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In Events of Interest

By Mary Catherine Kinniburgh

February 5th, 4pm: Digital Poetics, A Roundtable

On 27, Jan 2016 | In Events of Interest | By Mary Catherine Kinniburgh

Please mark your calendars for this upcoming event at The Graduate Center, CUNY:

“Digital Poetics: A Roundtable”
Friday, February 5th
4pm in the English Lounge (Room 4406)

Poster for Digital Poetics, A Roundtable

This panel will place in conversation an array of scholars, artists, poets, and archivists from the New York City area to discuss the intersection between the poetic and the digital in contemporary creative and critical practice. We will discuss digital approaches to poetic composition, poetic approaches to digital work, archival considerations for electronic poetry, the poetics of computer code, and beyond.

We are excited to welcome the following speakers:

Dennis Tenen (Columbia University);
Karla Nielsen (Columbia Rare Book & Manuscript Library);
Taeyoon Choi (School for Poetic Computation);
Kendra Sullivan (Center for the Humanities, The Graduate Center);
Iris Cushing (Argos Books, The Graduate Center)
Moderator: Mary Catherine Kinniburgh (GC Digital Initiatives, The Graduate Center)

This event is sponsored by the GC English Program, CUNY DHI, and GC Digital Initiatives.

For more information, please email We look forward to seeing you there!

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In Events of Interest

By Mary Catherine Kinniburgh

Announcing “The Art of Seeing: Aesthetics at the Intersection of Art and Science”

On 23, Nov 2015 | In Events of Interest | By Mary Catherine Kinniburgh

On behalf of GC Digital Initiatives and The GC Computer Science Colloquium, CUNY DHI is delighted to present the following talk. We hope to see you there!




“The Art of Seeing: Aesthetics at the Intersection of Art and Science”

Thursday, December 10th, 4:15-6:15p
Room C197
The Graduate Center, CUNY.

Emily L. Spratt, Dept. of Art and Archaeology, Princeton University and Ahmed Elgammal, Dept. of Computer Science, Rutgers University

In this two-part presentation, art historian Emily L. Spratt and computer scientist Ahmed Elgammal explore the uses of vision technology for the analysis of art and its philosophical implications for both aesthetic theory and artificial intelligence. Through an investigation of the most fundamental questions computer scientists are confronted with in giving a machine the capacity to see, we demonstrate the value in utilizing methodologies from art history as the field of computer vision has already, in fact, predicted certain categories of interpretation that aid in the analysis of art. Returning to the aesthetic debates inspired by Kant and renewing focus to the art historical theories of iconography and iconology that were prominent in the first half of the twentieth century, basic issues of object classification are examined in relation to vision technology. In this presentation, we hope to demonstrate the merit of bridging the fields of art history and computer science, and to underscore the new challenges aesthetics, in the age of artificial intelligence, face.

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In Meetings

By Charlie Edwards

April 17: Arienne Dwyer (University of Kansas) “Using Languages as Historical Sources”

On 29, Mar 2013 | In Meetings | By Charlie Edwards

Please join us on Wednesday April 17, 2013 for a special presentation by Arienne M. Dwyer, Visiting Professor of Digital Humanities at CUNY Graduate Center and Professor of Linguistic Anthropology and Co-Director, Institute for Digital Research in the Humanities, University of Kansas. Details are below – we look forward to seeing you there!

Arienne Dwyer

“Using Languages as Historical Sources”

DwyerYangonWednesday April 17, 2013, 6:30pm-8:30pm

CUNY Graduate Center, Room 3212

Please register here

The event is free and open to the public; registration is not mandatory.

Clues to the history of diaspora communities and contacts with other peoples and ecosystems are embedded like fossils in the bedrock of language. Historians rarely if ever make use of this kind of historical information, while historical linguists only use it to investigate language, not culture. This talk will use ethnohistorical, linguistic and digital humanities techniques to illustrate how spoken narratives and even conversations can help us understand cultural historical patterns.

