Announcing the New Berkeley Center for New Media Director

01 Jul, 2019

Announcing the New Berkeley Center for New Media Director

Photo credit: John Lawson​

It is my pleasure to embark on my three-year term as Director of the Berkeley Center for New Media. It has been an honor to work with Nicholas de Monchaux over the past three years and I hope you will join me in thanking him for his excellent service. From pioneering new partnerships with the Berggruen Institute to presiding over conversations with luminaries such as Roxane Gay, Adam Savage, and Angela Davis, Nicholas has been a thoughtful leader and robust advocate for the Center. I wish him the best as he travels the globe for his latest research on July 1, 2019.

I first joined the BCNM in 2008 as one of the new initiative center’s original hires, co-appointed with the Department of Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies. In that time, I have been delighted to co-direct the History and Theory of New Media Lecture Series, which has brought leading new media scholars to campus, including Lisa Nakamura, Alan Liu, Fred Turner, Alexander Weheliye, Henry Jenkins, Alexander Galloway, Safiya Noble, and Jennifer Holt. I also co-founded and directed the Color of New Media Working Group, which this year released its first publication #Identity: Hashtagging Race, Gender, Sexuality, and Nation with University of Michigan Press, which is available online in an open-access edition made possible by a grant from UC Berkeley Libraries. I have also served as the Head Graduate Advisor and have been thrilled to work with our students from departments across campus.

In studying, mentoring, and teaching on moments of media transition and emergence, I have in particular emphasized issues around race, equity, and inclusion in the tech sphere. As Director, I look forward to advancing these conversations, leveraging BCNM’s prominence as a public center of discourse to promote inclusivity, diversity, and equity in technology in the classroom, in the workplace, and on the internet. Located in a hub for technology, at a public research university known for its alternative thinking, BCNM is uniquely positioned to prepare our future leaders of new media theory and praxis to understand technology from myriad historical, cultural, social, political, and environmental perspectives. I am excited for us to serve as a leader in this realm.

This coming year, 2019-20, the BCNM calendar is already packed with exciting public events. Please join us at our opening Art, Technology, and Culture Colloquium lecture with Portuguese robotics artist Leonel Moura on September 9th and our first History and Theory of New Media Lecture on Feminist Open Access Publishing with Organization of Transformative Works founding members Francesca Coppa, Kristina Busse, and Karen Hellekson. We also welcome our first two new external Advisory Board members, Eric Rodenbeck, co-founder of Stamen Design, and Aylon Samouha, co-founder of Transcend Education, and hope you will have the chance to meet them at one of our lectures or symposia.

I look forward to working with you all in the coming months!