Calendar of Events

Fall 2014

Friday, November 7, 2014
D. Fox Harrell (Computer Science and Artifical Intelligence Laboratory, MIT)
Phanstamal Media Book Cover
Phantasmal Media Poetics: Computing and Imagination for Expressing Humanistic Critical Inquiry
3:30 pm Curtin 175
Recorded lecture (YouTube)
(Technical difficulties would not allow us to capture slide presentation through Mediasite)

In his recent book Phantasmal Media, D. Fox Harrell argues that the great expressive potential of digital media comes from the unique ways they construct and reveal phantasms—blends of cultural ideas and sensory imagination. Harrell offers an approach to the poetics of digital media systems. Blending computer science, cognitive science, and digital media arts, Harrell seeks to understand how digital media works effectively evoke these phantasms, paying special attention to developing expressive systems that can expose oppressive phantasms and create empowering ones.

Beyond discussing poetic digital media expression more generally, this talk particularly explores phenomena of social identity, a topic of longstanding critical inquiry in the humanities. He describes new ways that digital media can effectively explore and express that moment when the meaning of social identity is complicated by its intersection with computing technologies including social networks, games, and virtual worlds. This exploration must include not only persistent categories of class, gender, sex, race, and ethnicity, but also the dynamic construction of social categories, body language, discourse, metaphorical thought, gesture, fashion, and so on. Harrell’s ideas from Phantasmal Media shed insight on how social phenomena such as stigma, privilege, and intersections between multiple dimensions of identity occur in digital media in both familiar and transformed ways.

Recommended background reading: D. Fox Harrell, ch. 4, "Polymorphic Poetics," Phantasmal Media: An Approach to Imagination, Computation, and Expression (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2013)

Brown bag lunch seminar with D. Fox Harrell
Friday, November 7
12 noon Curtin 939
Readings:
D. Fox Harrell, et. al., "Stories of Stigma and Acceptance: Using the Chimeria Platform"
D. Fox Harrell, ch. 4, "Polymorphic Poetics," Phantasmal Media: An Approach to Imagination, Computation, and Expression (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2013)


D. Fox Harrell, associate professor of computer science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), explores the relationship between imaginative cognition and computation. His research involves developing new forms of computational narrative, gaming, social media, and related digital media based in computer science, cognitive science, and digital media arts. His recent book is Phantasmal Media: An Approach to Imagination, Computation, and Expression (MIT Press, 2013).


UWM Year of the Humanities






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