I have followed with great interest the events of the past several weeks, as the American Studies Association put forward its historic resolution to honor calls from Palestinian civil society for an academic boycott of Israel. The process underwent more democratic engagement of membership than any other in that body’s history; while the resolution passed the ASA Council… Continue reading The Turning Tide: The ASA and Call for Academic Boycott of Israel
My mother grew up with brutality of the Vietnam war airing each evening on the nightly news. In my generation, the nightly news broadcast brutality and atrocities from Reagan's Central America, the Pinochet regime in Chile, and, of course Apartheid-era South Africa. I recall watching thousands upon thousands of Black South Africans linked arm and… Continue reading Mr. Mandela
I came across a disturbing case from the Languedoc region of France today, while perusing headlines on Salon.com. A 14 year-old girl who had been repeatedly victimized sexually by her father had reportedly caught the abuse by employing her computer's webcam. The key to the most disturbing aspects of this extremely upsetting story lies in… Continue reading Pix or It Didn’t Happen: It’s on You to Prove Your Abuse
If you are an employee of a higher education institution, you can likely set your watch by it: the dread annual ethics test. Usually presented as a self-paced, online "learning module," the test is designed, ostensibly, to measure your ability to deal with complex workplace situations. Some of the situations require use of your best… Continue reading The Trouble with “Ethics”
It's been a whirlwind of a week in Dublin, Ireland, as I've been visiting with colleagues and participating in IAMCR13. The conference has been time well spent, with a critical mass of critical media and communications scholars assembled in one place to talk about very real issues. At the fore has been that of continued… Continue reading IAMCR 13 in Dublin – A Report from Our Panel
Today, the IEEE Computer Society reported, via its Facebook page, on the 20th anniversary of NCSA Mosaic. This web browser, developed at the University of Illinois' National Center for Supercomputing Applications, was distributed free of charge and its GUI interface was largely credited with sparking widespread interest in the Web. As I reflect on my… Continue reading NCSA Mosaic is 20
It's not every day that one's wildest sci-fi inspired dreams are achieved, but yesterday was such a day. Over the past few years, I have watched the quiet development of 3D printing unfold. It has been evolutionary rather than revolutionary, with innovations taking place in the rarefied domains of university R&D centers and labs, or… Continue reading I Made That!
A special shout-out to the students of LIS 502LE, visiting this blog at the end of their hard work in the inaugural intersession LEEP Foundations in LIS course. Congrats on a job well done, everyone!! -- My blog posting has been on the wane of late, but it has been for a good reason. Work… Continue reading At Year’s End, Living My Technology Politics – or Trying
On September 20th, I had the pleasure of traveling to the Illinois Institute of Technology to deliver the first talk in IIT's fall series, "Defining Boundaries and Goals in the Digital Humanities." My talk, entitled, "Digital Humanity: Foregrounding Human Traces in Technological Systems (and Why We Should Care)," was followed by a lively and engaging… Continue reading Fall Updates: IIT Lecture in “Defining Boundaries and Goals in the Digital Humanities” Series
As reported by Reuters and picked up in the Huffington Post, Facebook today released a confusing infographic ostensibly designed to shed light on the cryptic route that reported content takes through the company's circuit of screening. According to the company, content flagged as inappropriate, for any one of myriad reasons, makes its way to "...staffers… Continue reading Obscurity through Transparency: Facebook releases infographic that reveals little – by design?