Spring Shelfie with Christopher St. Louis

I am a second-year PhD student in the media studies program in the School of Journalism and Communication. Prior to that, I earned two master’s degrees, the most recent also in the SOJC media studies program, where my thesis was concerned with the historical discursive construction of an idealized figure of the “Internet user,” and the first master’s degree from the University of Tokyo’s ITASIA program (https://itasia.iii.u-tokyo.ac.jp/), an interdisciplinary media and cultural studies program where I wrote my thesis on the news media’s role in producing narratives of risk to legitimize state programs of public surveillance.

My research interests involve a broad swath of topics, largely organized around the topics of Internet histories, mobile media, and the ideological and discursive constructions of new media. More specifically, I am interested in a recent shift from discussing the history of the Internet as a monolithic, American-focused narrative and instead exploring the plurality of global or regional Internet histories, with a particular (but not exclusive) interest in the Japanese Internet. I am also interested in how the development of the cellphone and smartphone factor into these histories and how contemporary mobile media is shaping the way we conceive of and interact with the Internet. Finally, combining these two strands is an interest in how these histories and the cultural meanings of these technologies are discursively constructed and shaped by embedded politics which in turn affect our experiences with new media.

My PhD research takes a historical and cultural approach to the keitai denwa, mobile phones popular in Japan from the late 1990s until the global diffusion of the iPhone and Android smartphones in 2007/2008. I view this period, which covers the early development of the mobile web with the launch of carrier NTT DoCoMo’s i-Mode service in 1999, as a time of “interpretive flexibility” for mobile media and the mobile web, where the cultural meanings of mobile technologies were still being discursively contested, standardized, and spread globally before the rise of the iPhone and Android smartphones fixed the dominant meanings of mobile phones and the mobile web within an appliancized framework governed by the logics of Web 2.0 ideology and surveillance capitalism.

I first came to the New Media and Culture Certificate program through the common seminar course taught in my first year by Professor Bish Sen. This was my first formal introduction to the study of new media (in all of its expansive forms, definitions, and approaches), and I still return to a significant number of the readings and topics we discussed in the class in my present work. The wider certificate program has been invaluable in helping me to connect with like-minded new media scholars in other departments across campus (whom I might not have run into otherwise), and the speakers invited to campus by the program have been inspiring both in the content of their research and the examples they provide of what a career as an academic specializing in new media studies could look like.

Recommended Readings

I could probably write several thousand words on readings that have had a strong influence on my research interests, my understanding of contemporary cultures, or my personal worldview. To narrow that range down somewhat, the following short list is a little thematically-scattered, but the readings have been influential in helping me think through some of the concepts I am working with for my dissertation and the orientation of my future research. These are works that explore the socially constructed nature of common technologies to show that artifacts and concepts we take for granted—the Internet, the abstraction of “the cloud,” urban infrastructure, hardware platforms like video game consoles, and even the tradition of scientific experimentation itself—are all products of culturally-produced meanings and embedded ideologies.

The Net Effect: Romanticism, Capitalism, and the Internet. Thomas Streeter. New York University Press, 2011

A Prehistory of the Cloud. Tung-Hui Hu. MIT Press, 2015.

“Do Artifacts Have Politics?” Langdon Winner. Daedalus 109 (1), 1980. http://www.jstor.org/stable/20024652

Racing the Beam: The Atari Video Computer System. Nick Montfort and Ian Bogost. MIT Press, 2009.

Leviathan and the Air-Pump: Hobbes, Boyle, and the Experimental Life. Steven Shapin and Simon Schaffer. Princeton University Press, 1985.

Recommended Tools

The tools we use as academics are important, not just in their functionality but in their embedded politics which we—knowingly or unknowingly—participate in through their use. When we produce and distribute knowledge, we might not think about whether private interests benefit from the work we do, or whether our choice of a particular program or file format possibly closes out other academics from engaging with our work because they don’t have the funding or access to specific technologies. The tools below have helped me through my graduate school journey, and I hope others may find some of them useful as well.

