Sunday, April 30, 2006

new reviews in cyberculture studies (may 2006)

[via RCCS] a diverse new set of book reviews for may 2006:

Andoni Alonso and Iñaki Arzoz, Basque Cyberculture: From Digital Euskadi to Cybereuskalherria (University of Nevada, Reno: Center for Basque Studies, 2006).
    Reviewed by Loykie Lominé, who works at the University of Winchester (England) where he is Programme Director for the MA in Cultural and Arts Management.

    Author Response by Andoni Alonso, who is a professor of philosophy at Universidad de Extremadura, Spain.

Eugene Thacker, Biomedia (University of Minnesota Press, 2004).
    Reviewed by Pramod K. Nayar, who teaches English at the University of Hyderabad, India and is author of Reading Culture: Theory, Praxis, Politics (Sage 2006) and Virtual Worlds: Culture and Politics in the Age of Cybertechnology (Sage 2004).

    Author Response by Eugene Thacker, who is an assistant professor in the School of Literature, Communication, & Culture at Georgia Institute of Technology.

May Thorseth, editor, Applied Ethics in Internet Research (Trondheim, Norway: NTNU University Press, 2003).
    Reviewed by Ted M. Coopman, who is a Ph.D. candidate in Communication at the University of Washington, Seattle.

i really like the diversity in topics (basque cyberculture, bio media, internet ethics) and in nationalities of reviewer and reviewed (england, india, norway, spain, and the US).

hey, please help: i am looking for new media / digital media / cyberculture / contemporary media books and anthologies published a) in countries outside the US and b) in languages other than english. if you know of one, or have written/edited one, please use the comments to suggest it and i'll do my best to have it reviewed.

Saturday, April 29, 2006


Friday, April 28, 2006

anthology turned in

fully edited, fully copyedited, and now fully indexed, critical cyberculture studies is finished and sent off to nyu press! what a relief! indexing a book is tedious but it's also a really interesting process in that it gives you a first-hand glance at what the book covers. and this book covers a lot! i hope to post the index within a few days - once the publisher approves and formats it. critical cyberculture studies should be out in september.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006


i remember when the online journal M/C - Media and Culture first appeared in 1998. eight years later, it's still going and going stronger than ever. a new call for papers for a special issues on the topic of free (edited by trebor scholz and rachel cobcroft) looks particularly interesting. (see the rest of the CFPs here.)

it's one thing to launch a digital project. everyone is excited to experiment and explore. with time, though, attention spans wander, excitment sort of evaporates, funding runs out, etc. sustainability - online or offline - is hard work. it's great to see M/C not only survive but thrive.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

what's happening in darfur?

this thursday, from 6-10 pm, in HUB east ballroom on the UW campus, is darfest. from the website:
    The evening will include music, dance and spoken word performances, and visual arts, conveying the facts and impacts of the situation in Darfur through art and educational displays. Student performers and visual artists will share recent works in a festive and productive environment. There will also be opportunities to educate yourself about the many dimensions of the conflict with materials from different organizations.

    The price of admission is $5 for children under twelve, students, and seniors aged 65+. The price of admission for community members is $7. All profits from DARFEST will benefit the internationally respected organization, Doctors Without Borders, one of the few aid organizations on the ground in Darfur. We hope you all can make it out to support us in our endeavors to end the genocide in Sudan.
my main interest in darfest is simple: i have very little knowledge of darfur and what is happening there and i want to learn more. that said, i'm also extremely impressed by several elements of the organization of this event.
  • instead of merely having talks and lectures, darfest is more about culture - music, dance, spoken word, visual arts, and educational displays. the students behind this event seem to be suggesting that before we are to do something about darfur we first need to understand the region, its people, its history, and its culture.

  • darfest is organized by student groups from two campuses: seattle university's STAND (Students Taking Action Now - Darfur) and UW's Save Darfur Coalition. seattle is a city with a ton of community colleges, colleges, and universities. it's nice to see some inter-campus collaboration.

  • darfest has many student group and community group co-sponsors: African Student Association, Southern Sudanese Community of Washington, UNICEF: UW, Hillel, Tzadek Hillel, Brit Tzedek v'Shalom, Students for a Free Tibet, Earth Club, Young Democrats, SEED, Sierra Club, VOX, Muslim Student Association, Save Darfur Washington State, African Studies Department, Resident Housing Student Association, Alpha Epsilon Delta. smart.

