Category Archives: USC

post-doc fellowships available for work with the institute

The Institute for the Future of the Book is based at the Annenberg Center for Communication at USC. Jonathan Aronson, the executive director of the center, has just sent out a call for eight post-docs and one visiting scholar for next year. if you know of anyone who would like to apply, particularly people who would like to work with us at the institute, please pass this on. the institute’s activities at the center are described as follows:
Shifting Forms of Intellectual Discourse in a Networked Culture
For the past several hundred years intellectual discourse has been shaped by the rhythms and hierarchies inherent in the nature of print. As discourse shifts from page to screen, and more significantly to a networked environment, the old definitions and relations are undergoing unimagined changes. The shift in our world view from individual to network holds the promise of a radical reconfiguration in culture. Notions of authority are being challenged. The roles of author and reader are morphing and blurring. Publishing, methods of distribution, peer review and copyright — every crucial aspect of the way we move ideas around — is up for grabs. The new digital technologies afford vastly different outcomes ranging from oppressive to liberating. How we make this shift has critical long term implications for human society.
Research interests include: how reading and writing change in a networked culture; the changing role of copyright and fair use, the form and economics of open-source content, the shifting relationship of medium to message (or form to content).
if you have any questions, please feel free to email bob stein

Lawrence Lessig on “writing”

Closing the USC conference “Scholarship in the Digital Age,” Lessig spoke on “free culture” and the current legal/cultural crisis that in the next few years will define the constraints on creative production for decades to come. Due to obsessive fixation by a handful of powerful media industries on the issue of piracy, the massive potential of networked digital culture that has briefly flowered in the past decade could be destroyed by draconian laws and code controls embedded in new technologies. In Lessig’s words: “never in our past have fewer exercised more legal control.”
Lessig elegantly picked up one of the conference’s many threads, multimedia literacy, referring to the bundle of new forms of cultural and scholarly production – remixing, reusing, networking peer-to-peer, working across multiple media – as simply “writing.” This is an important step to take in thinking about these new modes of production, and is actually a matter of considerable urgency, considering the legal changes currently underway. The ultimate question to ask is (and this is how Lessig concluded his talk): are we producing a legal culture in which writing is not allowed?

more from USC conference: useful dichotomies for reconsidering scholarship in the digital era

from Tara McPherson:
practice/theory (practice as research in action)
process/product (embrace productive failure)
open/closed (what does versioning mean?)
dialogue/argument (new ways of marshaling evidence; what does it mean when argument shifts into dialogue?)
pedagogy/scholarship/service (tenure system is archaic; most non-traditional modes of scholarly inquiry are considered nothing more than community service)
many/single (how do we rethink collaboration?)
tools/theories (blurring that boundary)
Tara McPherson is Associate Professor of Gender and Critical Studies; Chair, Division of Critical Studies, School of Cinema-Television, USC; and editor of the forthcoming Vectors, an electronic peer-reviewed journal.

Live from “Scholarship in the Digital Age” Conference at USC: The New Story

Scholarship in the Digital Age
This morning’s presentations got me thinking more about the narrative of the future–the multilayered, accreted story style that John Seely Brown referred to. How is that story going to be told and received? Will the novel become the dinosaur of alphabetic literacy?
Is the new book going to be a game, conversation, multi-layered, multi-authored, highly mutable and never-ending story? Assuming that the story is a conceptual device the culture uses to deconstruct reality, to make meaning, and to create, in some cases, a kind of anthem to rally around, what happens when our traditional narrative structures are replaced? If the single author, plot-driven novel is not the form of the future, then what do you get when you ask a million gamer/authors to shape an epic on the fly? What happens to our perception of reality if our stories are unstable, mutable, and open source?