In a collaboration between Vectors and Anne Balsamos MacArthur-funded research, USC has designated nine students at USC as HASTAC Scholars, a national program put in place by HASTAC, a national collaboratory.
I am a Ph.D candidate in Urban Education at the University of Southern California, Rossier School of Education. I currently work under the guidance of Dr. Dominic J. Brewer, and will complete my dissertation in May 2010. My dissertation will examine the effects of social network technology on high school students engagement, social development, and achievement. I situate my work within the concerns of education policy, implementation, and student outcomes. I have also written about class and school size reform, charter schools, and state governance.
I grew up in Providence, RI and attended Brown University where I received my BA degree in 2003. I developed an independent concentration in educational technology, combining coursework in computer science, education studies, and media studies to examine the impact of technology in education.
Prior to my Ph.D studies, I received my MA in educational technology from Columbia University, Teachers College. I have taught 6th grade mathematics for the Providence Summerbridge (now Breakthrough) program and 9th grade computer.
My interests include the history of technology, intellectual history and visual studies.
My dissertation is a study of humanists responses to the perceived social, cultural and philosophical implications of the new technology in the long 1960s, primarily cybernetics and computerization. In it, I investigate the various ways in which the shifting ground between humans and machines combined with issues surrounding technology-out-of-control to create a particular concern for humanists in the 1960s; concern that the values and guidance offered by the humanities was becoming dangerously irrelevant. Furthermore, I argue that this large-scale humanistic engagement with technology was both an attempt to offer direction for the new technology and an effort to renegotiate and update the boundaries and relevancy of humanism. The story of this large-scale engagement is the crucial backdrop to present tensions and interactions between the humanities and technology and this dissertation seeks to clarify current humanistic attitudes regarding technology in society, education and scholarship by looking at their development in the critical years of the long 1960s.
His dissertation focuses on replay and repetition in interactive media, television and avant-garde and experimental film and is entitled One More Time: Instances, Applications and Implications of the Replay. At USC, he has assisted in the development and implementation of the online journal Vectors (www.vectorsjournal.net) and has worked on research projects at the Institute for Multimedia Literacy and in serious game design for the EA Game Innovation Lab and the Institute for Creative Technologies.
I am a Ph.D. student in the department of history at the University of Southern California. I study the 19th century United States, with a focus on the history of the book. I received a B.A. in history from Claremont McKenna College, and an A.M. in public humanities from Brown University.
An avid Twitterer, I can be followed @bananniethree
Veronica Paredes is a graduate student in the practice-based PhD program in Media Arts and Practice (iMAP) at the USCs School of Cinematic Arts. Her interests include remix culture, repetition, multiplicity and noisy sounds. She is most interested in exploring how technology, race, gender, and sexuality intersect deeply in their constructions.
Susana Ruiz is an award-winning media designer and activist whose research interests include the intersections of art, journalism, game design, and politics. In 2006, her MFA thesis project, “Darfur Is Dying,” won the top prize in MTVu’s Darfur Digital Activist competition and has gone on to receive widespread acclaim and worldwide distribution. This “game for change” addresses aspects of the current humanitarian crisis in the Darfur region of the Sudan, while educating players about the crisis and inviting them to engage emotionally with residents of a Sudanese village. Susana has also produced and directed “RePlay: Finding Zoe,” an educational game for children on the subject of domestic violence that won the Ashoka Changemakers competition & The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation “Why Games Matter” game contest in 2007. Susana is co-founder of the politically-engaged game design company Take Action Games and is continuing to pursue her work in social issue-driven games, activist digital art and interactive design as a doctoral student in Media Arts & Practice at USC’s School of Cinematic Arts. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Cooper Union and an MFA in Interactive Media from USC’s School of Cinematic Arts.
The way in which technology can bridge global distances is indeed a pragmatic phenomenon of the 21st century. After a semester of studying abroad in Japan, Ive been using a program called Skype non-stop to communicate with friends an ocean away. However, this inter-connectivity can also be used to proliferate artistic collaboration across the globe. Rather than the blind assumption of another cultures practice for hap hazardous artistic expression, the Internet provides a space in which new forms of art can be devised through collaboration. Moreover, artistic collaborations (due to social networking sites and the like) can be exhibited world wide instantaneously. To some extent, the Internet has been used to unleash artistic potential; for example, the website deviantart that allows individual artists to display a gallery of their work. These multitudinous galleries not only showcase, but also inspire millions of other artists (or part-time dabblers) in proliferating the arts.
The project I am currently working on utilizes the Internets communicative nature to create a virtual performance space in Second Life. This performance space, however, is not just a figurative representation of a theater, but rather an actual performance space made virtual. In other words, actors can control virtual avatars of themselves in a real theater, while acting out the play in a virtual space. In practice, these two spaces run parallel displaying the actions of the play simultaneously in two different spheres to two different audiences (a virtual and live audience). Likewise, this is not a solo display of one persons artistic vision, but rather a cast, crew and audience composed of both virtual avatars and humans cooperating together. Hopefully, this project will enlarge our view of the Internets capabilities in the arts.
Jeff Watson is an interdisciplinary media practitioner with a professional background in screenwriting, filmmaking and experience design. His academic resume includes a BA in Cultural Studies from McGill University, an MFA in Film and Video from York University and a residency at the Canadian Film Centre. His doctoral research focuses on investigating how an increasingly mobile, ubiquitous and interoperable communications infrastructure can enable new forms of storytelling and social engagement.