Frankenstein@200

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Happy to be on the steering committee for Frankenstein@200 — a year-long series of events taking place at Stanford in 2018. I’ll be participating in a number of ways, including  talks and several courses related to Frankenstein, among other things. I’ll post details here in due time. Also be sure to check out the project website, which is still under construction, but which is already chock full of announcements and constantly being updated.

The year 2018 marks the 200th anniversary of the publishing of Mary Shelley’s novel Frankenstein. The novel is eerily relevant today as we face ethical dilemmas around appropriate use of stem cells, questions about organ donation and organ harvesting, as well as animal to human transplants. Additionally, the rise of artificial intelligence portends an uncertain future of the boundaries between machines and humans. Frankenstein@200, will be a year-long series of academic courses and programs including a film festival, a play, a lecture series and an international Health Humanities Conference that will examine the numerous moral, scientific, sociological, ethical and spiritual dimensions of the work, and why Dr. Frankenstein and his monster still capture the moral imagination today. This project will be sponsored by the Stanford Medicine & the Muse Program in partnership with the Stanford Humanities Center, the Stanford Arts Institute, the Office of Religious Life, the Vice Provost for Teaching and LearningStanford Continuing Studies, the Cantor Arts Center, the Department of Art & Art History, and the Center for Biomedical Ethics.

DAAD Postdoctoral Fellowship at Duke University

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At long last, I am excited to announce that my application for a 2-year postdoctoral fellowship at Duke University has been approved for funding through the DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service). At Duke, I will be working closely with Mark B. N. Hansen and other scholars of media and culture to develop a media-archaeological perspective on serialization processes in video games and digital media culture more generally. The fellowship, which runs from August 2014 to July 2016, will allow me to conduct archival research in the US that will supplement and expand my work in the project “Digital Seriality” that I co-direct with Andreas Jahn-Sudmann in the context of the DFG Research Unit “Popular Seriality — Aesthetics and Practice.” Needless to say, I am very excited about this, and I will continue to post updates here! More soon…

Creating Social Media

The following info about the Master’s program in “Creating Social Media” reached me recently, and I thought it might be of interest to readers. Note that the deadline for applying is quickly approaching!

What does social media look like in the future? What will you create? At Goldsmiths, University of London, we offer an MA/MSc in Creating Social Media that provides students with practical and critical skills to shape the future of social media. The MA/MSc is a collaborative theory/practice programme across the Centre for Cultural Studies and the Department of Computing.

Based on global examples, we explore the technological and intellectual questions that have risen to prominence with the social web. We critique existing approaches and tools, and plan, develop, hack and implement new applications and campaigns. We not only analyse: we create.

New social media platforms, at their best, develop new online forms of connecting, relating, sharing and organising. Effective and innovative social media creation, therefore, involves deep theoretical and practical knowledge of both software development and social processes. Participants in the MA/MSc will become proficient in

– Computing skills in software development for new social media platforms, mashups, apps, and tools.
– This includes both coding and data skills, and a hacker approach
– Students with non technical background are brought up to speed with a specially developed bootcamp

– Theories of social processes and methods to research them.
– Adapting social media to a variety of technological contexts and to the needs of specific communities.
– Creating social media interventions that address social processes in new ways.

– Surfacing the assumptions and limitations embedded in software.
– Critically assessing contemporary discourses about social media and change.
– Building software tools that enable different forms of social practice, and launching them successfully.

The course draws together students from all around the globe, and from a wide spectrum, some with a technical background, and others whose main focus has been communications, culture, society or politics. We accept applicants until August 31 – but best apply as soon as possible.

Start: Sep 2012 (for those without technical background) or Oct 2012 (with)
Apply by: August 30 2012 latest
Duration: 1 Year full-time or 2 years part-time
Final Degree: MA or MSc (depends on focus of the thesis)
Website: http://www.gold.ac.uk/pg/ma-creating-social-media/
Contact: g.bachmann@gold.ac.uk