Recent news from the Center for Civic Media

Recent news from the Center for Civic Media

Knight Foundation unveils 2010 Knight News Challenge grant recipients

The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation--sponsor of the MIT Center for Future Civic Media--today announced their 2010 Knight News Challenge winners. Together, these winners form another ground-breaking, visionary class of civic media developers, inventors, and entrepreneurs.

Video of the announcement by Knight Foundation president Alberto Ibargüen, as well as full descriptions of the funded projects, are available now via MIT. Please join us in congratulating the winners:

CityTracking, by Eric Rodenbeck, Stamen Design
$400,000
To make municipal data easy to understand, CityTracking will allow users to create embeddable data visualizations that are appealing enough to spread virally and that are as easy to share as photos and videos.

The Cartoonist, by Ian Bogost and Michael Mateas, Georgia Tech
$378,000
To engage readers in the news, this project will create a free tool that produces cartoon-like current event games -- the game equivalent of editorial cartoons.

John Fiske: Now and The Future

Last week, I was honored to be one of the keynote speakers at the Fiske Matters conference which was held at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. John Fiske has been and continues to be one of the most important intellectual influences on my work. His strong defense of popular culture as offering a series of resources through which active audiences struggled over meaning was a foundation for my ongoing investigation of participatory culture and new media literacy. His work was controversial at the time he introduced it - in part because he challenged the tendency of left academics towards cultural pessimism which had motivated so much of American cultural theory in the late 20th century. Fiske struggled to get us to look closer at the lives of ordinary people and the ways that they struggled to assert aspects of their own needs and desires through their relationship with mass produced culture. For Fiske, mass culture was culture produced by commercial industries, while popular culture was culture at the moment it became a resource for ordinary people through the process of consumption.

Birthright to Boycott

Crossposted from Mondoweiss: A recent post by Adam Horowitz asked what it will take for liberal Zionists to come around and support a boycott. My mind was changed by going to Israel on a Birthright trip and seeing firsthand the effects of the wall and checkpoints. However, I doubt that a full scale boycott of [...]

The Future of Teenagers: My Interview in O Globo

Here is the interview I did with Bruno Porto of O Globo, a publication targeting youth, during my time in Rio. The newspaper devoted three full pages to this interview which was prominent on its cover and I heard lots of great responses to it as I traveled around the country. I suspect what will be striking to readers in the United States is how much the questions being asked there by parents, teachers, and others about new media are very much those being asked in our own country. For those who prefer to read this in Portuguese, here's the link.

What´s the main difference between the teenagers that lived in 2000 and the ones that live nowadays? Do you see them as completely different beings or the prior generation already had cultural elements that are present in the next one?

Call for Papers: Transformative Works and Fan Activism

My team at USC is partnering with the fine folks at Transformative Works and Culture to put together a special issue dealing with our current research focus -- how we can forge a bridge between participatory culture and civic engagement. Here are the particulars. I am hoping some of you out there are either doing work on this topic or have graduate students who are and might be looking for a common space to publish your work. I am going to be speaking more around these topics at the Fiske Matters Conference and the Games Learning and Society conference this coming week, both in Madison, Wisconsin. Looking forward to seeing some of you there. If you read the blog, be sure to introduce yourself to me. I like meeting people who read -- especially at academic conferences. :-)

Transformative Works and Fan Activism

March 2012

Edited by Henry Jenkins and Sangita Shresthova, University of Southern California

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