Category Archives: New Media Theory

Reading: Computers as Theatre

Laurel, Brenda (1993). Computers as Theatre. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley.

At the recent iDMAA 2012 conference, I asked many of the faculty that I met for their recommended readings on the subject of interactivity, in anticipation of my 2013 Interactivity course. Brenda Laurel’s book kept coming up, and a few spoke of it with great reverence. After reading the book, I can see why for some—especially early generation digital designers—the book was so inspirational: it offered what for its time was probably one of the most fully formed humanistic approaches to computers, what Laurel herself calls a “new place to stand when considering the design of human-computer activity” (p. xxi). Continue reading

Reading: Orality and Literacy

Ong, Walter (2002). Orality and Literacy: The Technologizing of the Word, 2nd ed. London & New York: Routledge.

I first read Ong’s book back in graduate school, in Charlie Moran’s “Writing and Emergent Technologies” course (in 2004!). Ong wasn’t on the syllabus, but rather on a list of books from which we were to choose one to review. I can’t remember why I selected Ong, but I do remember my response to the book: I liked it. Ong’s claims about the differences between oral and print consciousness and culture were a bit of a revelation. Continue reading

Chicago Colloquium on Digital Humanities and Computer Science

On Sunday, 11/20/12, I spent most of the day at the Chicago Colloquium on Digital Humanities and Computer Science. This is an annual event in Chicago, and I was glad to attend for the first time. I teach primarily new media studies, and do so from my disciplinary perspective of writing and rhetoric. This puts my work in some relationship to the digital humanities (DH), though the exact nature of that relationship is difficult to determine. Continue reading

International Digital Media Arts Association

A few years back, I traveled to Concordia University in Montreal for a really terrific symposium, Database, Narrative, Archive. D>N>A was small, interdisciplinary, and participatory. There was a performance of High Rise at a bar and workshops on Korsakow and Scalar. A few of the academics at D>N>A recommended the conference of iDMAa, the International Digital Media and Arts Association, as similarly intimate, interdisciplinary, and stimulating. I just returned to Chicago from iDMAa 2012: here’s the debrief. Continue reading

Digital Ethics Symposium

On Monday, 10/29/12, Loyola University’s Center for Digital Ethics and Policy held its second International Digital Ethics Symposium in Chicago. This was the same day that Superstorm Sandy hit, but quite a few intrepid speakers made the journey regardless. I took the Purple Line south and spent the day listening to a range of really interesting talks. Continue reading