Archive for November, 2009

Hegde on call center industry, at NYU, Dec 2, 12-2 p.m.

November 30, 2009
Radha Hegde | Spaces of exception? Violence, technology and the transgressive gendered body in the Indian call center industry
Dec 2, 2009 12:00 PM – 2:00 PM
IPK, 20 Cooper Square, 5th Floor Main Conference Room

CCC social get-together, Dec 3, 8.30 p.m. onwards

November 23, 2009

Collective Communications Campus is hosting the second and last
get-together of the Fall 2009 semester for media and communications-interested graduate students and scholars in the great New York metropolitan area on Thursday December 3, 8.30 p.m. and onwards.

The event will take place at Bar 1020, on Amsterdam Avenue, between
110th Street/Cathedral Parkway and 111th Street. For those who are
attending Noam Chomsky’s lecture at Columbia that night, we will be
conveniently located pretty much right next door.

Come along, bring a friend, and meet some of the other people trying
to make sense of it all.

Columbia Courses, Spring 2010

November 19, 2009

Three more Columbia courses on Top of Professor John’s Network Course (see below).

Members of the J-school Communications faculty are offering the following courses for spring in addition to the Networks course – Prof. Gitlin’s description tk.

SOCIOLOGY OF NEWS. Prof. Michael Schudson. Monday, 10-12.

This seminar reviews leading works of social science (particularly in sociology, political science, and communication studies) that analyze the character and role of the news media in society — and that do so from different theoretical, methodological, and disciplinary points of view. The focus is primarily on the news media of the United States but the course will situate the American case in cross-national perspective. The first half of the course will center on the most influential works of the past three decades. The second half of the course will focus on developments of the digital age, especially the past five years. Students will be urged to keep tabs on —  and write research papers about —  developments in digital journalism, whether in on-line startups or websites of mainstream media (but other paper topics are also welcome). Syllabus available upon request.


What does “true to life” mean when applied to the stories journalists tell using ingredients in the world instead of, or along with, words? How do ideas about the authenticity of visual images develop and play out in a profession that grounds its identity in its claim to accurately represent reality? In a wide-ranging exploration of those questions, we will consider historical, ethical, social, and aesthetic aspects of the relationship between journalism and visual media from the daguerreotype to cinema verite to citizen-journalism-by-cellphone. We’ll look at the assumptions, conventions, ethical standards, and moral dilemmas that attach to the production and reception of photojournalism and documentary film, and how those have changed over time; how viewers and critics responded to them; and what sort of debates and controversies they have inspired. The focus will be American, though relevant work from other countries will be included. Assignments will include weekly readings, viewings of photographs and films, an in-class presentation, a final paper, and vigorous, informed classroom discussion.

MAKING PUBLICS. Prof. Todd Gitlin. Tuesday, 2-4. Current debates about the internet and democracy echo older questions about the nature of public life in the modern world.  This seminar surveys major theories of the hyperconnected society (Castells, Benkler, et al.) as well as precursors (Dewey, Lippmann, et al.), with an eye to overarching social analysis and anthropological speculation on the arrival of a new way of life, mixed with a tincture of prophecy.


COMMUNICATION RESEARCH PROBLEMS. Prof. Todd Gitlin. Thursday, 2-4. Required of Columbia Communications Ph.D.candidates, this seminar guides students to identify and explore their dissertation topics.

Spring course on Networks at Columbia

November 12, 2009

Richard R. John, a new faculty member in the Communications Program at Columbia, will be offering a course on networks in the spring semester. A first draft of the syllabus is posted below along with contact details for Professor John for those interested. It looks fascinating, and wide-ranging too.


A Roundtable on Technology and Democracy at Columbia, Nov 24

November 11, 2009


November 24th, 2009, 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., room 601A, Graduate School of Journalism, Columbia University.

Hosted by the Communications Colloquium, organized by the Columbia Communications Program and supported by ISERP.

Moderated by Gabriella Coleman (NYU),

The MoveOn Effect: Disruptive Innovation in the Advocacy Group System

David Karpf (Brown University),

The internet has given rise to a new generation of political associations.  While the interest group system of the past 40 years has been typified by highly centralized, single-issue organizations, “internet-mediated issue-generalists” such as have quickly achieved towering size and influence.  I will present research on how information technology has enabled new membership and fundraising regimes that have allowed these new groups to displace their predecessors. I will also discuss changes in the scope of collective action, and explain why the rise of internet fundraising is hastening the fall of several longstanding political associations.

