Digital Selves in Phantasmal Media

Expressing Social Identities Through Computing


D. Fox Harrell is Associate Professor of Digital Media in the Comparative Media Studies Program and Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory at MIT. His research 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. The National Science Foundation has recognized Harrell with an NSF CAREER Award for his project “Computing for Advanced Identity Representation.” Harrell holds a Ph.D. in Computer Science and Cognitive Science from the University of California, San Diego. His other degrees include a Master’s degree in Interactive Telecommunication from New York University, and a B.F.A. in Art, B.S. in Logic and Computation (each with highest honors), and minor in Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University. He has worked as an interactive television producer and as a game designer. His book Phantasmal Media: An Approach to Imagination, Computation, and Expression was published by the MIT Press (2013).

On April 1st, Prof. D Fox Harrell gave a talk at Amherst College to students, faculty, and staff from the Five Colleges that explored the effects of sociocultural “phantasms” on computational medias. The lecture engaged questions of difference and representation embedded in gaming models from the level of the algorithm to the level of immersive environment.