Mit Cms/w



MIT Comparative Media Studies/Writing offers an innovative academic program that applies critical analysis, collaborative research, and design across a variety of media arts, forms, and practices.We develop thinkers who understand the dynamics of media change and can apply their insights to contemporary problems. We cultivate practitioners and artists who can work in multiple forms of contemporary media. Our students and research help shape the future by engaging with media industries and the arts as critical and visionary partners at a time of rapid transformation.


  • Jonathan Sterne, Diminished Vocalities: On Prostheses and Abilities

    Jonathan Sterne, "Diminished Vocalities: On Prostheses and Abilities"

    24/04/2021 Duración: 01h26min

    Video and transcript: In this talk, Jonathan Sterne provides a brief overview of some of the themes of his new book, Diminished Faculties: A Political Phenomenology of Impairment (Duke, December 2021) and a deeper dive into the approach to the voice he develops therein. Impairments are usually understood as the physical or biological substrates of culturally produced disabilities, but in the book, Sterne considers them as a political and theoretical problem in their own right. Impaired voices present a particularly interesting problem. Most discussions of the voice frame it as a human faculty that is connected to self and agency, as when we say that a political group “has a voice,” or when the tone of voice is taken as expressing a speaker’s inner meaning or selfhood. But how to understand voices that are produced prosthetically? In this talk Sterne will consider his own experiments with vocal prostheses alongside p

  • Promotional Narratives, Science Fiction, and the Case for Mars Colonization

    Promotional Narratives, Science Fiction, and the Case for Mars Colonization

    06/04/2021 Duración: 01h27min

    Video and transcript: Given the enormous impact that colonialism has had, and continues to have, in the United States, scholars frequently look to our colonial past to understand the American present. This focus on the past, though valuable, has discouraged attention to newly emerging colonial enterprises. Perhaps one of the more conspicuous neo-colonial projects has been the push towards planting human colonies on Mars. In James Wynn’s talk, he explores one of the many problems addressed by the rhetoric of this current colonial moment: How do you persuade people to leave their indigenous communities to start new ones in a foreign and sometimes hostile place? To explore the current rhetorical solutions to this problem, Wynn assesses the strategies used by science fiction writers to help audiences imagine life and human settlement on Mars. By comparing their efforts to lure people to the red planet with the “promotional literature”

  • Measuring Equity-Promoting Behaviors in Digital Teaching Simulations: A Topic Modeling Approach

    Measuring Equity-Promoting Behaviors in Digital Teaching Simulations: A Topic Modeling Approach

    12/03/2021 Duración: 01h24min

    Digital simulations offer learning opportunities to engage and reflect on systemic issues of racism and structural violence against communities of color. This talk examines how natural language processing tools can be used to better understand participants’ experiences within simulated environments focused on anti-racist teaching and identify changes in participants’ behavior over time. As K-12 schools increasingly reckon with our country’s long history of racist teaching practices, digital simulations may provide ways to help teachers name, re-examine, and reflect on their own practice and move toward anti-racist teaching. Dr. Joshua Littenberg-Tobias is a Research Scientist in the MIT Teaching Systems Lab. His research focuses on measuring and supporting learning within large-scale technology-mediated environments with a focus on civic engagement and anti-racist teaching practices. He received his Ph.D. from Boston College in 2015 in educational research, measurement, and evaluation.

  • Charisse L’Pree: What is a Media Psychography? A 20-year Methodological Journey

    Charisse L’Pree: "What is a Media Psychography? A 20-year Methodological Journey"

    23/02/2021 Duración: 01h25min

    What is your relationship with media technologies? When we say things like “I love television,” “I hate the internet,” or “I can’t live without music, ” we implicitly answer this question without explicitly asking it. In her new book, 20th Century Media and the American Psyche: A Strange Love (Routledge 2021), Dr. Charisse L’Pree (MIT SB ’03 CMS, SB ’03 Course 9) addresses the strange love that we have with communication technology – specifically over the past 150 years – and how these relationships with past mediums inform our relationships with newer technologies. In this talk, Charisse L’Pree discusses the role of interdisciplinary research and how she has maneuvered a wide variety of methodologies, including quantitative, qualitative, critical, and applied, in order to answer life’s questions. At Syracuse University, L’Pree teaches classes on communication and diversity to professional media students, specifically how do media affect our understanding of different social categories and how do the social

