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Media Studies

Past Colloquia

Fall 2014

Wednesday, September 17, at 5:30p in G Building Room 200.

Our guest presenter is Ben Werdmuller, founder of a new "learning environment" called Known. According to Ben, it is:

"A simple, beautiful platform to share your story using a variety of media, from any device. Reach your followers on networks like Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, and Foursquare, and store all your social interactions on your own site.

Known gives students their own independent site for publishing coursework, reflecting on their learning, and sharing research and thoughts with their peers. Known allows students to use its modern, responsive interface to easily connect and send content to their schools' learning management system, as well as share content to social media and other Known sites. When students graduate, they can take their site and all their content with them."

Monday September 22, 3:30-6:30p (opens at 2:30p – bring ID!). Sony Computer Science Lab Symposium. Titus II Theater, Museum of Modern Art, 11 West 53 Street.

Sony Computer Science Laboratories (Sony CSL) will hold its first-ever symposium in the United States this September. Select researchers will address three key themes: Global Agenda, Exploring Creativity and Human Augmentation. Open Systems Science is a robust intellectual framework for the efficient and effective pursuit of knowledge on the path to global sustainability. Harnessing the power of computers and their applications, this methodology guides the thinking of CSL researchers as they make scientific breakthroughs and generate fresh ideas in domains ranging from human augmentation to art and music.

Wednesday October 1, 5:30pm (Room 200 G Building) Digital Economics

Digital Economics – the research of Matthew Crain. Dr. Crain will be teaching a course in digital economics next semester, so this is a particularly good opportunity to be exposed to his work and secure a place in his seminar.

Dr. Crain's research and teaching center on the transformation of media and advertising systems in the digital age with an emphasis on economics, politics, and internet technologies. He is currently completing a book manuscript that examines the historical development of online advertising and the impact of the dotcom era on the reconfiguration of the media system. This project provides a critical account of how the internet was rapidly molded into a platform for large-scale consumer monitoring and draws connections between commercial and governmental surveillance.

Wednesday, October 8, 5:30pm, G-200 – Mara Einstein, Queens/CUNY Media Studies, author of Compassion Inc and Branded Faith.

Dr. Einstein, is director of our graduate program, and will be teaching classes about media, marketing, and management in the Fall. Her most recent book, Compassion, Inc.: How Corporate America blurs the line between what we buy, who we are and those we help (University of California Press, 2012), is a work that examines the growing trend of promoting and selling consumer products as a means to fund social causes. Other books include Brands of faith: Marketing religion in a commercial age (Routledge, 2007), and Media Diversity: Economics, Ownership and the FCC (Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 2004).

Dr. Einstein is recognized as an authority on consumer culture as well as marketing religion and spirituality.

Wednesday, October 22, 5:30pm, G-200 – Molly Sauter, Harvard/Berkman Center, MIT Center of Civic Media, author of upcoming The Coming Swarm.

Molly Sauter is a research affiliate at the Berkman Center, and a doctoral student at McGill University in Montreal. She holds a masters degree in Comparative Media Studies from MIT, where she is an affiliate researcher at the Center for Civic Media at the Media Lab. Her research is broadly focused on hacker culture, transgressive digital activism, and depictions of technology in the media. Her research is situated in socio-political analyses of technology and technological culture. She is author of The Coming Swarm, an analysis of the history and development of activist distributed denial of service actions, published by Bloomsbury.

Sunday, October 26, 9am – all day. Teach In at Cooper Union, (4th Ave, Cooper Square, Manhattan – BRING ID!)

Including Jerry Mander, Ralph Nader, Bill McKibben, and me. Jerry Mander wrote the extremely influential "7 Arguments Against Television," Ralph Nader is a consumer advocate and former presidential candidate, and Bill McKibben is a journalist and environmentalist. It's called Techno-Utopianism & the Fate of the Earth Teach-In, and here's an advance description. I'll get you map points, etc., if you need them.

Wednesday, October 29, at 5:30-6:30p. David Bennahum, founding CEO of Kandu. G Building Room 200.