• Zotero (https://www.zotero.org/). A good reference manager is essential for 21st century academic work (in my opinion). Zotero is free and open source, compatible with Microsoft Word, LibreOffice Writer, and Google Docs (I think?) and runs on all major operating systems. Mendeley and EndNote are frequently recommended alternatives, but both are problematic in their default use of proprietary file formats; Mendeley is especially concerning considering it is owned by academic mega-publisher Elsevier.

• LibreOffice (https://www.libreoffice.org/). LibreOffice is free software that offers all of the features we expect from an office suite and is fully compatible with Word and Powerpoint (also Excel) formats. There’s no high cost (Microsoft Office), no concerns with storing important data in the cloud (Office 365, Google Docs) and no proprietary file formats that are incompatible with other programs (Apple Pages, Keynote).

• LaTeX (https://www.latex-project.org/). LaTeX is a collection of utilities used in producing high-quality typeset documents. It’s not the easiest thing to start using—but not much more complex than learning, say, HTML and CSS—but if typography is important to you then LaTeX is a valuable tool to learn. I typeset both of my master’s theses in LaTeX, and they look beautiful (the content, on the other hand…).

• Atom (https://atom.io). A multipurpose text editor developed by GitHub. A huge library of community-created plugins means this program can be adapted to just about any sort of writing project you’re working on. I use it to take notes and make outlines in Markdown format (https://daringfireball.net/projects/markdown/) which can then be easily converted into a number of other file formats using the pandoc tool (https://pandoc.org/). I also use it for editing LaTeX projects thanks to a number of useful features like syntax highlighting, bracket matching, and other nerdy stuff.

• Linux. Linux is a free operating system that runs on just about any modern laptop or desktop computer. I switched to Linux full-time from Microsoft Windows four years ago because I wanted more control over and customization of my computer, and being able to build my system around how I work has been an incredible asset to my productivity. There’s no one “version” of Linux; instead, it’s available in a number of different “distributions” which offer different collections of software, user interfaces, and other customizations. I use Fedora (https://getfedora.org) but Linux Mint (https://www.linuxmint.com/) and Ubuntu (https://ubuntu.com/) are also popular and accessible distributions for new users. If you’ve ever been frustrated at the way your computer operates—or the increasing ways in which you as the user have less control over how your operating system functions or is maintained and supported—Linux may be worth investigating.

Congratulations NMCC Graduates 2019!

This year the NMCC is celebrating three new graduates from the NMCC Certificate Program…

Aaron Whitney Bjork’s thesis exhibition titled Platform Bazaar was held at Disjecta Gallery in Portland, Or. May, 2019.

Aaron Bjork is graduating with an MFA in Fine Art from the College of Design.

His favorite NMCC Course was COLT 615: Transmedial Aesthetics with Dr. Michael Allan. After he graduates, he hopes to spend some time recuperating in the sun and seeing family.

Bonnie Sheehey is graduating with a PhD in Philosophy from the College of Arts and Sciences.

Her favorite class was also COLT 615: Transmedial Aesthetics with Dr. Allan. After graduating, she will begin a tenure-track Assistant Professor position in the Philosophy Department at Montana State University and continue research on the use of algorithms in the US criminal justice system.

Catharine Roner-Reiter is graduating with a JD from the University of Oregon School of Law and an MA from the Conflict and Dispute Resolution (CRES) program.

Her favorite class was J610: History and Theory of New Media. After graduation, she plans to pursue an LL.M in International Commercial Arbitration in order to work as an arbitrator in disputes involving the entertainment industry.





Save the Date for the NMCC’s Fall Open House

Joins us for snacks and drinks at the NMCC’s fall open house on Friday, October 18 from 3-5 in the Digital Scholarship’s DREAM lab!