  • the folks behind darfest understand that publicity works on multiple fronts. thus, a web site, a word doc press release, and a pdf flyer. (hey! if you have access to a printer, print this out and place it where people will see it.) they've also been quite active on facebook.

  • finally, the folks at darfest are thinking and working locally, nationally, and globally. after darfest this thursday, they will reconvene sunday (westlake park, 4th and pine, at 2 pm) for a rally and march to raise awareness about darfur. the event coincides with rallies happening all over the country (including washington, dc and san francisco) as part of the million voices for darfur campaign.
to the save darfur coalition and students taking action now - darfur: smart and rock on.

Monday, April 24, 2006

writing for my local paper: "Listening to students"

today, the daily published my editorial titled "Listening to students."

if you are on the UW campus, be sure to pick up a print copy. trevor klein did a really smart design job with the editorial - seemlessly integrating a screen shot of facebook into the editorial. smart.

the paper (but not the online version) also features an introduction by opinion editor maureen trantham. it was maureen who suggested the editorial, maureen who suggested the single editorial morph into a series of editorials, and maureen who is teaching me a ton about writing op-ed columns.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

this week

this week is shaping up to be a big one!
  • in com 495, we spend monday talking about the readings on 1960s protest music, be-ins, and the diggers. (btw, jay babcock is working with others on a diggers documentary. stay tuned.) we'll spend wednesday building media in the lab.
  • i don't know all the details yet but some students in com 495 are organizing 1960s-related film screenings on wednesday nights. rumored films include easy rider, PBS's the sixties, and sam green's the weather underground. the surest sign of a course moving in interesting directions is when students increase class time and space.
  • this wednesday is my birthday! i'll be 38! i'm a taurus!
  • if all goes well, the september project will soon (like this week) feature two new languages: german and turkish. this is a group effort. mark hungerford (a UW phd student in communication who taught english in turkey for four years) has translated the site into turkish. jen rosenberg (a UW undergrad who is from vienna) has translated it into german. (more on this, and on translating the site into serbian, later this week. i may begin to crossblog on the september project blog. advice on crossblogging welcome.) john klockner is designing and implementing the whole thing. the concept is simple: if we want everyone to understand the september project, then the september project must be in every language.
  • this thursday is intriguing. the project for critical asian studies is bringing michael hardt to campus where he'll give a talk on love as a political concept. cool. that evening, at 6 pm, darfest begins. darfest is really interesting and i'll write more about it in a day or two.
finally, we here in seattle have had two glorious days of sunshine. much needed! please keep it coming!

Friday, April 21, 2006

writing for my local paper: editorial accepted!

i just learned that UW's student newspaper, the daily, accepted an editorial i wrote called "listening to students." it will be published in monday's edition. what great news to learn right as the weekend begins!

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

hyperlinked society conference

first, the details:
The Hyperlinked Society: Questioning Connections in the Digital Age.

Friday, June 9, 2006, 8:00am-5:15 pm, at the Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania.
second, good looking set of panelists!

third, apparently it is possible to have meals and lodging fully subsidized and travel partially subsidized. for more information, visit the web site.

crooked timber / crooked timbers project: i'm confused

via CRTNET, i learned about the crooked timbers project, "a group of communication educators, researchers and practitioners committed to fostering a 'social constructionist' understanding of communication as the primary process for creating and sustaining better social worlds."

great. i'm all for projects! and i'm all for scholars and practitioners coming together to share knowledge! and i'm all for creating and sustaining better social worlds!

but why the name?

for the last few years, crooked timber has been one of the most visited academic blogs around. what gives?


Tuesday, April 18, 2006

another professor on the move

graceful, gracious, and generous. plus, honest - "Last stops to Buffalo," by alex halavais.

Monday, April 17, 2006

the september project 2006 = launched

this evening, we launched the september project! i'll be blogging more about this in the future.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

good times

time for celebration!

my friend and colleague mike received one of five william h. gates public service law scholarships to attend UW law school. my friend (and wife of mike) emily got accepted into UW's master's progam in public health. i got a fine new job in a fine new city. and sarah? her life is a walking celebration.

we decided to feast!

