Courses and Workshops
“The end of the world has already occurred,” writes philosopher Timothy Morton in Hyperobjects, his investigation of media theory and climate change. In this claim, Morton synthesizes contemporary anxieties around the ongoing tenability of industrial capitalism and the fractured relationships between technology, climate, and humankind. This week-long course takes Morton’s ideas as a starting point for exploring the media history, materiality, and infrastructures of digital and network technologies, and interrogates how the digital humanities and media studies might theorize and respond practically to climate upheaval and the idea of the “apocalypse” more generally.
A full account of current studies on the relationship between digital media, media theory, and ecology would easily fill a semester, let along a week-long course. Media Archaeology, Climate Change, & the Digital (Non)humanities is then self-consciously brief, giving participants multiple entry points through which to consider the interactions of digital technologies and climate science. Topics will include media archaeology, technological obsolescence, e-waste, the material structure of the Internet, and the philosophical role of “the end of the world” or apocalypse for the digital humanities as a practice. The overall goal of the course is to provide participants space to engage with these topics through their own critical or creative practice, and to develop vocabularies through which to critique and historicize digital media more generally. Taught by post-bac Jeffrey Moro.
E.LIT / NET ART / January 2015
An introduction to key works and critical concepts in electronic literature and Internet art. Participants will engage with a variety of materials, including interactive fiction, hyperlink stories, and video game mash-ups to develop the critical and historical vocabularies that underpin digital media. Participants will complete a small project, understood as a prototype for future work, responding to course materials. This might be a paper, a game, a Twitter bot, a performance installation—or something entirely new. Taught by post-bac Jeffrey Moro.
PEER2PEER / January 2015
Peer-to-peer (P2P) is often thought alongside vague ideas of ‘the commons’ and ‘the sharing economy,’ or in terms of online piracy and crowd-sourcing. But what is P2P, really? And more importantly, what does it imply as a cultural model for exchanging our creative and our political efforts, our labor and our love? Where did peer-to-peer models come from, and where are they taking us? This Jan-term work group engages contemporary appropriations of peer-to-peer models, with emphases on P2P in art, labor, and policing practices. A brief set of readings and artworks will give recent historical context to the emergence of P2P, describe specific cultural instances of P2P in social, political, and creative life, and explore the implications of P2P on class, race, gender, sexuality and the future of networked solidarity. The workshop will culminate in a published reader to be comprised of short, student-written articles and/or art pieces on P2P in politics, art and culture. Taught by post-bac technologist Mariel Nyröp.
WINNERS DON’T SMASH BUTTONS / January 2015
This week-long interterm course will serve as an introduction to two not necessarily opposing things: 1) digital game playing as a skill that can be, if not taught, then at least learned through sheer stubbornness and 2) games as interactive and immersive, as carefully coded (social, cultural, political) structures, and as learning spaces. Over the course of one week, we will play (though not necessarily complete) games like Papo y Yo, Assassin’s Creed: Freedom Cry, Last of Us, and Watchdogs, etc. Taught by Kimberly Bain.
STUDENT FELLOW WORKSHOP / January 2015
This two-day January workshop is for the 2014-2015 undergraduate fellows only. On the first day, fellows will give lightning presentations on their projects—where they started, where they’re at, and where they’re headed—which will be opened up to conversation about the concept, management, execution, and after-life of each project. On the second day, each fellow and post-bac resident will present on a ‘tool’ (be it a theoretical framework or software suite, a micro-computer or inspiring lecture) they have found useful in their digital humanities scholarship thus far. Taught by post-bacs Kimberly Bain, Jeffrey Moro, and Mariel Nyröp.