Design Dialogues: Anne Balsamo


Anne Balsamo, Dean of the School of Media Studies
at The New School in New York City

“Designing Culture: Creating Multidisciplinary Collaboration.”
Friday, April 22 – 11A-12P, NCSA Auditorium, 1205 W Clark St, Urbana, IL on the University of Illinois campus.  * living steaming at Video recording of talk available here. See photos of Dr. Balsamo’s visit here (courtesy of J. Ginger). See the campus announcement of the talk here.

Abstract: How does interdisciplinarity impact innovation? Anne Balsamo shares an approach to the study and practice of technology-based innovation, to demonstrate how the real business of innovation is the reproduction of culture over time and over place. She discusses the role of the humanities and sciences in cross-disciplinary collaborations that focus on the creation of new technologies. And she explores how – given that the humanities seriously considers questions of ethics, cultural and social good, and intentional future-making – there is an important role for humanists in the process of creating new technologies. The presentation will be framed by work from her recent book, Designing Culture: The Technological Imagination at Work, and will offer a specific example of ways in which questions of culture informed the development of new technologies.

Bio: Anne Balsamo serves as the Dean of the School of Media Studies at The New School in New York City. Her most recent book,Designing Culture: The Technological Imagination at Work (Duke, 2011) examines the relationship between culture and technological innovation, with a particular focus on the role of the humanities in cultural innovation. In 2012, she and Alexandra Juhasz co-founded FemTechNet. Balsamoserved as one of the key designers of the Distributed Open Collaborative Course (DOCC) offered by FemTechNet in 2013. Previously she was a Full Professor at the University of Southern California where she held joint appointments in the Annenberg School of Communication and the Interactive Media Division of the School of Cinematic Arts. From 2004-2007, she served as the Director of the Institute for Multimedia Literacy at USC where she created one of the first academic programs in multimedia literacy across the curriculum. In 1998, she left a tenured faculty position at Georgia Institute of Technology to join a research-design group at Xerox PARC that created experimental reading devices and new media genres. In 2002, she co-founded, Onomy Labs, Inc. a Silicon Valley technology design and fabrication company that builds cultural technologies. Her first book, Technologies of the Gendered Body: Reading Cyborg Women (Duke UP, 1996) investigated the social and cultural implications of emergent bio-technologies.

* Breakfast reception before the talk

Co-sponsored by:
The College of Engineering
The Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities
The National Center for Supercomputing Applications

The Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology
The Recovering Prairie Futures IPRH Research Cluster
University Libraries

With: The Graduate School of Library and Information Science
College of Fine and Applied Arts
School of Social Work
Illinois Informatics Institute
Spurlock Museum
Center for Advanced Study
Center for African Studies
Center for Digital Inclusion
Center for Global Studies
Center for Innovation in Teaching and Learning
Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies
Center for South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies
Disability Resources and Educational Services
Global Crossroads Living-Learning Community/University Housing
Unit One/University Housing
Makerspace Urbana
MakerLab, Business
Asian American Studies
Business Administration
Comparative and World Literature
Gender and Women Studies
Institute of Communications Research
Latino/a Studies
Media and Cinema Studies
Unit for Criticism and Interpretive Theory
Office of Diversity, Equity, and and Access
Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research
Office of Undergraduate Research