About Arienne Dwyer:

Professor Dwyer is Visiting Professor of Digital Humanities at CUNY Graduate Center and Professor of Linguistic Anthropology and Co-Director, Institute for Digital Research in the Humanities, University of Kansas. She has conducted more than two decades of in situ collaborative research with communities in Inner and Central Asia and China, and publishes extensively on ethnolinguistic contact and change, language endangerment, and language ideology. Her current research is in corpus linguistics, query interfaces, and language contact. She teaches documentary linguistics, language technologies, and digital humanities.

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In Meetings

By Charlie Edwards

Thursday April 4: Kari Kraus (University of Maryland) “Experiments in Design Fiction”

On 28, Mar 2013 | In Meetings | By Charlie Edwards

On Thursday April 4, 2013 we are honored to host Kari Kraus (University of Maryland) for a discussion of her work with design fiction. Details are below – we look forward to seeing you there!


kari_krausKari Kraus (University of Maryland)

“Experiments in Design Fiction”


Thursday April 4, 2013, 6:30pm-8:30pm

CUNY Graduate Center, Room 6421


Please register here: The event is free and open to the public, registration is not mandatory.



The last few years have seen a growing interest in future-oriented and speculative design in areas as diverse as media archaeology, human-computer interaction, and alternate reality game design. The application domains are equally diverse, extending to public policy, entertainment, and commercial product development. In this talk I show and discuss some of the low-tech design fiction experiments my collaborators, students, and I have undertaken since 2010, with an emphasis on methodological mashups that cut across the arts & humanities, the social sciences, and the design disciplines. A larger objective of the talk is to think through what an interdisciplinary research and teaching program in long-term thinking that incorporates technology and humanistic design as critical components might look like.


About Kari Kraus:

Kari Kraus is an Assistant Professor in the College of Information Studies and the Department of English at the University of Maryland. Her research and teaching interests focus on digital humanities, game studies and transmedia fiction, and digital preservation. She is currently writing a book under contract to the MIT Press on long-term thinking and design.

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In Meetings

By Charlie Edwards

Wednesday March 20: Anne Balsamo on “Lessons from the AIDS Memorial Quilt Digital Experience Project”

On 13, Mar 2013 | In Meetings | By Charlie Edwards

Please join us on Wednesday March 20, 2013 when we will be delighted to welcome Anne Balsamo, Dean of the School of Media Studies and Professor of Media Studies at The New School for Public Engagement, who will discuss her work with the AIDS Memorial Quilt Digital Experience Project. Details are below – we look forward to seeing you there!

Anne Balsamo (The New School for Public Engagement)

“The Cultural Work of Interactive Memorials: Lessons from the AIDS Memorial Quilt Digital Experience Project”

BalsamoWednesday March 20, 2013, 6:30pm-8:30pm, CUNY Graduate Center, Room 3212

Please register here

The event is free and open to the public.

“Epidemics, like wars, mark a generation for life.”

The AIDS Memorial Quilt was created 25 years ago as a work of community activism to protest the appalling lack of attention by the US health agencies to what was then, in 1987, an increase in improbable fatalities among previously healthy gay men in the United States.  Its first inception unfolded in October 1987 on the National Mall in Washington DC as part of the March for Gay Rights; it included 1,920 Quilt panels.  Now 25 years later, the Quilt encompasses more than 48,000 panels, representing 60 countries and commemorating more than 93,000 names.  It is the largest living memorial of its kind in the world.

The Quilt is also an “activist archive” of the late 20th century.  The activities that gave rise to the Quilt in 1987 are part of the history of the campaign for gay and lesbian rights in the US. The Quilt literally stitches together a million memories, a million stories, a million lessons about the relationship between individual lives, public culture, and political activism. In its textile form, it is an unwieldy archive. If laid out in its entirety the Quilt would cover more than 1.3 million square feet. It weighs more than 34 tons.

