2. Tenure Track Assistant Professor of Media Studies
    Wheaton College

    Wheaton College invites applications for a tenure-track, assistant professor position in Media Studies and New Media to begin August of 2007. The candidate should have a scholarly agenda focused in media and culture, be able to teach introductory to advanced level courses such as media studies, sight and sound, religion and culture, and digital society. The position could also include teaching basic speech and related courses in journalism.

    The preferred candidate will have a Ph.D. in Communication (or A.B.D.), demonstrate commitment to excellence in teaching, and scholarly or creative productivity potential. Review of applications will begin September 15, 2006 and continue until the position is filled. Please send letter of application, curriculum vita, teaching evaluations, and relevant publication to: Dr. Lynn Cooper, Chair; Communication Department; Wheaton College; 501 College Avenue; Wheaton, Illinois 60187.

    Wheaton College is an evangelical protestant Christian liberal arts college whose faculty members affirm a Statement of Faith and the moral and lifestyle expectations of our Community Covenant. Wheaton College complies with federal and state guidelines of nondiscrimination in employment; women and minorities are encouraged to apply.

  3. Tenure Track Faculty Position in Communication
    University of California, San Diego

    The Department of Communication at the University of California, San Diego seeks to fill a position at either the assistant, tenure-track or associate professor, with tenure to begin July 1, 2007 in the area of Communication and the Person which focuses on symbolic communication and mediated human activity. We invite applications from scholars whose work concerns either of two areas: 1) play and communication, broadly conceived to include traditional forms of children's play activity as well as emergent new forms such as videogames, MMOGs and various forms of fantasy. 2) work and communication in important social institutions involving collaboration within teams and groups in one location or across geographically and temporally disparate locations. Possible workplaces may include but are not limited to: newsrooms, assembly lines, hospitals, courthouses, museums and software design teams. We are particularly interested in scholars whose work is attentive the many forms of difference -- of ethnicity, gender, etc. -- at work in these areas.

    Review of applications will begin Oct. 1 and continue until position is filled. Send vita, statement of research and teaching interests, one work sample (such as a recent publication), and contact information for three references to:

    Prof. Michael Cole
    Dept. of Communication (0503)
    University of California, San Diego
    9500 Gilman Drive
    La Jolla, CA 92093-0503

    Applicants are also invited to provide comments about his/her leadership activities and/or contributions to diversity. UCSD is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer committed to excellence through diversity.

  4. Tenure Track Assistant Professor in Media Studies/Mass Communication
    College of Charleston

    The Department of Communication at the College of Charleston announces a tenure-track Assistant Professor position, to begin August 2007. Ph.D. required by time of appointment.

    This position requires a specialty in media studies and/or mass communication. Research and teaching interests in public relations, advertising, and/or new media are especially welcome. Candidates employing a variety of methodological perspectives are encouraged to apply. Teaching assignments depend on the expertise of the successful applicant but could include courses in public relations, advertising, new media, mass communication theory, media history, and media writing.

    Evidence of effective teaching (e.g., syllabi, examples of student work, student evaluations), a description of your commitment to the most recent pedagogical and technological advances, and evidence of scholarly potential (e.g., copies of previous work) are crucial.

    Interested candidates should send a letter of application, curriculum vitae, teaching portfolio, and official graduate transcripts. Three letters of reference also should be sent to the search committee:

    Dr. Chris Lamb, Search Committee Chair
    Department of Communication
    College of Charleston
    66 George Street
    Charleston, South Carolina 29424

    Review of materials will begin immediately and will continue until the position is filled. Materials should arrive by October 10, 2006 to assure full consideration. The College of Charleston is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action Employer and is a member of the Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges (COPLAC), a national alliance of leading liberal arts colleges in the public sector. This friendly, collegial department has 23 full-time faculty, over 800 undergraduate majors, and a new master's program.

    To learn more about the College of Charleston, located in the historic downtown area, visit our Web site at The College of Charleston strongly encourages applications from women, minorities, and persons with disabilities. The College of Charleston is committed to creating a diverse community.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

critical cyberculture studies - the book arrives!

yesterday, an advance copy of critical cyberculture studies arrived! the book, co-edited by myself and adrienne massanari, includes 25 chapters plus a forward by steve jones. a complete listing of the table of contents can be found here.

similar to planned obsolescence, i felt gooooood bringing this project to a close and i felt gooooood holding the book in my hands. i love the web but i love books more - and having one that i worked on for a few years in my own hands felt extremely satisfying. plus, i learned something new: you can judge a book by its cover and the cover for critical cyberculture studies rocks!

thumbing through my introduction, i liked these three paragraphs:
It can be argued that a commonly shared set of theories and methodologies is a sign of an academic field's development and sophistication. It can also be argued that such commonly held approaches signal ossification, stagnation, and lack of imagination. I favor the side of a temporary canonless field of study (Silver 2004). If and when the canon appears, replete with acceptable theories, methods, and methodologies, I surely hopoe its foundations are pliable enough for whatever meets us in the future.