Thursday, April 13, 2006

here's an award i can be proud of

as part of the 14th annual sexual assault and relationship violence awareness week, the good folks at ASUW CORE have declared me one of the real men at UW.

the week's events end tonight with the safety under the stars run/walk and rally - 6 pm, red square.
Come together to celebrate a safe and supportive community. The run will begin in Red Square at 6:00 p.m. with a rally featuring guest speakers UW Men's Basketball Coach Lorenzo Romar and ASUW GBLTC Director Gregor Stoddard. The Run/Walk will begin directly following the rally and will circle campus ending on the HUB Lawn (HUB West Ballroom if it rains) with live entertainment by Seattle Band Flowmotion. The run/walk is a free event and no fundraising is necessary for race participation If you plan on participating in the run/walk please register online.

More info here.
rock on ASUW CORE.

anti-war teach-in on an american college campus

as the war in iraq becomes more deadly, more irrational, more insane, and more unwinnable, there is little noise coming from US college campuses and even less noise coming from US college faculty. as bush leans towards another war - this time with iran, this time with nuclear weapons - one begins to wonder, when will the madness stop?

faculty at the university of california, santa cruz have decided to do something about it. The War on Terror: A Credible Threat takes place on april 24, 2006 at the quarry.

from their web site:

As a result of student demonstrations against military recruiters in April 2005, the Defense Department listed our campus as a "credible threat." They specified neither their means of assessment nor the nature of the threat. Because the United States government explicitly labeled the University of California at Santa Cruz a "credible threat" in its "War on Terror", we as educators are obliged to seek and to provide an understanding of both this "War" and the "threats" that the US Government claims to combat.

one day soon there will be anti-war teach-ins, marches, and demonstrations on campuses across the united states. until then, let's learn from the inspired faculty at UCSC.

(thanks, mom, for passing this along.)

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

fall 2006 course: digital democracy

this fall, my first class at USF will be media studies 390 - special topics: digital democracy. here's the course description:
Course title: Digital Democracy
Course professor: David Silver

Digital Democracy explores the interactions between democratic movements and digital media. We begin by examining a few pre-Web chapters of digital democracy, where digital includes film, poetry, posters, music, murals, and happenings. Next, we will analyze a number of contemporary case studies (local, national, and global) of digital media used to increase human rights and decrease human suffering. Finally, considering that fall 2006 is an election year, we will observe and explore various emerging forms of digital democracy, especially those related to local, state, and national elections.

In addition to a course reader, we will read:
  • T.V. Reed, The Art of Protest: Culture and Activism from the Civil Rights Movement to the Streets of Seattle (University of Minnesota Press, 2005)
  • Jerome Armstrong and Markos Moulitsas Zúniga, Crashing the Gate: Netroots, Grassroots, and the Rise of People-Powered Politics (Chelsea Green Publishing, 2006)

com 495

i began class today by showing pictures of the huge marches that had taken place in dallas and in los angeles. we meet in a pretty cool computer lab and i can project images from my computer to a large screen (about 8 feet by 8 feet) on the wall. i asked students to get out of their seats and approach the screen for a better look. i wanted them to see what a half a million people look like.

today, we mostly discussed "underground channels," chapter two from todd gitlin's the sixties. the chapter suggests that seeds for what was to become the sixties can be seen in some elements of fifties culture. gitlin focuses on three things: movies, comics, and music. the discussion was really great and all of us were thinking on all cylindars. we could have used way more time on this chapter. we discussed the fact that gitlin's perspective is gendered -- mostly male and mostly white. and then we talked about adding new stories and new voices and new heroes to our collective history.

on wednesday, we're going to try to build two wiki entries - two biographies. rosa parks and allen ginsberg. those two, and especially those two together, immediately illuminate issues of race, of gender, of sexuality, of religion, of nationality. plus, they illuminate individual courage and collective tenacity. i have no idea what the students will build on wednesday and i can't wait.

today, a student asked if she could bring her mother to class. so, about 3 or 4 minutes before class began, i entered the classroom and asked the students who were already there, about 15-20, "hey, is it cool if one of your fellow student's mom attends class today?" everyone said, "yeah." i'm psyched that a student wanted to bring her mom to class.