This presentation discusses the creation of an interactive memorial that was designed to augment the viewing of the textile Quilt. I will demonstrate three digital experiences: 1) an open-source mobile web application called AIDS QUILT TOUCH; 2) a tangible tabletop interactive that enables viewers to search the database of Quilt images to find a specific image and to browse the archive of Quilt panel images; and 3) a community sourcing application that engages people in analyzing and archiving information about the Quilt.

This effort is framed by my recent transmedia book project called Designing Culture: The Technological Imagination At Work. In creating the Quilt Digital Experiences I was interested in exploring the cultural work of public interactives, to examine how they are implicated in practices of cultural reproduction—remembering, witnessing, archiving, and educating.

About Anne Balsamo:

In her recent book, Designing Culture: The Technological Imagination at Work (Duke, 2011), Anne Balsamo offers a manifesto for rethinking the role of culture in the process of technological innovation in the 20th century.  Based on her experiences as an educator, new media designer, research scientist and entrepreneur, the book offers a series of lessons about the cultivation of the technological imagination and the cultural and ethical implications of emergent technologies.

Dr. Balsamo was recently appointed the Dean of the School of Media Studies at the New School for Public Engagement in New York.  Previously she was a full professor at the University of Southern California in the Annenberg School of Communication and the Interactive Media Division of the School of Cinematic Arts.  From 2004-2007, she served as the Director of the Institute for Multimedia Literacy at USC where she created one of the first academic programs in multimedia literacy across the curriculum.  In 2002, she co-founded Onomy Labs, Inc. a Silicon Valley technology design and fabrication company that builds cultural technologies.  From 1999-2002, she was a member of RED (Research on Experimental Documents), a collaborative research-design group at Xerox PARC who created experimental reading devices and new media genres.  She served as project manager and new media designer for the development of RED’s interactive museum exhibit, XFR: Experiments in the Future of Reading that toured Science/Technology Museums in the U.S. from 2000-2003.  Her earlier book, Technologies of the Gendered Body: Reading Cyborg Women (Duke UP, 1996) investigated the social and cultural implications of emergent bio-technologies.

See more about her work at her site, Designing Culture.


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In Meetings

By Charlie Edwards

Thursday February 28: Mary Flanagan – Opening Keynote for “Minding the Body”

On 25, Feb 2013 | In Meetings | By Charlie Edwards

Please join us this Thursday February 28, 2013 for a special presentation given by Mary Flanagan, Sherman Fairchild Distinguished Professor in Digital Humanities at Dartmouth College, Director of Tiltfactor Laboratory, and artist.

Her presentation is the opening keynote for “Minding the Body: Dualism and its Discontents,” an interdisciplinary conference hosted by the English Student Association at CUNY Graduate Center. It is also the inaugural event of our Spring 2013 speaker series, kindly sponsored by the GC Digital Initiatives Program (full schedule coming soon).

Mary Flanagan (Dartmouth College)

“Never Mind the Body, Here’s a Gamepad? Considering Embodiment in The Age of Play

flanagan-2012-316x153Sponsored by the English Student Association, Doctoral Students’ Council, GC Digital Initiatives, the Center for Humanities, and CUNY Digital Humanities Initiative

Thursday, February 28, 2013, 4:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.

C204-C205, CUNY Graduate Center

This keynote presentation explores a pervasive onscreen/offscreen split of identification and the body in what we could now call The Age of Play. Citing examples from artists’ work and popular culture, with a focus on games, Flanagan leads the audience on an investigation of current trends that are in diametrical opposition: on the one hand, a hunger for embodied, resonant experience; and on the other, a desire for control for the body, a recurring motif in fields from psychology to public health, manifesting in plastic surgery and digital manipulation of the body.

The presentation is free and open to the public and will also be available as a live streaming video (link will be available shortly before the presentation on Thursday, Feb. 28).