  • Reworking the Archive: The Southeast Chicago Archive and Storytelling Project

    Reworking the Archive: The Southeast Chicago Archive and Storytelling Project

    04/12/2020 Duración: 01h37min

    What are some unexplored ways that online environments can help us rethink “the archive”? How might i-doc storytelling tools expand what an archive can be as well as public engagement with history itself? This presentation explores these questions through a demonstration of the online Southeast Chicago Archive and Storytelling Project. The project is based on a collaboration with the Southeast Chicago Historical Museum, a small volunteer-led museum in a diverse former steel mill region. The digital archive highlights objects saved and donated by community residents, what those items meant to donors, and the stories told around and through these objects. The website uses a variety of online storytelling techniques to help viewers connect with the objects and the histories from which they emerge. It also highlights how the historic conflicts found in this multi-racial working-class community – including those around labor, immigration, racial, and environmental struggles – continue to resonate in the contempor

  • #BlackInTheIvory: Academia’s Role in Institutional Racism

    #BlackInTheIvory: Academia’s Role in Institutional Racism

    03/12/2020 Duración: 01h32min For many Black scientists and researchers, working in academia means weathering systemic bias, micro-aggressions, and isolation. Dr. Shardé M. Davis, a communications researcher at the University of Connecticut, created #BlackInTheIvory this past summer as a platform for discussing the experiences of Black academics. Dr. Davis joins Dr. Mareena Robinson Snowden, a nuclear engineer at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab, and Dr. James Mickens, a computer scientist at Harvard University, to examine academia’s role in perpetuating institutional racism and efforts to change those systems. Tanya Ballard Brown, an editor at National Public Radio (NPR), will moderate. Dr. Shardé M. Davis is an assistant professor in the Department of Communication at the University of Connecticut and the creator of #BlackInTheIvory. Dr. Davis’s research examines the way Black women leverage communication in the sistah circle

  • BORDERx: A Crisis In Graphic Detail

    BORDERx: A Crisis In Graphic Detail

    20/11/2020 Duración: 01h24min

    In 2018, the United States enacted a “zero tolerance” policy which criminalized the act of seeking asylum. In June 2019, the inhumane conditions in detention camps across the border were revealed, and several weeks later the BORDERx project was established. BORDERx: A Crisis In Graphic Detail is a comic anthology that examines the border crisis from a variety of points of view and narrative formats, featuring 70 contributors from all over the world. Proceeds from the project go to South Texas Human Rights Center. Why address the issue with comics? How did we accomplish this enormous project in months instead of years? What were the financial considerations? What are the next steps for BORDERx? How can this platform serve other social issues? This talk will walk us through the project from origin to completion. Mauricio Cordero, the project founder, will discuss the journey with Prof. James Paradis, offering insights and examples from the work.​ = About Mauricio Cordero = Mauricio Cordero has worked in the

  • Beyond the Living Dead: Treasures from the George A. Romero Archive

    Beyond the Living Dead: Treasures from the George A. Romero Archive

    12/11/2020 Duración: 01h34min

    Warning: contains spoilers and strong language. With his 1968 debut Night of the Living Dead, George A. Romero helped to inaugurate a new era of both horror film and independent cinema, and introduced the world to the zombie as we know it today: re-animated corpses, stumbling towards the living in search of flesh, a ghoulish new kind of monster that has, in the subsequent half-century, become an essential part of the world’s cultural imaginary. From that moment on, Romero would become known as the maker of zombie movies, directing 5 more films set in the Living Dead universe, an artist completely identified with that initial monstrous creation. Romero is a complex figure in American cinema. He worked outside the normal systems of financing and distribution for most of his career, choosing to live and work in Pittsburgh, where he built an industry and a community. But while being far from Hollywood ensured that access to funding for his projects would be severely limited, and often contingent on his branding