Meet fellow certificate members and NMCC faculty, or say hello to those you already know. This event is open to anyone interested in learning more about the New Media and Culture Certificate program, so bring a friend.
We also want to hear about any suggestions you have for NMCC workshops, events, or speakers — so bring your ideas!

Owning Your Omeka Workshop Series: Fall 2019 at the DSC’s Dream Lab

The Digital Scholarship Center (DSC) will run the “Owning your Omeka” Workshop series during fall term in their Dream Lab . The Workshop will teach you how to design your own Omeka page, download plugins and themes, and use themes and plugins to deepen the kinds of exhibits you can build using Omeka. If you are new to Omeka, this workshop series will help you design exhibits that can showcase your work to colleagues, potential employers, and other students.

Next year, the NMCC hopes to develop digital exhibits showcasing NMCC student work using Omeka. If you wish to develop an Omeka site in conjunction with the NMCC, please email us at NMCC@uoregon.edu.

Center for Art Research (CFAR) launch on Friday, May 31st at 4 P.M.

The Center for Art Research (CFAR) is a collaborative, artist-run platform for experimentation and exchange rooted in art making.

It’s Studio Notes exhibition will present the range of inquiry and practices of the CFAR Affiliate Artists by providing a glimpse of this creative community’s works through ephemera related to their art practices including models, tests, sketches, studies, and finished or unfinished work, etc. Getting things out of the studio and into the white box context creates an opportunity to see work differently or experiment with exhibition strategies.

The Studio Notes event will take place from 4-6 P.M. in the 510 Oak building on Friday, May 31st.

The schedule for the event is below:

The event are free and open to all!

4:00pm- “10 for 5 @ 510 Oak Artist Presentations by Avantika BawaCarla BengstonMarissa Lee Benedict and David RueterPat BoasTannaz FarsiJessica Jackson HutchinsGarrick Imatani,Sylvan LionniEmily Eliza Scott, and Rick Silva.

5:00pm- “Studio Notes” Exhibition Opening & Open Studios

More details can be found here.

The event will take place at 510 Oak St, Eugene OR 97401

Visit the Center for Art Research and the Department of Art for further information.

UO History Lecture in the Digital Humanities on Tuesday, May 21st

The Department of History proudly presents the 24th Annual Stan and Joan Pierson Lecture:

“Race and Gender in the Digital Humanities: Ethics, Algorithms, and Archives” presented by Dr. Sharon Block, Professor of History at the University of California, Irvine

Tuesday, May 21, 2019
3:30–5:00 p.m.
Gerlinger Alumni Lounge (201 Gerlinger Hall)

This is a free, public talk with a reception to follow. Wine and beer served.

About the Speaker
Dr. Sharon Block is an internationally renowned historian of women, gender, sexuality, and race. She has published three books: Rape and Sexual Power in Early America (2006); Major Problems in American Women’s History (2013); and Colonial Complexions: Race and Bodies in Eighteenth-Century America (2018). Her articles have appeared in the Journal of Women’s History, the William and Mary Quarterly, the Journal of American History, and Radical History Review. Her current research centers on race and gender in the digital humanities.

The Pierson Tradition

The Pierson Lecture is a Department of History tradition that spans back to 1993, when it was founded to honor Stan and Joan Pierson. The Piersons were both exemplary citizens of the community, dedicated to history and education as proven by their distinguished records of intellectual accomplishment and community involvement. This lecture series brings distinguished scholars, such as Dr. Sharon Block, to the University of Oregon, so that they may share their work in alignment with the Piersons’ interests in cultural, intellectual, and political life.

For information visit the UO events page

3 GE Positions Open in the Library

There are three new GE positions now accepting applications in the library:

1. LMS/Instructional Technology Specialist with the Center for Media and Educational Technology is due May 24th. For more informaion visit here .

2. The Price Science Commons and Research Library (PSC) Visualization Laboratory Outreach Specialist is due May 24th. For more information visit here .

