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Media Studies

Graduate Media Studies Colloquia

Spring 2015

Tom Liacas Tom Liacas 2/4/15

Former digital activist and online social marketing pioneer, Tom Liacas is an authority on social networks and how they can be used to exert pressure on governments and corporations.

His work is informed by his colorful career path, which has taken him from managing online activist campaigns to founding a digital marketing agency and developing patented social media performance software.

As a social media strategist, Tom designed and implemented the world's first large-scale online dialogues, which brought industry and activists into public debates around social and environmental issues.

His current area of focus is the rising power of social network movements and what this means for politics, business and society. In addition to consulting, he is also a frequent writer and a global lecturer on these subjects.

Chief of Naval Operations SealJacqueline Tame 2/25/15

Jacqueline Tame is The Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Strategic Studies Group (SSG) whose focus is generating revolutionary (revolutionary implying that the concepts would upset existing order, therefore, these concepts are non-consensual) naval warfare concepts. The SSG focuses its efforts on war fighting concepts that appear to have great potential, but that Navy organizations are not currently pursuing. In conducting this mission, the SSG is at the leading edge of the Conceptualization Phase of the Process for Naval Warfare Innovation.

Jacqueline was a Senior Management Analyst at Bearing Point. She was a Policy Analyst/Strategic Planner for SAIC (a leading technology integrator providing full life-cycle services and solutions in the technical, engineering, and enterprise information technology market). She is currently a graduate Student at Naval War College.

Dan Gillmor Dan Gillmor 3/4/15

Dan Gillmor's life has been in media from music, newspapers, online, books, investing and education. He primarily teaches digital media literacy and promoting entrepreneurship at Arizona State University's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. Dan's most recent book is Mediactive. The goal of this project was to help turn passive media consumers into active users — as participants at every step of the process starting with what we read.

Gillmor is currently working on a new book and web project, tentatively entitled Permission Taken, about the increasing control that companies and governments are exerting over the way we use technology and communicate, and how we can take back some of that control. Dan also writes articles and commentary, including a regular online column for the Guardian newspaper, and somewhat more frequently at the Mediactive blog and on this site. His first book, We the Media: Grassroots Journalism by the People, for the People (2004 and 2006; O'Reilly Media), is still actively selling and has been translated into many foreign languages, most recently Korean and Arabic.

Scott Heiferman Scott Heiferman 3/11/15

Scott Heiferman is a Co-Founder and CEO of Meetup, the world's largest network of local community groups. Over 50.000 Meetups (self organized community events) happen each week. Millions of people on over 100 countries "use the internet to get off the internet" using Meetup, which is built on the idea that every town needs support groups, playgroups, bookclubs, business groups, action groups, etc. Previously, Heiferman co-founded Fotolog, a photo sharing network where over 30 million people have uploaded nearly a billion photos. He also founded i-traffic, a top online ad agency in the 90's. He then fled the ad industry and was influenced by 9/11 to start Meetup. Scott graduated from the University of Iowa. He received the Jane Addams Award from the National Conference on Citizenship and was named an MIT Technology Review "Innovator of the Year."

Kevin McLeod Kevin McLeod 3/18/15

Speak Write Play and Think: how combining them into one form might save humanity.

A filmmaker and scholar at the age of 21, Kevin McLeod kick-started his career by working on "Silence of the Lambs", then jumped into the world of music videos, and before long landed on the internet's first epic game (an A.R.G.) called "The Beast" for Warner Bros. and MS's Xbox division.  He was the associate producer of Bennett Miller's documentary "The Cruise." and co-produced independent feature film "Snapped." Since then, Kevin branched into game development, worked on CBS's Jericho in 2005 and has edited the visual media magazine "Mstrmnd".

He is currently producing a feature film (directed by Tony Stone), and is designing a movie-game hybrid under development as a start-up. Kevin also finishing a book "that's basically a general manual to the referential potential in cinema (and by extension videogame, but not quite yet) as a now crude language far superior to the languages we use currently (perhaps even the languages that populate computing). And one that converts the metaphysical to physical, quite literally."

Richard Move Richard Move 3/25/15

Richard Move is a present-day choreographer, dancer, performing artist, director, and filmmaker. He is the Artistic Director of MoveOpolis! and Move- It! Productions. Move is well known internationally for his interest in Martha Graham and the ability to recreate her performances. He is a TEDGlobal Oxford Fellow and TEDxWhiteOak co-curator and organizer. Move is Lecturer in Design at Yale School of Drama. He is Assistant Professor of Dance in the Department of Drama, Theatre and Dance at Queens College, CUNY.

Aaron Naparstek Aaron Naparstek 4/1/15

Aaron Naparstek is the founder and former editor-in-chieft of Streetblog-a daily news source connecting people to information sustainable transportations and livable communities.