We have a young field of study, one that, depending on with whom one speaks, stretches back only five, ten, or fifteen years. In other words, what we have is a field of study under construction - with boundaries not yet set, with borders not yet fully erected, and with a canon not yet established. As such, we have a field of study ripe for growth and twigging, becoming and re-becoming, imagined and reimagined. Now, before the mold is set, is the time for experimentation.

Critical cyberculture studies is, in its most basic form, a critical approach to new media and the contexts that shape and inform them. Its focus is not merely the Internet and the Web but, rather, all forms of networked media and culture that surround us today, not to mention those that will surround us tomorrow. Like cultural studies, critical cyberculture studies strives to locate its object of study around various overlapping contexts, including capitalism, consumerism and commodification, cultural difference, and the militarization of everyday life. Although the origins of critical cyberculture studies rests firmly in academia, it is most fully realized when it moves beyond campus and is built, challenged, and rebuilt with as many publics as possible. Above all, critical cyberculture studies scholars have high goals: we seek to use our collective understanding of new mew media and their environments to alleviate suffering and oppression and to accelerate freedom and justice. We take our field - and our world - quite seriously. (pp. 5-6)
according to nyu press' web site for the book, critical cyberculture studies ships on september 1, 2006.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

gaudi and haight and saint ignatius

last night, sarah and i walked through buena vista park and down to haight to the red vic where antonio gaudi (1985) was playing. there's very little dialogue, just director hiroshi teshigahara's camera gliding, roaming, floating - first through gaudi's buildings in barcelona, then through gaudi's park guell, and finally through gaudi's (still unfinished) la sagrada familia. an extraordinary film about an extraordinary body of work.

the walk back home was a weave - back and forth, left and right - since by nightfall haight street becomes filled with panhandlers, staggering drunks, and too-stoned people. i like some of what the street offers - the red vic, amoeba records, an occasional slab of pepperoni from fat slice - but in a city where genuine counterculture exists, haight ashbury, to me at least, feels like a big put on, a self-conscious attempt to be weird. plus, in a city filled with homeless people - and a sizable portion of homeless suffering from various elements of mental illness - the kid on haight with a homemade sign that reads, "i need money for drugs," isn't that funny.

after the film and before a nightcap of sushi and sapporos, we were walking back down haight and i turned to the left and said, "sarah, check it." she looked and snapped this picture. USF's st. ignatius church no doubt means many things to many people. to me, last night, as the evening turned to night and as summer began its creep into fall, it reminded me of everything i love about college campuses: learning, teaching, reflecting, experimenting, exploring, and growing.

Monday, August 07, 2006

bedford public library system and kitsap regional library

[crossposted from the september project blog]

within the last 24 hours, two library systems have signed up to participate in the september project.

from bedford, virginia, all 6 libraries of the bedford public library system - bedford central, big island, forest, moneta/sml, montvale, and stewartsville - have signed up to participate.

and from kitsap county, washington, all 9 libraries of kitsap regional library - bainbridge island, downtown bremerton, kingston, little boston, manchester, port orchard, poulsbo, silverdale, and sylvan way - have signed up to participate.

their events sound excellent:
"We, The People" is the theme for our 2006 September Project (our first!) We are hiring a company called Living Voices in Seattle to do nine productions in each of our libraries on topics ranging from the Swedish Immigrant Experience in the Northwest to the Native American government-run schools. The aim of the series is to acknowledge and honor the diversity that IS our history and our present.


Sunday, August 06, 2006

proyecto CIBA

[crossposted from the september project blog]

if i could have any new media, i would ask for software that generates perfect language translations.

on friday, el centro de investigación biblioteca y aula, or proyecto CIBA, in córdoba, argentina, signed up for the september project. using the describa su evento page, librarian ana ángela chiesa described what proyecto CIBA was developing:
CIBA es un centro de investigación de Proyectos que desarrollen habilidades en información y promocionen el libro y la lectura.

Planeamos para el próximo mes de Septiembre desarrollar un taller con alumnos de escuelas rurales de la zona de influencia que hemos llamado: "TODO LO QUE NO SABEMOS SOBRE EL LIBRO." Este taller tiene los siguientes contenidos: Historia del libro. Distintos soportes de la palabra hasta llegar al libro. Partes de un libro. Uso de Índices, tablas de materia (y mucho más...). El taller tiene caracter lúdico.

Dirigido a alumnos de 4to, 5to y 6to (Educación General Básica, segúen el modelo educativo Argentino) (último ciclo de Escuela primaria)
using google's language tools, i cut-and-pasted the event description and it generated this:
CIBA is a research center of Projects that develop abilities in information and promote the book and the reading.

We glided for the next month of September to develop a factory with students of rural schools of the zone of influence that we have called: “EVERYTHING WHAT WE DO NOT KNOW ON THE BOOK.” This factory has the following contents: History of the book. Different supports from the word until arriving at the book. Parts of a book. Use of Indices, tables of matter (and much more…). The factory has playful character.

