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Showing posts with the label new media

New Book Out! Crossroads in New Media, Identity and Law: The Shape of Diversity to Come

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After our highly interdisciplinary conference on The Shape of Diversity to Comeat Erasmus University Rotterdam in 2013 where we had a phenomenal line up of keynote speakers including Saskia Sassen, Julie Cohen, Chandran Kukathas, Jos de Mul, and Emmanuel Melissaris, we decided that we should have a book out that really takes on interdisciplinary thinking on this issue, exploring tensions as identity and law confront new media developments.

So we are proud to now share the volume publised by Palgrave called Crossroads in New Media, Identity and Law  The Shape of Diversity to Come. Here, you will find provocative chapters by Sassen, Cohen, Vermeylen, deMul, and more! 

In a nutshell, this volume brings together a number of timely contributions at the nexus of new media, politics and law. The central intuition that ties these essays together is that information and communication technology, cultural identity, and legal and political institutions are spheres that co-evolve and interpenetr…

New Podcast out on my book 'The Leisure Commons' by New Books in Technology

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NIAS Grant -Exploring the Democratization and Globalization of the art world in the Digital Era

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My colleague Filip Vermeylen and I have been working for a number of years on the extent to which the internet serves as a game changer in the art world. We have already published quite a bit on this, including our article on 'the end of the art connoisseur?' and 'digital art markets.

It has been an exciting journey so far working with someone from a completely different discipline -cultural economics and art history. Perhaps because of this unusual mix of bringing Media Studies with Art Economics, we have had quite an adventure in our invited lectures, be it at 'Sotheby'sDuke's Visual Studies Initiative to the Swiss Institute for Art Research.

We keep hearing how academia pays only lip-service to interdisciplinary work, especially in grant acquisition. Yet, we persisted as we believe that it is essential if we are to find some original answers to these hyped and revolutionizing notions on how the art world is transforming with the onset of new media technol…

Frontiers of New Media Symposium at University of Utah

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So am back from the University of Utah, having participated in their Frontiers of New Media symposium. The location of Utah is not a coincidence. In 1969, the University of Utah was the fourth of four nodes of the ARPANet. It is popularly believed that the birth of the ARPANet, and later the Internet, marked the beginning of this "new frontier." To top it off, this year, the National Security Agency’s “Community Comprehensive National Cybersecurity Initiative Data Center” will be completed in Bluffdale, Utah. This data center will be a key archive of the electronic communications of individuals all over the world.


In light of the PRISM/NSA scandal, this years symposum theme was "The Beginning and End(s) of the Internet: Surveillance, Censorship, and the Future of Cyber-Utopia." The speakers came from diverse disciplines including law, sociology, cultural studies and communication. Ron Deibert opened the symposium with an alarming keynote on the extent to which we …

New partnership with Microsoft India Researcher bears fruit

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Nimmi Rangaswamy from Microsoft Research Labs India and I have been working on creating momentum in shifting the focus of ICTs for International Development (ICT4D) research towards a broader and less utilitarian perspective. Over the years, it has been interesting to see how Nimmi and I through our independent anthropological fieldwork were coming to a similar conclusion on the need to pay attention to "leisure" behavior of Internet users in emerging markets if we are to genuinely understand the multiple dimensions of new media practice in the global South. For instance, her research with Kentaro Toyama on cyberkiosks revealed the following:

From field ethnography, we find that urban youth slang and speech styles do not lag behind in villages. Neither do communication styles and channels. Instant messaging is immediately embraced by younger kiosk operators. Fan clubs of matinee idols bring in youth fashion and trends along with film music. Most popular films and film music …

New Paper Out in the Current Sociology Journal: Typology of Web 2.0 spheres

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My paper, "Typology of Web 2.0 spheres: Understanding the cultural dimensions of social media spaces" has come out in the Current Sociology Journal.

Abstract:

It has taken the past decade to commonly acknowledge that online space is tethered to real place. From euphoric conceptualizations of social media spaces as a novel, unprecedented and revolutionary entity, the dust has settled, allowing for talk of boundaries and ties to real-world settings. Metaphors have been instrumental in this pursuit, shaping perceptions and affecting actions within this extended structural realm. Specifically, they have been harnessed to architect Web 2.0 spaces, be it chatrooms, electronic frontiers, homepages, or information highways for policy and practice. While metaphors are pervasive in addressing and normalizing new media spaces, there is less effort channeled into organizing these digital domains along cultural lines to systematize and deepen understandings of its histories, agencies and…

IDEAPLAY: New Media, Society & Change

Recently I was invited by the Department of Education at Michigan State University to give a public lecture and some interviews on how people learn to leisure and labor with new technologies in rural India. They did a wonderful job in capturing the interview through their multimedia portal IDEAPLAY, an excellent way to disseminate and share conversations that take place at this department. Below are the links for the interview:
IDEAPLAY: Payal Arora on New Media, Society and Change  PART 1 PART 2 PART 3
PART 4
PART 5
Learning to leisure and labor with new technologies in rural India
There is an intricate relationship between leisure, labor and learning. Much is revealed from eight-months of ethnographic fieldwork on computer-mediated social learning in rural India.  The role of educational institutions against informal learning spaces such as cybercaf├ęs in fostering digital engagements is explored. Issues of global knowledge constructions, plagiarism, and collaborative/peer based learning…

Geography for development: mapping for change

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Who doesn't love a good idea! Here's one, aerial mapping of a community space in Palestine by attaching a regular camera to a kite. So picture this..."tampering" with a regular camera and attaching it to a kite that flies overhead your community allows for a aerial perspective of your local space; piloted by Palestinian youth make it even better. This stems from the Voices Beyond Walls organization, a collective of independent Palestinian and international media technologists, filmmakers, photographers, educators, and activists that hold digital storytelling workshops with the youth in the refugee camps in the West Bank.

Here's another kind of mapping: in Kibera, Nairobi, digital mapping of this "blank spot" on Google maps becomes richly detailed through the initiative of local information surveying and sharing to create a digital public map of their own community. And why should one care? Well, besides its invisibility online, it has more pragmatic pur…

Being WATCHED!

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An enthusiastic student comes into my office - he's one of those die hard Apple fanatics, the lifeblood of this industry. This fruit lover makes a compelling case to transform academia for the students through simple Apple software. He wants to tape the lectures through his camcorder and upload it on the Apple video site for students to watch and learn. He argues (point well taken) that students can refresh their memories on certain concepts covered in class and basically grasp material better. He says that he gets that universities are inherently bureaucratic and for immediate action, students need to take initiative. He promises that students will appreciate getting this material through a range of mediums and applications -podcasts to Facebook, listening as they commute or when cramming in study groups.

Yes. So true. Although nothing original here actually. It's already being done in some universities, albeit the sexy brands expanding their reach through new media. TED speak…