BCNM Around the Web May 2021

25 May, 2021

BCNM Around the Web May 2021

Check out the amazing work of our faculty, students, and alumni around the web this May!

Gail De Kosnik

Gail recently spoke at a Townsend Center for the Humanities event titled "(Re)making Sense: The Humanities and Pandemic Culture."

From the event description:

The series (Re)making Sense: The Humanities and Pandemic Culture examines the utility of the arts and humanities for helping us navigate the ethical challenges and practical reinventions that lie before us. Top scholars, writers, and artists at UC Berkeley discuss how their disciplines, and the skills and abilities fostered by their fields, can help in our efforts to reimagine and rebuild.

The sixth event of this series explores how the practices and study of visual culture are shaped by, and have responded to, the current political and public health crises. We live in an age in which smartphone owners are also photographers and videographers, and images can be disseminated, reproduced, and doctored in the blink of an eye. Image-making has become a political tool, as we saw with the George Floyd video and the numerous postings on social media of acts of police brutality during the Black Lives Matter protests. The January 6th attack on the US Capitol brought home the shaping power of images in our understanding of both history and contemporary reality.

Learn more about the event here!

Gail also recently spoke at the "Queer Representation: Pasts, Presents, Futures Conference".

From the event description:

With our inclusive focus on transmedia representations of queerness, we aim to examine narratives of sex, identity, politics, family and gender across a broad range of contexts, mediums and artforms. We ask how queer representation has changed, what versions of queerness we remember today, and how that can manifest in our hopes or fears for the future. Through investigating which narratives of queerness persist, and how representational patterns have evolved, we hope we may learn about creative spaces in which queerness can thrive.

Learn more about the event here!

Beth Piatote

Beth was recently interviewed by The Inquirer about her new book The Beadworkers and her Indigenous background.

From the article:

For Piatote, it was important to convey the deep connections that drive Indigenous peoples in their search to heal and bring beauty to the world, aided with the help of their ancestors. Beadworkers, protest leaders, hunters, fishers: in indigenous culture, she said, each person has a role helping the greater whole survive. The Native belief is that every person’s unique gift is their responsibility, given to them by the Creator.

With The Beadworkers, Piatote gives voice to those figures in the background of society who are keeping Native American arts growing while sustaining their communities. “I wanted the focus to be on them, too,” she said. The book’s cover art – a beaded panel by Marcus Amerman, titled “The Gathering,” currently on display at the Portland Art Museum – echoes the style of her writing: multi-layered, a combination of genres.

Learn more about Beth's book and read the rest of the article here!

Alenda Chang

Alenda recently spoke at a roundtable, described as a "lively and interactive roundtable featuring cutting-edge scholars of environment and media who work on the journal" during the Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival at Ithaca College.

Learn more about the roundtable talk and the film festival here!

Alenda also spoke about "Bringing Nature into Play (or, On Flat Rabbits, SpeedTrees, and Thunderbird)” at a talk titled "Dialogues in Research: Racial and Environmental Justice in Video Games" hosted by the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

From Alenda's talk abstract:

What if wandering a game could offer us as meaningful a natural experience as going outdoors? In this talk, I suggest that games present opportunities not only to engage directly with environmental issues, but also to foster moments of worldly compassion, experimentation, and loss—playfully persuasive ways of reckoning with the built and biogeochemical systems that surround us. Having acknowledged that humans and nonhumans are inevitably entangled (in Playing Nature), here I also consider how games might partake in the intersectional and multiscalar work that environmental studies scholar David Pellow has called for in “second-wave” environmental justice, or “critical environmental justice studies.”

Learn more about Alenda's talk and the entire event here!

Grace Gipson

Grace was recently the Virtual Keynote Speaker at the Art History Graduate Studies Symposium at the University of Memphis and spoke about "Art, Politics, and Social Justice in Times of Crisis." She also was the Symposium Speaker at the 2021 Virtual Symposia-Inclusive Teaching Practices hosted by the Virginia Commonwealth University Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence and spoke about "Inclusive and Accessible Teaching Practices using Media and Popular Culture."