3. Digital Scholarship Specialist with Digital Scholarship Services is due on May 23. For more information, visit here .

Fall 2019 Course Offerings

The fall 2019 course offerings for the NMCC have been posted to the website. Postings for fall are tentative, so please check UO Class Schedule for updates.

Fall 2019 Course Listings
*Fall Course Listings are Tentative
Course Number Course Title Professor
ARTD 510 Art of Surveillance Rueter
ENG 660 Digital Humanities Fickle
LAW 610 Tech Competence in Law TBA
COLT 616 Transmedial Aesthetics Allan
EDUC 610 Philosophical Foundations of Social Science Rosiek
J 512 Topic reality TV Sen
J 512 Topics Communication and Democracy Youm
J 532 Report for Election Media Abdenour
J 610 Visual Communication Newton
MUS 570 Hist Electoacoust MUS Hatakeyama
Course Number Course Title Professor
EDUC 611 Survey of Education Research Methods DeGarmo
LA 508 Wrk Adv Ditigal Media Abelman
LA 510 Env Data Visualization Lee
MUS 611 Research Methods Shaffer
PPPM 656 Quantitative Methods Jacobsen
PSY 512 Applied Data Analysis Pennefather
PSY 607 Data Science Club Srivastava
PSY 611 Data Analysis I Weston
SOC 610 Data Visualization Southworth
ARCH 610 Intro Arch Computing TBA
ARTD 510 Data Visualization Tan
EDLD 610 Intro Data Science W/R Anderson
EDUC 612 Social Science Research Design TBA
EDUC 642 Multi Regression and Educational Research Biancarosa
EDUC 654 Adv Approaches to Behavioral Analysis Machalicek
J 660 Historical Methods Soderlund
LA 559 Top 3D Mapping with Lida Lee
MUS 576 Digital Aud Wrk Tech 1 Bellona
MUS 580 Audio Record Techn I Miller and Bellona
MUS 645 Adv Electronic Comp Wang
MUS 693 Ore Electr Device Orch Hatakeyama
Course Number Course Title Professor
CIS 571 Introduction to Artificial Intelligence Nguyen
LAW 610 Trademark Law Priest
J 611 Mass Communication and Society Foxman or Maier
AAD 550 Art in Society Blandy
ARCH 523 Media for design and Devleopment Utsey and Williams
ARH 507 Se Cntmp Asn Art/Film TBA
ARTD 510 Web Art TBA
ARTD 563 Communication Design Salter
ARTD 571 3-D Computer Imaging Ching
CINE 510 Transnational Film/Media Ok
EDST 610 Sapsik’wala Indigenous Technology Jacobsen
EDST 670 Philosophy of Research Rosiek
J 560 Brand Insight with Data Markowitz
J 563 Social Media Journalism Radcliffe
J 567 Digital Asia Nah
J 594 Strat Comm Research Shafer
J 596 Comparative Media Law Youm
J 612 Media Theory I Ofori-Parku
MUS 547 Digital Audio and Sound Design Stolet
MUS 548 Interactive Media Performance Stolet

A Successful Data/Media/Digital Graduate Symposium!

*This article was originally posted on the DH Blog. Visit the original article here.

*For more information on the Digital Humanities visit here.

A Successful Data/Media/Digital Graduate Symposium!

By: Hayley Brazier and Heidi Kaufman

Last Friday, April 5, a group of graduate students, faculty, and members of our community came together for the first Data/Media/Digital Graduate Symposium. The symposium showcased research projects developed by twelve UO graduate students whose work covered an impressive range of data, digital, and media methodologies and subjects.  The event was such a success that we couldn’t miss this opportunity to share it here on the blog.

Friday’s symposium was co-hosted by DH@UO, the New Media and Culture Certificate, and the School of Journalism and Communication. It was held in Knight Library’s new DREAM Lab, which is a collaborative space for students and professors working on digital projects.

