Massachusetts Institute of Technology
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Applied Humanities: Transforming Humanities Education

04/23/2010 10:00 AM e14"633
William Uricchio, Professor of Comparative Media Studies; ; Peter Donaldson, Ann Fetter Friedlaender Professor of Humanities and Head of the Literature Faculty, MIT. Director, Shakespeare Interactive Archive; Kurt Fendt; Scot Osterweil; Rehka Murthy; Matt Weise, Singapore"MIT GAMBIT Game Lab Producer;

Description: In the first of four panels celebrating the 10th Anniversary of the Comparative Media Studies (CMS) program at MIT, panelists reflect on the wide range of projects and media studies offspring that have emerged from this innovative program.

Major CMS themes include the development of community, creation of a deeper understanding of collaboration, working across disciplines, participatory culture, and collective intelligence. Panelists discuss the MIT approach to applied humanities, and share insights on education, game design, public media and visual information. William Uricchio moderates.

Scot Osterweil brings his background as a theatre major to the effort of game design, citing the need to engage the user, not just create games that are based on reciting facts-just as an actor has to engage in audience in something deeper than lines of a script.

Kurt Fendt's background teaching German language and literature, combined with work with many German artists has informed his current approach to working in digital media. He is concerned with how to engage students in the process of actively creating media, not just using it.

Peter Donaldson cites Shakespeare's works as multi format productions whose performances can travel across cultures and time as well as across media.

Rekha Murthy finds that her real life experience coupled with her CMS education has enabled her to have a broader understanding of the world, and channel it into her work in public radio in new ways. As public broadcasting morphs into public media, significant identity questions emerge that require deeper thinking to sort out the huge challenges in her field. Today she values the contextualization and opportunities for reflection that CMS has afforded.

Matthew Weise who attended film school before CMS admits to always struggling with the notion of the humanities. He comes to terms with a definition that "humanities are things that make me feel more human" and provide inspiration to want to apply his full self to the task at hand. He finds himself happily enriched in ways he doesn't fully understand.

About the Speaker(s): Kurt Fendt is Director of HyperStudio, MIT's Center for Digital Humanities, which explores the potential of new media technologies for the enhancement of research and education. He is Research Director in the Comparative Media Studies Graduate Program (CMS) and teaches a range of upper"level courses in the German Studies Program in Foreign Languages and Literatures.

Fendt has held Visiting Professorships at the University of Cologne, the Technical University of Aachen (both Germany), and the University of Klagenfurt, Austria; in 2001 he was Visiting Scientist at the Fraunhofer Institute in Sankt Augustin, Germany. He is co"Principal Investigator of the d'Arbeloff"funded Metamedia project, co"Director of Berliner sehen, a collaborative hypermedia learning environment for German Studies, the on"line collaboration space for educators "Berliner sehen Exchange", and co"author of the French interactive narrative "A la rencontre de Philippe" (CD"ROM version). Since 2005, he has been organizing the MIT Short Film Festival.

Before coming to MIT in 1993, Fendt was Assistant Professor in the Department of Applied Linguistics at the University of Bern in Switzerland, where he established the Media Learning Center for the Humanities and earned his Ph.D. in modern German literature with a thesis on hypertext and text theory in 1993 after having completed his MA at the Ludwig"Maximilians"University in Munich, Germany.

Host(s): School of Humanities, Arts & Social Sciences, Comparative Media Studies

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MIT World — special events and lectures

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