Based in Brooklyn, New York, Naparstek's journalism, advocacy and community organizing work has been instrumental in growing the bicycle network, removing motor vehicles from parks, and developing new public plazas, car-free streets and life-saving traffic-calming measures across all five boroughs. Naparstek is the author of "Honku: The Zen Antidote for Road Rage" (Villard, 2003), a book of humorous haiku poetry inspired by the endless motorist sociopathy observed from his apartment window. Prior to launching Streetsblog, Naparstek worked as an interactive media producer, pioneering some of the Web's first music web sites, online communities, live webcasts and social networking services. Naparstek is currently in Cambridge with his wife and two young sons where he is enjoying a Loeb Fellowship at Harvard University's Graduate School of Design. He has a master's degree from Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism and a bachelor's degree from Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri. Naparstek is a co-founder of the Park Slope Neighbors community group and the Grand Army Plaza Coalition.

Astra Taylor Astra Taylor 4/15/15

Astra Taylor, a Canadian-born documentary filmmaker who was involved in the Occupy Wall Street movement, has just released "The People's Platform: Taking Back Power and Culture in the Digital Age." Harder-edged politically than many Internet books, "The People's Platform" looks at questions around gender, indie rock, copyright, the media, the environment and advertising. "The digital economy exhibits a surprising tendency toward monopoly," she writes in her preface. "Networked technologies do not resolve the contradictions between art and commerce, but rather make commercialism less visible and more pervasive."
An admirer of Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Zizek (and director of a 2005 documentary about him), she frames the current crisis with European cultural theory. Her writings have appeared in Adbusters, The Nation, Salon and The London review of Books. She's also recently been playing accordion in her husband Jeff Mangum's band, the recently revived Neutral Milk Hotel.

Micah Sifry Micah Sifry 4/22/15

Micah L. Sifry is a writer, editor and democracy activist. As editorial director of Personal Democracy Media, he oversees the daily news-site and curates the annual PDF conference on how technology is changing politics. He has also been a senior technology adviser to the Sunlight Foundation since its founding in 2006. He also serves on the boards of Consumer Reports and the Public Laboratory for Open Technology and Science. In the spring of 2012, he was the Visiting Murrow Lecturer of the Practice of Press and Public Policy at the Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy at Harvard's John F. Kennedy School, where he taught "The Politics of the Internet."

Micah is the author, co-author or co-editor of seven books, most recently The Big Disconnect: Why the Internet Hasn't Changed Politics (Yet) (OR Books, 2014). Before that, he wrote WikiLeaks and the Age of Transparency (ORBooks, 2011), which was also published in Great Britain, Australia, New Zealand, Italy, Japan and South Korea. Along with Andrew Rasiej, Allison Fine and Joshua Levy, he edited Rebooting America: Ideas for Redesigning American Democracy for the Internet Age (Personal Democracy Press, 2008). From 1997-2006, Sifry worked closely with Public Campaign, a non-profit, non-partisan organization focused on comprehensive campaign finance reform, as its senior analyst. His personal blog is at micah.sifry. com. He has a BA in Politics from Princeton and a MA in Politics from New York University and lives with his family in Hastings-on- Hudson.

Adnan Selimović Adnan Selimović 4/29/15

Adnan Selimović is a teacher, a youth-politics theorist, and a digital media researcher from York University. Currently he teaches courses on youth politics and critical media literacy at a number of colleges and universities around the city. He is trained in interdisciplinary psycho-social theory—preferring psychoanalytic and critical theory, and is waiting to defend his dissertation; his presentation will have to do with his dissertation research.

For the last six years Adnan has been working on a theoretical framework to capture the multidimensionality of what it means to deal with everyday life through gadgets that double as mediating our social and self experience while also guaranteeing the bourgeoning of particular consumer economies. In other words, his work attempts to foster uncomfortable understanding of the importance of consumerizing gadget-mediated self-self cultivation across the dimensions of political economy and its strict materiality, psycho-sociality and its relational concreteness, and the realm of the mind in which ideology meets consciousness. He will be presenting a snapshot from this work.

Media Activist Brian McCarthy 5/6/15

Brian McCarthy is a writer, curator and organizer living in Brooklyn, NY. He has been involved with the experimental film and video community in New York City since 1999, having worked for experimental spaces such as Anthology Film Archives, the Filmmaker's Coop, and EAI. He has been a member of the 16Beaver Collective since 2008 and has taught Media Studies at the New School. He is currently teaching a course on Media Activism at Hunter College in NYC.

Paul Levitz Paul Levitz 5/13/15

Paul Levitz has been a comic fan (THE COMIC READER, winner of two Best Fanzine Comic Art Fan Awards), editor (BATMAN), writer (LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES including "The Great Darkness Saga," voted by readers as one of the 20 best comic stories of the last century), and DC Comics staffer (including starting as the company's youngest editor ever to ending as President & Publisher). He has received the Inkpot, Clampett Humanitarian and ComicsPro Industry Appreciation Awards, and serves on the board of the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund.

His Eisner-award-winning book, 75 YEARS OF DC COMICS: THE ART OF MODERN MYTHMAKING, was published by Taschen, and is now being issued in 5 separate volumes, starting with THE GOLDEN AGE OF DC COMICS and his 40 year association with DC Comics continues as his writing currently appears in LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES and WORLDS' FINEST.

In addition to his work as a writer, Levitz also spends time teaching, having taught courses in writing at Manhattanville College, publishing at Pace University and the American Graphic Novel at Columbia University.


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