Public Intellectuals: The Cyberspace Generation
A new generation of public intellectuals has emerged, at home with digital media, engaged in cultural and political debates central to the new communities of cyberspace. These new public intellectuals found their voices in the zines that appeared in the 1970s and 1980s, expressing the values of various subcultural communities. These new intellectuals have created Webzines such as Slashdot and Bad Subjects, which reach a global audience and enable immediate responses to political and cultural issues.
The Digital Library
How are digital technologies affecting the traditional work of libraries? How will these technologies transform libraries in the future? Join this distinguished panel for a discussion of the central issues confronting libraries in the digital age.
Youth in a Digital Era
The "moral panic" that surrounded the shootings in Littleton, Colorado sparked dramatic responses from the on-line community. Jon Katz's "Voices from the Hellmouth" series on slashdot.com became the focal point for teenagers to respond to the crackdown on cultural diversity in the schools. Katz and Jenkins will have a conversation about American politics, teen culture, the education system, and the power of the internet.
"Real Artists Don't Go to MIT"
John Maeda will discuss some issues about art at MIT in the context of his personal work as well as the work performed at the Media Lab Aesthetics and Computation Group. Central to the discussion will be an attempt to discover pathways for MIT students to realize their destiny as humanist technologists.
The Public Intellectual
This forum aims to explore the ways in which academic ideas have been disseminated to the public in recent years and how (or whether) this has changed the professional priorities and research of scholars.
Imaging Science and Technology
Stealth Bombers: Invisible Information?
A cable television documentary described the development of the $2 billion B-2 bomber (and other stealth planes). Was the program adequate? What information does the American public get about such high tech weapons--or about scientific and technological information more generally? Robert Zalisk, the writer and co-producer of the program, screened his documentary and raised some disturbing questions about how his work was edited and "framed" by the cable channel that telecast it.
The Dark Side of Information Technology
What impact will information technology have on world culture? Will it widen the exisiting gap between the rich and the poor? This issue was addressed in a seminar organised by Sangam, the MIT-Indian Students' Association and co-sponsored by the Media in Transition Project and MIT Communications Forum.
Beyond the Ivory Tower:
This forum examined the role of the "public intellectual," considered the ways in which academic ideas have been disseminated to the public and asked how (or whether) so-called "popular science" has changed professional priorities and research.
Journalism and Cyberspace
How has American journalism been affected by digital technologies? What new skills and new knowledge are needed by reporters and editors assigned to cover the "cyber-beat"? How have traditional newspaper formats been altered, challenged, enhanced by the World Wide Web? Do the Web and other aspects of the digital future threaten the very existence of newspapers in the long term?
Hypertext in Historical Context:
This forum used video clips from Ted Nelson's lecture at a 1995 symposium in honor of Vannevar Bush to illustrate how hypertext evolved from conceptualizations rooted in older media toward the reality of today's World Wide Web. A discussion following the screening considered factors that have constrained current implementations of hypertext.
The Aesthetics of Transition - Three
Film historian Tom Gunning reported on his latest reseach on early movies and other media technologies.
Race and Cyberspace
This day-long symposium examined the ways in which digital media may be shaping our notions of race.
[Information about events held before 1997 is available from the MIT Communications Forum web site.]