Number 1, Year 1, Spring 2016
It is with great pleasure that I announce the first CRDM alumni newsletter.
The CRDM program completed 10 years in 2015 and one of the program’s major goals now is to build its alumni relationships. During the past ten years the CRDM program has grown from a cohort of 7 students in 2005 to 56 enrolled students in 2016, and has gained national and international attention, by recruiting top students from all around the country and the world. Among the international students, we have had 5 Fulbright students, all of which finished their dissertation with great success.
The program has held important international conferences that led to books and other publications, such as the 2012 Pan-American Mobilities Network conference, and the 2013 Carolina Rhetoric Conference (CRC), both held in conjunction with the CRDM Annual Research Symposium. CRDM students are also actively doing cutting edge research. Since 2005, CRDM students have produced 268 pieces of published research, 528 national, regional and local conference presentations, and won 135 awards and honors. These numbers demonstrate that working together with faculty in both Departments of Communication and English, CRDM students are producing relevant research, publishing in top journals and presenting their work in top conferences in the US and abroad.
Since 2009, we have graduated over 40 students, who went on to get very competitive jobs, both nationally and internationally, in academia and industry. Now we want to re-connect with you and promote an ongoing relationship between our alumni, faculty, and current students. During this past academic year, we made small steps in this direction: we created the first CRDM alumni award (see entire article below), an alumni list-serv, we developed this newsletter, and launched a new website, which contains a section dedicated especially to alumni in its main navigation. But we are not done. We welcome your feedback and suggestions on how to make this relationship stronger.
Finally, I would like to thank all of you for being part of the growing CRDM community, and hope that these efforts help to keep you involved in the program.
All the best,
Adriana de Souza e Siva, CRDM Director
The CRDM’s program annual symposium Critical Invention: Media, Engagement, Practice ran from March 19th to 20th, 2016 on the NCSU Campus, and was organized by a team of CRDM students (Jessica Handloff, Joel Schneier, Jason Buel, Chen Chen, Sarah Evans, and Abigail Browning), and advised by Dr. David Rieder. The theme “Critical Invention” was chosen for several reasons. While the concept of “invention” has a long history in the rhetorical canon, it also exists as a way of thinking more generally about how new objects and processes come into being. Invention, in this sense, might apply to any aspect of our designed environment: the development of new technologies, archives, architecture, software, or visual media, in addition to the development of new texts and ideas. This growing sense that scholars should critically engage with multiple processes of invention is evident in a number of emerging fields: critical making, digital humanities, code studies, digital rhetoric, multimodal composition, and others. This impulse to understand invention as a broad set of dynamic, interconnected processes opens up new potentials for pedagogy, research, and creative practice across disciplines. As John Muckelbauer (2008) argues, an affirmative sense of invention “structures the very possibility of what it means to read, to write, and even to think,” and this sense of invention cannot always be “explained representationally” but must be “demonstrated performatively” (p. xi). It is precisely this sort of demonstration, which include but are not limited to language, that the organizers sought for Critical Invention as the theme for the symposium.
The symposium hosted six guest speakers from across the US and Canada. The event featured two keynote speakers: Jody Shipka (UMBC) “Worlds of Involvement: On Collecting, Making, and Making Do,” and Emma Westecott (OCAD University) “Critical Game Making.” In addition, Helen Burgess (NC State) presented “Love Notes and Intimate Circuits”, Mariam Asad (Georgia Tech) “Prototyping Activism: Building Tools for Legitimate, Radical Civic Engagement,” Kate Maddalena (UNC-Wilmington) presented “Critical In(ter)vention In Ecological Epistomology: The Case of the Quadrat,” and Mark Olson (Duke) presented “Physical Computering, Critcal Practice, and the Internet of Things.” There were also two workshops featuring six student presentations and eighteen project showcase entries from CRDM students, students across the Carolinas, and contributors to a special issue of Hypperhiz an open access publication in which NC State’s Helen Burgess is the Editor.
Jordan Frith is an Assistant Professor of Technical Communication at the University of North Texas and graduated from the CRDM program in the fall of 2012. He is the author of two books, and his newest book–Smartphones as Locative Media–was published as part of the Digital Media & Society published by Polity. He has also authored over 15 journal articles, and his primary research focuses on emerging media, especially emerging mobile media that use physical location to shape information delivery.