Monday, April 10, 2006

this is what a social movement looks like

yesterday, a sunday, a half a million people assembled in dallas, texas.

this is a continuation of the march of 500,000 in los angeles.

across the US, and mostly today, april 10th, people are assembling and marching for human rights. their demand is equal human rights.

this is what people-powered politics looks like.

update: sarah just emailed me to say that she heard of a marcher carrying a poster that says:
    today we march
    tomorrow we vote

Sunday, April 09, 2006

calling all my high school peeps

if you are a 1986 graduate of san luis obispo high school - in beautiful san luis obispo, california - please visit our twenty-year reunion blog! so far, i've been the primary poster (and visitor and lurker) to the blog. with luck, this will change soon.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

can this be real?

Bush 'is planning nuclear strikes on Iran's secret sites'

    "The Bush administration is planning to use nuclear weapons against Iran, to prevent it acquiring its own atomic warheads, claims an investigative writer with high-level Pentagon and intelligence contacts."
what the hell?

this story comes from seymour hersh, an incredible journalist for the new yorker who broke the story of torture at abu ghraib.

nice turnout for daily kos and mydd in seattle

from friday night's talk, Q & A, and book-signing in seattle ...

Thursday, April 06, 2006

crashing the gate book tour comes to seattle

where would we be without the daily kos?

if you live in seattle, markos moulitsas zuniga of daily kos and jerome armstrong of mydd will be here friday night promoting their new book, crashing the gate: netroots, grassroots, and the rise of people powered politics.

if you're interested in new media and social movements, you should go. if you're interested in grassroots politics, you should go. if you're interested in journalism and investigative journalism, you should go.
    Friday, April 7th, 7:00 p.m.
    Seattle Labor Temple
    2800 1st Ave, Hall 1
also, across the 520 in redmond:
    Saturday, April 8th, 11:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
    Marymoor Park
    6046 West Lake Sammamish Pkwy NE
(more info at horsesass.)

three interesting sites

three interesting sites to which i hope to return:
  • free exchange on campus, "a coalition of groups that has come together to protect the free exchange of speech and ideas on campus." this is a coalition to fight the lame, shameful, and unacademic campaigns of david horowitz and other right wing extremists. the coalition is impressive and currently includes ten national organizations.
  • fake tv news: findings, an incredible archive of video news releases, or VNRs, curated by the good folks at the center for media and democracy. teaching alert: an excellent and engaging pedagogical tool for anyone teaching classes on contemporary news, journalism, and media.
  •, "Coordinated by the National Capital Immigrant Coalition in the metro Washington, DC area and hundreds of grassroots organizations around the nation, immigrant communities and allies will come together for the largest mobilization for immigrant justice in our nation's history." it's exciting - not to mention fascinating - how fast local, national, and international social movements can grow via digital networks.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

i [heart] this story

maybe it's the way that ivan writes, or maybe it's because i like basketball, or maybe it's because i learned a lot while reading it, or maybe it's because i love stories about sons and fathers - whatever the reason, My father, Basketball, and the late President Chiang Kai-shek, is quite a story.

Monday, April 03, 2006


george is back

for three years, george williams' blog was easily one of my favorite academic blogs to read. today, george returns with workbook. excellent.

wherever there's young black male bodies, you'll usually find US military recruiters.

this year's march madness (ending tonight: go bruins!) is no exception. glued to the television throughout the madness, i have found it difficult to ignore the new crop of US army commercials. what's with the url they list at the end of each commercial?both sites are identical and lead you to a page that says this:
    Receive your Free Army Special Forces video in the mail.**
the ** note:
    ** Legal Disclaimer: Not all applicants will be eligible to receive the Special Forces video. To qualify, you must be a male between the ages of 20-30 and a U.S. citizen. Those applicants who do not qualify will be eligible to receive more information on other available Army opportunities.
i'll be hitting thirty eight this month so i can't get a free Special Forces video.


btw, for those readers who also teach, i've used this article from salon - "the army be thuggin' it" by whitney joiner - to get students thinking about the intersections between race, new media, and the militarization of everyday life. extremely provocative, extremely depressing.