  • Patricia Saulis, “Two-Eyed Seeing in Environmental Justice and Media”

    Patricia Saulis, “Two-Eyed Seeing in Environmental Justice and Media”

    05/11/2020 Duración: 01h24min

    Two-eyed seeing has been a contemporary concept by two Indigenous Mikmaq Elders in Cape Breton Canada. Through the use of Indigenous Oral Tradition, Elders Dr. Albert Marshall and Dr. Murdena Marshall have participated in many recordings of their concept and teachings. Their appearances at conferences across Canada and the United States provided many venues to share their work. In this presentation, Patricia Saulis will feature clips of the Elders speaking and provide some perspective on how their work could be brought forward in discussions of Environmental Justice and Media. About Patricia Saulis Patricia Saulis is Executive Director of the Maliseet Nation Conservation Council and a member of the Maliseet tribe of Indigenous people, whose lands lie along the Saint John River watershed on both sides of the US and Canadian border in Northeast Maine and Southern New Brunswick. Ms. Saulis is an experienced tribal policy administrator, environmentalist, and educational planner, and has a very extensive backg

  • Lana Swartz, New Money: How Payment Became Social Media

    Lana Swartz, "New Money: How Payment Became Social Media"

    29/10/2020 Duración: 01h24min

    Lana Swartz, ’09, is joined by Aswin Punathambekar, ’03, to discuss Swartz’s new book New Money: How Payment Became Social Media (Yale University Press). New Money frames money as a media technology, one in major transition, and interrogates the consequences of those changes. Lana Swartz is an Assistant Professor in Department of Media Studies at the University of Virginia and a 2009 graduate of MIT’s Comparative Media Studies master’s program. Prior to New Money, she published Paid: Tales of Dongles, Checks, and Other Money Stuff (MIT Press). Aswin Punathambekar is Swartz’s colleague at UVa’s Department of Media Studies, where he is an Associate Professor. He graduated from the Comparative Media Studies program in 2003 and is co-author of the upcoming (provisionally-titled) The Digital Popular: Media, Culture, and Politics in Networked India. Video and transcript also available:

  • Media Distortions: Understanding the Power Behind Spam, Noise, and Other Deviant Media

    Media Distortions: Understanding the Power Behind Spam, Noise, and Other Deviant Media

    22/10/2020 Duración: 01h20min

    Media Distortions is about the power behind producing deviant media categories. It shows the politics behind categories we take for granted such as spam and noise, and what it means to our broader understanding of, and engagement with media. The book synthesizes media theory, sound studies, STS, feminist technoscience, and software studies into a new composition to explore media power. Media Distortions argues that using sound as a conceptual framework is more useful due to its ability to cross boundaries and strategically move between multiple spaces – which is essential for multi-layered mediated spaces. The book introduces two main concepts – Processed Listening and Rhythmedia – to analyze multiplicities of mediated spaces, people and objects. Drawing on repositories of legal, technical and archival sources, the book amplifies three stories about the construction and negotiation of the ‘deviant’ in media. The book starts in the early 20th century with Bell Telephone’s production of noise in the training o

  • Race and Representation of Syrian, Palestinian, and Norwegian Refugees in the News

    Race and Representation of Syrian, Palestinian, and Norwegian Refugees in the News

    16/10/2020 Duración: 01h33min

    This talk will discuss contemporary US feelings towards Syrian and Palestinian refugee resettlement and expectations for “appropriate” refugee attitudes, emotions, and behaviors. Laura Partain’s findings come out of a generalizable experimental analysis conducted with native-born US citizens in December of 2019. Putting these views into an historical context, she explains that what might immediately be perceived as unexpected experimental results are actually the logical evolution of the 20th and 21st century US racial episteme: US participants are more likely to support the resettlement of darker phenotype refugees, but hold more amicable views of lighter phenotype refugees. Moreover, participants’ association with the Christian faith identity was the most reliable predictor of anti-immigrant views. During this discussion, Laura will tie her research into ongoing conversations about nationalism and national belonging, as well as the ways in which social-expectations placed on displaces peoples can limit thei