Flanagan Keynote Poster

About “Minding the Body”:

Minding the Body: Dualism and its Discontents” is an interdisciplinary conference hosted by the English Student Association at The CUNY Graduate Center. The conference presents work by 65 presenters that explore the “mind-body problem” via a range of disciplines, including literary studies, philosophy, medicine, psychology, sociology, film and media studies, the visual arts, performance studies, and cognitive science, among others. See the conference website for more details.

About Mary Flanagan:

Mary Flanagan is an innovator focused on how people create and use technology. Her groundbreaking explorations across the arts, humanities, and sciences represent a novel use of methods and tools that bind research with introspective cultural production. As an artist, her  collection of works range from game-inspired systems to computer viruses, embodied interfaces to interactive texts. These works are exhibited internationally at venues including the Laboral Art Center, The Whitney Museum of American Art, SIGGRAPH, Beall Center, The Banff Centre, The Moving Image Center, Steirischer Herbst, Ars Electronica, Artist’s Space, The Guggenheim Museum New York, Incheon Digital Arts Festival South Korea, Writing Machine Collective Hong Kong, Maryland Institute College of Art, and venues in Brazil, France, UK, Canada, Taiwan, New Zealand, and Australia.

As a researcher, she focuses on popular culture, digital studies, and computer games to look at issues of representation, behavior, equity, and process. She writes about popular culture and digital media such as computer games, virtual agents, and online spaces in order to understand how they affect and reflect culture. In the field of creative writing, Flanagan is known as a writer of electronic literature, and she is also a poet, with work in The Iowa Review, Barrow Street, Saranac Review, Mudfish, and other books & periodicals. She has written more than twenty critical essays on digital art, cyberculture, and gaming in periodicals such as Art Journal, Wide Angle, Intelligent Agent, Convergence, and Culture Machine, as well as several books. Her books in English include reload: rethinking women + cyberculture (2002), re:SKIN (2007), and Critical Play: Radical Game Design (2009), all with MIT Press. She is also co-author with Matteo Bittanti of Similitudini. Simboli. Simulacri, on the game The Sims (in Italian, Unicopli 2003). She is author, with Helen Nissenbaum, of the forthcoming Values at Play (MIT Press, 2013).

Flanagan founded the Tiltfactor game research laboratory in 2003, where researchers study and make social games, urban games, and software in a rigorous theory/practice environment. She is the Sherman Fairchild Distinguished Professor in Digital Humanities at Dartmouth College.

Website: extensive images and video). Mary Flanagan also writes on Grand Text Auto. See also Values at Play.

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Welcome to the CUNY Digital Humanities Initiative

On 26, Aug 2010 | In Organizational Info | By Matthew K. Gold

Welcome to the CUNY Digital Humanities Initiative, a nascent effort to build a digital humanities community at CUNY during the 2010-2011 academic year. Part of the Digital Studies Group, this effort is being headed up by Matthew K. Gold and Charlie Edwards.

Our goal in creating this initiative is twofold: we’d like to find digital humanists already embedded within the CUNY system, and we’d like to encourage discussion around the digital humanities to increase awareness of work in the field. To those ends, we’ll be sponsoring a series of public discussions during the year, and we’ll also work on building up resources to help introduce members of CUNY to the discipline. We hope, eventually, to build the kind of community that can find ways to collaborate on various kinds of scholarly digital projects.

Our major theme during the fall semester will be “What are the Digital Humanities?” We’ve chosen that theme both because it’s a question that many of you are likely to have, and because the question itself is one that (not surprisingly) preoccupies many practitioners in the field.

In the coming weeks, we will announce our public seminar schedule and some resources that will help orient newcomers to the field. Please stay tuned. In the meantime, you can find us here on this blog, over in our group, and on Twitter.

We very much hope you’ll join us either virtually, through our efforts on the Commons, or in person, at one of our meetups. We look forward to working with you in the coming year!

— Matt and Charlie

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