The symposium’s call for proposals drew masters and PhD students from nine different departments including Music, English, the School of Journalism and Communication, History, Sociology, Linguistics, German, Theatre Arts, and Art History. Despite the range of disciplines and topics, the presentations still fit seamlessly into three panels: Experience and Interface; New Media Identities/Subjectivities; and Digital Curation, Exhibition, and Sharing.

The first session, “Experience and Interface,” included presentations from David Daniels (Music), Ellen Gillooly-Kress (Theatre Arts), Emily Lawhead (Art History), and Michelle Alexander (Sociology) and was chaired by Professor Bish Sen of the School of Journalism and Communication. All four of the presenters explored various spaces and digital tools, which included art installations, the theatre, playing World of Warcraft and Dungeons and Dragons, and computer vision software that allows the user to make musical sounds with their facial expressions. Each presenter engaged with questions about how media tools and technologies shape human encounters both with one another and with those tools. At the same time, they raised important considerations about the intersection of art and music with media and technology.

Four graduate students sit behind a long table discussing the panel
(Left to Right) Panel One’s David Daniels, Emily Lawhead, Ellen Gillooly-Kress, and Michelle Alexander (picture by Heidi Kaufman)

After a group lunch at Falling Sky, Leslie Selcer (English), Joscha Klueppel (German), Blaine Pennock (Sociology), and Patrick Jones (Media Studies, SOJC) coalesced around the second panel, New Media Identities and Subjectivities. This second panel debated the complexities of online authorship, performance, and reception (or how they are interpreted by others online and in social media). After the presentations, Professor Colin Koopman and the panelists led a discussion on the topic of online identity and questions of authenticity. While platforms like YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram seem to create a stark divide between our authentic selves and our online identities, many of the panelists argued that this line is actually more blurred than we may realize.

A group fo student sit in a large room listening to a panel speak at the front
The third panel discusses digital curation. Photograph by Hayley Brazier.

The third panel—Digital Curation, Exhibition, and Sharing—was the last of the day and included presentations by Caela Fenton (English), Josh Fitzgerald (History), Jonathan Wright (Linguistics), and Ally Baker (English). All of the presenters in this panel have been developing online projects to showcase their research and graduate student work. Panel chair Professor Heidi Kaufman facilitated a discussion between the panelists and the audience  focused on the politics of online archives and collections. Panelists addressed questions about the possibilities and limits of design and content: What materials should be made available online? How does copyright prohibit the sharing of certain text or images? Why is curation so important to a successful scholarly project?

It was clear at the end of the symposium that a growing field of UO graduate students are using data, media, and digital studies to advance questions raised by their research.These fields have been growing in academic culture, and the Symposium created an opportunity to assess future directions and shared areas of interest among our graduate students. Based on this year’s success, we hope the Data/Media/Digital Graduate Symposium will continue.

This year’s symposium was made possible by a generous support from the Barbara and Carlisle Moore Funds, Department of English, New Media and Cultural Certificate, Oregon Humanities Center, School of Journalism and Communication, and UO Libraries. And a special thanks to Franny Gaede for all of her help in preparing for the symposium!

Join the NMCC at the What is Technology Conference in Portland this weekend!

What is Technology? (2019) will examine interactions and transactions among practical arts and tools, techniques and processes, moral knowledge and imagination, to navigate our everchanging world. In a broad sense, technology can be understood as methods of intelligent inquiry and problem-solving into all domains of life. The conference-experience will enact a collaborative network of transdisciplinary research by cultivating information and communication as the heart of science, technology, engineering, art, medicine, and environments.

This year marks the ten-year anniversary and ninth annual What is…?, bringing together natural and social scientists, scholars, government officials, industry professionals, artists and designers, as well as alumni, students, community organizations, and the public. We invite proposals for scholarly papers, panels, and installations on a wide variety of issues and topics. Please see whatis.uoregon.edu for additional details.

For a complete schedule see the full conference schedule here.