Learn more about both events and Grace's work here!

Andrea Horbinski

Andrea was recently in a Vice article about the anime Attack on Titan.

From the article:

"Some Anglophone and American anime fans say that politics in anime is too foreign to comprehend, I think that's a minority position. A lot more people these days seem to have some accurate knowledge about sociocultural politics in Japan, but in my experience they're equally likely to combine a dollop of knowledge about current circumstances in Japan with their own preconceptions about Japan and Japanese society," Andrea Horbinski, an independent scholar with a doctorate in new media studies and history, told Motherboard. "Ironically, while it's never been easier to access cultural and political discussions directly from Japan thanks to the internet, relying on their own preconceptions and only taking on board information that supports them definitely does keep anime fans in this position from appreciating the range of views in anime generally."

Read the entire article here!

Jane McGonigal

Jane was recently mentioned in a Gamasutra article titled "The Carnegie Rule of Game Design: 6 Ways to Make Things Interesting" in reference to the way medicine can make game design more interesting.

From the article:

Jane McGonigal has designed alternate reality games and written two New York Times bestsellers. After she suffered a serious concussion in 2009, she faced lasting complications that meant a long and difficult road to recovery. McGonigal saw it as an opportunity to apply design theories in a new context, and the result was SuperBetter. It's a healthcare game that has been used by more than a million people fighting depression, anxiety, chronic pain, and traumatic brain injury.

Read the rest of the article here!

Jane was also featured for her book deal in Publishers Weekly.

From the article:

Game designer, author, and futurist Jane McGonigal sold Imaginable: How to Pick Ourselves Up, Heal from the Pandemic, and Prepare for a Decade of Unthinkable Change to Spiegel & Grau. Chris Parris-Lamb at the Gernert Co. brokered the North American rights agreement with Cindy Spiegel. The publisher said the title, which is based on a popular class McGonigal teaches at Stanford University titled “How to Think Like a Futurist,” is “a hopeful and practical guide to using gaming strategies to engage the imagination, reframe our outlook on the world, and create the future we want for ourselves.”

Read the rest of the article here!

Jane was also recently a Keynote Speaker at the American Public Gardens Association. Learn more here!

Additionally, Jane's mental health application SuperBetter was highlighted in a report by MarketWatch.

From the report description:

In this research study, the prime factors that are impelling the growth of the Global Wellness and Mental Health Apps market report have been studied thoroughly in a bid to estimate the overall value and the size of this market by the end of the forecast period. The impact of the driving forces, limitations, challenges, and opportunities has been examined extensively. The key trends that manage the interest of the customers have also been interpreted accurately for the benefit of the readers.

Read the entire report and learn more about Jane's application here!

Trevor Paglen

Trevor recently spoke with Kate Crawford for Crawford's Atlas of AI book launch.

From the event description;

Gray Area in conjunction with City Lights Booksellers and Yale University Press present Kate Crawford in conversation with Trevor Paglen, celebrating the launch of Kate Crawford’s new book Atlas of AI: Power, Politics, and the Planetary Costs of Artificial Intelligence published by Yale University Press.

The Atlas of AI explores the hidden costs of artificial intelligence, from natural resources and labor to privacy, equality, and freedom.

Learn more here!

Bo Ruberg

Bo recently gave a talk titled "The Queer Games Avant-Garde" for the Games@Northeastern Lecture Series at Northeastern University.

From the talk description:

This talk draws from interviews with these innovative game-makers, tracing patterns and tensions across networks of contemporary queer and trans game development. Their insights go beyond typical conversations about LGBTQ representation in video games, however. What emerges from these conversations is an exploration of queer game-making practices, the politics of queer independent video games, queer aesthetics, and the future of queer video games and technology.

Learn more about Bo's talk here!

Bo also recently announced as a Keynote Speaker at the University of Murcia Queer Temporalities in Literature, Cinema, and Video Games International Conference set to take place virtually in December.

Learn more about the conference here!