From Objectivity to Hospitality: Understanding the Democratic Potential of the Internet for Journalism in a Global World

Lokman Tsui (University of Pennsylvania/Harvard University),

How is the internet allowing for transformative changes in journalism and what are its normative implications? Drawing on Global Voices, a global citizen media organization, I suggest the internet allows for a shift in the production logic of news and that this has normative implications: I argue that we can and need to move beyond objectivity towards “hospitality” in thinking about journalistic excellence. Roger Silverstone defines hospitality as the “ethical obligation to listen.” Indeed, in a world where the internet makes it so much easier for everybody to speak, Global Voices asks us on their website: “The world is talking. Are you listening?” In our attempts to understand the emancipatory potential of the internet for journalism, we would do ourselves a disservice by limiting our imagination to the ideal type of journalism from a previous era, to merely understand the new through the old. Without expanding our imagination, we cannot hope to understand how the internet might alter the constraints of the public sphere for the better. This project is an initial attempt to fill this gap.

Giving the People What They Want: Reflections on WikiCandidate, a Crowdsourced Campaign for the President

Josh Braun (Cornell University),

Scholars of politics and media have long sought to delineate how and why some political issues and framings become prominent, while others remain obscure.  Most agree that the political press tacitly employs some set of selection principles in determining its coverage, and that politicians and other figures who want their issues covered become familiar with these filters. What’s less clear is whether these filters that discern what’s interesting, important, or appropriate in political discussion are unique to the mass media and the political machines that play to it, or whether the same process of filtering and claim-adaptation turns up in self-organizing new media spaces, where users ostensibly control the content and terms of discussion.  In short when are the agenda-setting tendencies of mass media, which are often imagined to no longer apply in online contexts, nevertheless reintroduced by the participants themselves. In this talk, I explore these questions in relation to the behavior of participants in a research project called WikiCandidate, which consisted of a publicly available Website for a fictional presidential candidate running in the 2008 election, on which all of the issues, press releases, and other content were openly editable by users.

Lorraine Daston at NYU, November 12

November 10, 2009

“Observation as a Way of Life: Time, Attention, Allegory” A Lecture by Lorraine Daston Director, Max Planck Institute for the history of Science, Berlin 12 November, 6:00pm Jerry H. Labowitz Theatre for the Performing Arts 1 Washington place More Information: Lorraine Daston has published on a wide range of topics in the history of science, including the history of probability and statistics, wonders in early modern science, the emergence of the scientific fact, scientific models, objects of scientific inquiry, the moral authority of nature, and the history of scientific objectivity. She is currently completing a book on “Moral and Natural Orders” and co-editing a volume on “Histories of Scientific Observation.” Professor Daston has taught at Harvard, Princeton, Brandeis, and Göttingen Universities, and at University of Chicago, where she is Visiting Professor in the Committee on Social Thought. She has also held visiting positions in Paris and Vienna and gave the Isaiah Berlin Lectures at Oxford University (1999), the West Lectures at Stanford University (2005, and the Tanner Lectures at Harvard University (2002). Among her recent publications are Objectivity (co-authored Peter Galison) and Thinking with Animals (co-authored with Gregg Mitmann); she has also co-edited Things that Talk, The Moral Authority of Nature, and the early modern volume of The Cambridge History of Science. Two of her books, Classical Probability in the Enlightenment, and Wonders of Nature (co- authored with Katharine Park), were awarded the History of Science Society’s Pfizer Prize.

SVA conference on Media Modes, November 14

November 4, 2009

As if the Digital Labor bash at the New School and Yale’s New Media Ecology wasn’t double booking enough, SVA has also put together a conference on November 14th. Jonathan Crary will be speaking. The title is Media Modes.

SSRC forum on public sphere

November 4, 2009

The Social Science Research Council (SSRC) has launched a special feature on public sphere formation on the occasion of the 20th Anniversary of the Fall of the Wall on November 9, 2009, hosted on the essay forum “Transformations of the Public Sphere”, co-sponsored by NYU’s Institute for Public Knowledge (IPK). With essays by Andrew Arato, Mark Beissinger, Jeffrey Goldfarb, Konrad Jarausch, Michael Kennedy, Elzbieta Matynia, Steven Pfaff and forthcoming essays by Hauke Brunkhorst, Jack Goldstone, Julia Hell, and others. The forum is interactive. Readers are invited to submit comments.
The essay forum is accompanied by the beta version of the Public Sphere Guide, seeking to create a map of the fragmented interdisciplinary field of study on the public sphere. This mapping project serves as a research guide and teaching guide and as a resource for the renewal of the public sphere.

Andreas Koller, SSRC and NYU

Wark at Eugene Lang

November 4, 2009

The New School for Social Research, Fall 2009 Anthropology Public Lecture Series

Situationist Ethnographies

a lecture by

McKenzie Wark
Eugene Lang College

Wednesday, November 18 at 6:00pm
80 Fifth Avenue, Room 529

McKenzie Wark is a theorist of media and new media with interests in new media technology,  intellectual property, computer games, and new media art and culture. He is the author of A Hacker Manifesto (2004), Gamer Theory (2007), and other works.

Organized by The Department of Anthropology at The New School for Social Research