The CRDM alumni award recognizes an alum who has demonstrated some or all of the qualities below:
- excellency in interdisciplinary work;
- distinguished scholarly research and/or professional achievement since graduation;
- sustained engagement in and ongoing commitments to the CRDM program;
- outstanding service (community, institution, discipline/professional field or organization);
- exemplary engagement within their discipline and/or professional field.
The award was officially presented at the 2016 CRDM Research Symposium, when Dr. Frith also talked to the CRDM community about his research trajectory since graduating from the program. “I’m honored to be the recipient of CRDM’s first outstanding alumni award,” said Jordan. “I know how amazing many of CRDM’s alumni are, and I know the competition must have been fierce. A major reason why this award means so much to me is because of the connections I think most of us still have to the program. I still go to conferences to see people from CRDM, and I know I’ll be sitting down to lobby drinks 20 years from now with all my CRDM friends.”
Jordan Frith’s dissertation, defended in the Fall 2012, was titled “Constructing Location, One Check-in at a Time: Examining the Practices of Foursquare Users,” and his committee was composed by Adriana de Souza e Silva (Chair), David Berube, Jason Swarts, and Steve Wiley.
Congratulations, Dr. Frith!!!
In the Fall of 2016, the CRDM program will start a partnership with CHASS IT, the college’s information technology unit, to provide support for courses which include a digital humanities component. CHASS IT will fund a graduate assistant position for the academic year. Rather than being assigned to a specific course, the graduate assistant will serve as a consultant for faculty members teaching in these areas and will act as a conduit between the faculty members and the technology professionals and service providers.
This partnership comes at a time when the college’s involvement with digital humanities scholarship has increased dramatically. Recent projects such as the Virtual MLK Project led by Dr. Victoria Gallagher from the Department of Communication and the Virtual Paul’s Cross Project (VPCP), a collaboration between John N. Wall from the Department of English and David Hill from the Department of Architecture, have brought significant attention to NC State. The VPCP was funded by an initial grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), and it was recently announced that the project would receive an additional grant of $324,135—the largest NEH grant in NC State’s history.
The first graduate student selected for this role was Peter Kudenov. Peter joined the CRDM program in the Fall of 2014. Prior to that, he earned his B.A. and M.A. in English from the University of Alaska at Anchorage. Peter’s over fifteen years of experience working as a programmer and analyst, and his interest in understanding how technologists communicate will be a tremendous asset in this new role. Peter will work under the supervision of Justin Daves, Director of CHASS IT,
CRDM is proud of the following students for completing their dissertations. To read more on each dissertation click on their names to be redirected to their work posted on NCSU Library site.
Divine Technology: How God Created Dinosaurs and People
Jason Swarts (chair), Jason Bivens, Victoria Gallagher, Bill Kinsela
Rendon Gomez, Hector
News Media Narratives: Local, International, and Digital Frames of Mexican Elections
Melissa Johnson (chair), Jason Swarts, Catherine Warren, Stephen Wiley
Inventing Mosquitoes: Digital Organisms as Rhetorical Boundary Objects in Genetic Pest Management for Dengue and Malaria Control\
Carolyn Miller (chair), Huiling Ding, Fred Gould, William Kimler, Bill Kinsela.
The Papua Separatist Group and Indonesia in the Age of New Public Diplomacy: A Comparative Analysis of Websites, Facebook Visuals, and Twitter.\
Melissa Johnson (chair), Andrew Binder, James Kiwanuka-Tondo, Jason S.
Manalu, Sanggul “Rouli”
The Study of Indonesian Internet and Digital Media: Analysis of the Politic of Infrastructure and Governmentality in Communication Technology Development.
Stephen Wiley (chair), Jeremy Packer, Jason Swarts, Nick Taylor
openAnalogInput(): Hybrid spaces, Self-making and Power in the Internet of Things.
Adriana de Souza e Silva (Chair), Jeremy Packer, David Rieder, Stephen Wiley.
The Birth, Death, and Re-Birth of an Auteur: the Analog to Digital Conversion of Carl Theodor Dreyer’s Films.
Hans Kellner (Chair), Ora Gelley, Melissa Johnson, Sarah Stein.
For Play: Gamification and Everyday Life
Adriana de Souza e Silva (Chair), Nick Taylor, Rebecca Walsh, Steve Wiley
CRDM Director: Dr. Adriana de Souza e Silva
CRDM Associate Director: Dr. David Rieder
CRDM Program Associate: Mya Nguyen
Text and research: T. Mark Bentley
Website support: Peter Kudenov