Directed to students of 4to, 5to and 6to (General Education Básica, segúen the Argentine educative model) (last cycle of primary School)
(altavista's babelfish, generated an extremely similar translation.)

question: what does the word taller mean in spanish? is it a workshop? a curriculum? is it what google and babelfish say it is - a factory?

i think this event is beautiful. it is not exactly an event, but more like a series of events that take place in classrooms, or, a curriculum - the first curriculum, i believe, that has been associated with the september project. i love how it is directed at children. i love the interesting topics it teaches. and i love how it is being designed for students at rural schools in argentina.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

corona heights

we did so much today i can't remember half of it. i do remember this, though - walking around corona heights enjoying the great views of the city.

what we really need is one of bre's brilliant picture-taking kites. in the meantime, i remind myself that the best images are the ones not from my camera but the ones i see with my own eyes.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

so, you wanna be a professor?

if i were a grad student contemplating an academic career, or if i were someone on the academic job market, or if i were curious about the ways and means of academia, i'd give a good long look at jonathan sterne's excellent academic archive called academe. jonathan's been maintaining this page since 1999 and it's the best one-stop site for those on - or thinking about being on - the academic job market. also, if you want more, check out mary corbin sies' academic job resources.

el proyecto septiembre

one of the best things about working on the september project this year is collaborating with my friend and colleague maria garrido. maria just received her PhD and is now working at university of washington's center for internet studies. before washington, maria received her bachelor's degree in international relations at the universidad iberoamericana in mexico city and her masters in international relations at the university of chicago. maria is smart, engaged, and fun to be around.

maria and i have been trying our best to communicate with all libraries in mexico, latin america, and south america. recently, with maria's help, two new libraries are participating in the september project:we have also heard from many more librarians who are currently discussing the project with their colleagues.

the first step involved language. for a message to travel, it needs to be translated.
Mi nombre es David Silver. Soy profesor asistente de estudios de medios en la Universidad de San Francisco, en California. Le escribo para invitarles a usted y a su biblioteca a participar en El Proyecto Septiembre, un proyecto global de bibliotecas.

El Proyecto Septiembre anima a la realización de eventos gratuitos y públicos en todas las bibliotecas de todos los países el 11 de septiembre o en fechas cercanas a ésta. Las bibliotecas colaboran con otras organizaciones para ofrecer eventos como: exposiciones sobre derechos humanos y documentos de gobierno, charlas y representaciones teatrales sobre la democracia y las diferencias culturales, proyecciones de cine sobre temas importantes y registro de electores. Se pueden encontrar otros ejemplos de eventos en:

Los eventos del Proyecto Septiembre no son sobre el 11 de septiembre, son eventos de reflexión, debate y diálogo acerca del significado de la democracia, el papel de la información en la promoción de la ciudadanía activa y la importancia de la alfabetización para entender el mundo. Los eventos tendrán lugar el 11 de septiembre, la semana del 11 de septiembre o a lo largo del mes de septiembre.

Desde 2004, más de 1,100 bibliotecas de 34 países han participado en El Proyecto Septiembre. Nos honraría contar con la participación de su biblioteca este año.

Hemos traducido nuestro sitio web a muchos idiomas, entre ellos el español. Aquí encontrará un mapa de las bibliotecas participantes, cientos de ideas para eventos y otros recursos.

Si está interesado, inscriba a su biblioteca:

Desafortunadamente, no hablo su idioma, pero con la ayuda de alumnos, amigos y software de traducción, espero que podamos compartir ideas. Gracias por su tiempo. Respetuosamente,

David Silver
hopefully, the word will continue to travel.

media in transition conference

since 1999, the media in transition conferences at MIT have been attracting interesting and innovative work in media and new media studies. unfortunately, i have never attended one of these conferences.

i hope to make media in transition 5: creativity, ownership and collaboration in the digital age, which takes place april 27-29, 2007 at MIT.

short abstracts of no more than 200 words for papers or panels are due january 5, 2007.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

chicago public library

[crossposted from the september project blog]

today we received an email from craig l. davis, director of adult services of chicago public library. his email said that for the second straight year all 79 branches of the chicago public library would be participating in the september project.

i had heard about chicago public library's commitment to civic engagement long before they began participating in the september project. i learned about it from sarah, who had read robert d. putnam and lewis feldstein's book, better together: restoring the american community, which features a chapter on chicago public library and the ways the librarians engage their diverse communities.

i am not sure what the chicago public library will be doing for their september project events but i'm sure it will be engaging. in the meantime, i like looking at the map and seeing the chicagoland area filled with pins marking libraries like the bensenville community public library, clarendon hills public library, hammond public library, indian prairie public library, morton grove public library, roselle public library, and the massively distributed chicago public library system.

a good idea and an interesting question

from "mel gibson: the speed of a scandal" (free to read but registration required) in tuesday's new york times:
    On Monday, Hope Hartman, a spokeswoman for Disney’s ABC television network, said the company was dropping its plans to produce a Holocaust-themed miniseries in collaboration with Mr. Gibson.
that sounds like a pretty good idea.

an interesting perspective from free range librarian, who asks:
    The American Library Association has clear anti-discrimination policies. We've known about his homophobia for years, but not taken action. Will we also tolerate his anti-Semitism?