  • Eric Gordon, Towards a Meaningfully Inefficient Smart City

    Eric Gordon, "Towards a Meaningfully Inefficient Smart City"

    07/10/2020 Duración: 01h24min

    Mainstream “smart” city discourse offers a technocentric, efficiency-driven utopian fantasy that elides or exacerbates many urban problems of the past and present. Significant critical literature has emerged in recent years that highlights the importance of lived experience in smart cities, wherein values of equity, quality of life, and sustainability are prioritized. This literature has focused on models that center people in the design and implementation of smart city plans. Instead of maximizing efficiency, these models strategically produce what I call meaningful inefficiencies into process and outcomes, or the intentionally designed productive lag in a system wherein users are able to explore, connect, and invent in a non-prescribed fashion. In this talk, Visiting Professor Eric Gordon will discuss a recent project in Boston, MA in collaboration with the Boston Mayor’s Office of New Urban Mechanics, called Beta Blocks, that uses meaningful inefficiency as a structuring logic for sourcing, questioning and

  • Jing Wang, Walking Around Obstacles: Nonconfrontational Activists In Gray China

    Jing Wang, "Walking Around Obstacles: Nonconfrontational Activists In Gray China"

    02/10/2020 Duración: 01h12min

    Is there digital activism in China? What is it like to be an activist running a grassroots NGO in a land of censors? Is the state-public relationship in China antagonistic by default as our mainstream media would like us to believe? Are citizens of illiberal societies brainwashed or complicit, either imprisoned for speaking out or paralyzed by fear? This talk challenges some of the binary assumptions we make about activism and China by bringing our attention to the gray zones in China where nonconfrontational activists are building an invisible and quiet coalition to bring incremental progress to their society. Wang will talk about NGO2.0, a grassroots organization she founded in China, provide examples of nonconfrontational activism staged on Weibo and WeChat, and introduce Future Village, a design4good project that calls for multi-sectoral collaboration that NGO2.0 is building. Jing Wang is the founder and director of MIT New Media Action Lab and serves as the Chair of the International Advisory Board for

  • Justin Reich, Failure to Disrupt: Why Technology Alone Can’t Transform Education

    Justin Reich, "Failure to Disrupt: Why Technology Alone Can’t Transform Education"

    25/09/2020 Duración: 01h14min

    In the 2000s and 2010s, education technology evangelists promised that new learning media would transform schooling and education. Then, a pandemic shut down schools all over the world, and online learning face a pivotal moment, and left a global public mostly disappointed. Instead of adaptive tutors, artificial intelligence, MOOCs or other new technologies, most learners got digital worksheets on learning management systems and ZOOM lecturers. "Failure to Disrupt: Why Technology Alone Can’t Transform Education" explores the recent history of large scale learning technologies to explain why technology provides such uneven support—useful in some contexts but not others, to some people but not others—to learners. The book concludes by examining four as-yet intractable dilemmas that learning media researchers and designers can use to identify persistent challenges in using technology to accelerate human learning. Justin Reich is the Mitsui Career Development Professor of Comparative Media at MIT, and the direct

  • Kishonna Gray, Exploring the Black Cultural Production of Gamers in Transmediated Culture

    Kishonna Gray, "Exploring the Black Cultural Production of Gamers in Transmediated Culture"

    16/09/2020 Duración: 01h27min

    With this presentation, Dr. Kishonna Gray illustrates a framework for studying the intersectional development of technological artifacts and systems and their impact on Black cultural production and social processes. Using gaming as the glue that binds this project, she puts forth intersectional tech as a framework to make sense of the visual, textual, and oral engagements of marginalized users, exploring the complexities in which they create, produce, and sustain their practices. Gaming, as a medium often outside conversations on Blackness and digital praxis, is one that is becoming more visible, viable, and legible in making sense of Black technoculture. Intersectional tech implores us to make visible the force of discursive practices that position practices within (dis)orderly social hierarchies and arrangements. The explicit formulations of the normative order are sometimes in disagreement with the concrete human condition as well as inconsistent with the consumption and production practices that constitu