David Bennahum is a former contributing editor at Wired magazine, a founding partner of the venture capital firm New Things, and the author of Extra Life: Coming of Age in Cyberspace. He is also the founding CEO of Kandu, an application that enables kids to easily program their own video games. He will engage colloquium attendees in a discussion of how to turn consumers into creators, and the hard work of building software that truly empowers people.

"Kandu is a platform that lets kids build their own interactive animations or games and then share them with peers. They start by placing characters or images on a canvas, then applying physical properties to them like gravity or momentum. They can also apply actions to the images initiated by time or touch." (PandoDaily)

Wednesday, November 12, 5:30-6:30p. Jonathan Allen, L&T Co. location: G-200

Allen is founder of L&T, "A One-Stop Digital Marketing Consultancy Firm In NYC ( We provide digital strategy consulting to large and small companies, developing SEO and content marketing strategies which are to designed to build an audience online and establish these brands as industry thought leaders." He's also a thinker, writer, and developer, most famously responsible for MoBlog. You can see some of his writing: On Magic and SEO, An Open Letter to Forbes, Bill Barol about using SEO and defying Google. And these on crowdsourcing, citizen journalism, and crisis response:

No TV? Emergency Search When Google is Not Fast Enough

Google Crisis Response: From Search Engine to Information Provider

Graduate Media Studies at Queens College convenes regular colloquia to engage with colleagues as well as outside practitioners and theorists about their work, research, and scholarship. Unless otherwise specified, Colloquia take place in G-Building, room 200, and are open to the entire CUNY community.

Wednesday December 3, 5:30-6:30p, Building G room 200, Noah Tsika, Queens/CUNY Media Studies

Noah Tsika is Assistant Professor of Media Studies at Queens College, City University of New York. He is the author of the books Gods and Monsters: A Queer Film Classic and Nollywood Stars: Media and Migration in West Africa and the Diaspora, as well as essays on same-sex dating in the U.S. military (published in LGBT Identity and Online New Media) and the reception of Brokeback Mountain (published in The Brokeback Book).

His current project is Epistemology of the Blogosphere: Queer Cinema, Media Archaeology, and the Internet:

"Since the late 1990s, digital paratexts have provided some of the most powerful and popular points of access to contemporary queer cinema. They have come to include YouTube videos, GIFs, Vines, Tumblr photomontages, Twitter hashtags, and many more formats and platforms. Comprising a complex fabric of easily distributable audiovisual interpretation—a blend of official forms of promotion, fan-driven modes of resistance, and the casual products of "clip culture"—digital paratexts often seem to supersede their ostensible cinematic sources, especially when they go viral, acquiring online viewers in excess of ticket, DVD, or Blu-Ray buyers. How might we evaluate them as sources of information about the making, marketing, and reception of contemporary queer cinema? Suggesting both the promises and limitations of queer cinema's growing online presence, this talk explores the significance of archaeologies of and on the internet."

Prof. Tsika will teach Media Archaeology in the graduate Media Studies program during the Spring 2015 semester.

Wednesday December 10, 5:30p-6:30p, Building G room 200, Barry Lowenthal, President, The Media Kitchen

Barry Lowenthal is President of the Media Kitchen, an interactive advertising agency in NYC. He is one of the early champions of strategically driven, creatively-inspired communications planning, and has led integrated programs for brands such as Goldman Sachs, Victoria's Secret, Justin Bieber's Fragrance 'Someday' and Vanguard, among many others. In 2008 he co-founded Madison Avenue's first trading desk, Varick Media Management.

Wednesday, December 17, at 5:30-6:30p. Joan Moh, Head of the Centre for Strategic Futures, Public Service Divisions, Singapore. G Building Room 200.

Joan Moh heads the Centre for Strategic Futures (CSF), which is part of the Strategic Policy Office (SPO) in the Public Service Division (PSD) of the Prime Minister's Office of Singapore. The Centre operates like a think tank within the Singaporean government. Its mission is to position the Singapore government to navigate emerging strategic challenges and harness potential opportunities. The CSF focuses on building capacities, mindsets, expertise and tools for strategic anticipation and risk management. It works to develop insights into future trends, discontinuities and strategic surprises, and consulting with decision-makers for informed policy planning.


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