  • Shawna Kidman: The Infrastructure of the U.S. Comic Book Industry

    Shawna Kidman: "The Infrastructure of the U.S. Comic Book Industry"

    06/03/2020 Duración: 31min

    This talk discusses the history of the American comic book industry during the 20th century. This medium has dominated the film and television landscape in recent years, and has come to define contemporary corporate transmedia production. But before moving to the center of mainstream popular culture, comic books spent half a century wielding their influence from the margins and in-between spaces of the entertainment business. Dr. Kidman argues that the best way to understand the immense influence of this relatively small business is through a political economic analysis. Specifically, she discusses industrial infrastructure—the aspects of our media environment that often lack public visibility, including distribution, copyright and contract law, and financing. These systems channeled the industry’s growth and ultimately gave the medium its shape. Accordingly, a closer look at the everyday intricacies of the business yields a very different kind of narrative about what comic books are and how they came to be.

  • Marina Bers, “Coding in Early Childhood: Storytelling or Puzzle Solving?”

    Marina Bers, “Coding in Early Childhood: Storytelling or Puzzle Solving?”

    28/02/2020 Duración: 01h16min

    Computer programming is an essential skill in the 21st century and new policies and frameworks are in place for preparing students for computer science. Today, the development of new interfaces and block-programming languages, facilitates the teaching of coding and computational thinking starting in kindergarten. However, as new programming languages that are developmentally appropriate emerge, it is not enough to copy models developed for older children, which mostly grew out of traditional STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) disciplines and instructional practices. In this talk, Prof. Marina Bers will describe current research on a pedagogical approach for early childhood computer science education called “Coding as Another Language” (CAL), grounded on the principle that learning to program involves learning how to use a new language (a symbolic system of representation) for communicative and expressive functions. Due to the critical foundational role of language and literacy in the early year

  • Desmond Upton Patton: “Contextual Analysis of Social Media”

    Desmond Upton Patton: “Contextual Analysis of Social Media”

    21/02/2020 Duración: 51min

    While natural language processing affords researchers an opportunity to automatically scan millions of social media posts, there is growing concern that automated computational tools lack the ability to understand context and nuance in human communication and language. Columbia University’s Desmond Upton Patton introduces a critical systematic approach for extracting culture, context and nuance in social media data. The Contextual Analysis of Social Media (CASM) approach considers and critiques the gap between inadequacies in natural language processing tools and differences in geographic, cultural, and age-related variance of social media use and communication. CASM utilizes a team-based approach to analysis of social media data, explicitly informed by community expertise. The team uses CASM to analyze Twitter posts from gang-involved youth in Chicago. They designed a set of experiments to evaluate the performance of a support vector machine using CASM hand-labeled posts against a distant model. They found t

  • Creative Agency: Making, Learning, and Playing towards Understanding Computational Content

    Creative Agency: Making, Learning, and Playing towards Understanding Computational Content

    14/02/2020 Duración: 01h18min

    People often learn complex computational content most easily and deeply when they have “creative agency” – the social network, ability, skills, resources, and support to collaboratively and playfully make creative computational content in feedback-rich environments. This talk will present a lens on how we can create environments where learners are supported in developing creative agency, and how we might assess or evaluate success. Matthew Berland covers his projects in museums, computer science classrooms, after-school clubs, and universities, showing how we can use design-based research, learning analytics, and games to enable creative agency towards more equitable outcomes and better understand how, why, and when people make and learn complex computational content together. Matthew Berland is an Associate Professor of Design, Informal, and Creative Education in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, spending 2019-2020 as a visiting scholar in CMS/W at MIT. In

página 1 de 19