Entries by NYU Center for the Humanities

Distracted Reading: Acts of Attention in the Age of the Internet

Central to the humanities is the theorization and practice of modes of attention (to cultural artifacts, and to other aspects of the world). Indeed, many of us devote much time to finding ways to redirect our students’ attention away from the distractions of their electronic gadgets. But what if we consider how their distributed focus might model new acts of attention and new ways of reading: how might we rethink pedagogy and/or our own research methods in an era of hyper-connectivity?

Shave Ice, Hawaii’s Can’t-Miss Treat (Just Ask the President)

Our fellow, Hi’ilei Julia Hobart, was featured in the New York Times talking about the role of ice in the history of Hawaii.

From Smart City to Quantified Community: A New Approach to Urban Science

Urban planning as a profession shifted radically after World War II. A result of the military development of systems engineering and optimization processes for radar and missile control, planners attempted to apply complex systems models and new decision-making algorithms to create optimized solutions to dynamic problems.

Digital Humanities and Educational Technology; Two Perspectives

During a keynote address given in 1990, prominent educator and scientist Seymour Papert ruminated on disciplinary innovation (13). Imagining both a nineteenth-century surgeon and teacher with the ability to time travel, he noted that the surgeon would be completely out of sorts in the world of modern medicine, though the teacher would find the contemporary scene more familiar than not.

Analysis Beyond Analytics: Exploring the Transformative Crossover Between Cinema & Media Studies and the Digital Humanities

Cinema Studies has always been attuned to technological developments and their impact on machine-made art. Even before the first cinematic experiments in interactive storytelling and database narratives in the 1990s (including USC’s The Labyrinth Project, led by Marsha Kinder, and UCLA experiments in cinema forensics, led by Stephen Mamber), the pre-digital work of visionary filmmakers such as Dziga Vertov, Sergei Eisenstein and Luis Buñuel prefigures the database logic that is exemplary of the ways in which digital culture now organizes and interacts with data (Manovich 2001; Kinder).

The Artist Archives Project – David Wojnarowicz

The Artist Archives Project develops information resources for the display and conservation of contemporary art. The initiative responds to a growing need for museum and archive professionals to work with artists in documenting their production methods, and building knowledge for future treatment and re-activation of their work.

Local Contexts 2.0: Implementing the Traditional Knowledge Labels

This project involves the development of a set of protocols, standards, tools, and resources relating to digital curation and stewardship of Indigenous cultural heritage that assists non-Native collecting institutions and local Native American communities to enhance access and management of knowledge about humanities collections.

Art & Politics in the City

Art & Politics in the City is a 3-semester, co-located, co-taught course led by Professor Alejandro Velasco in NY, and Florencia Malbran in Buenos Aires. Each semester, a (new) cohort of students investigates the correlation between street art and politics (electoral, cultural, economic, etc.) by using several pieces of technology to document, map, and analyze the graffiti in specific neighborhoods of NY and BA. Students are assigned a neighborhood and go out into the field to document the street art using a mobile data collection app called Fulcrum (fulcrumapp.com). The data from Fulcrum syncs to CartoDB, and from there students import public data to conduct their analyses, which includes spatial comparisons (NY to BA) and temporal comparisons across the several semesters. All of this work is showcased on a course site, using NYU Web Publishing. The course is now in its second semester, and students are in the process of generating their maps. I, Lillian Moran from GLI, and Andrew Battista from Data Services have been assisting with the technology this semester.

Interactive Pedagogy: Social Media Repurposing in Cinema Studies

This is a collaborative class project that analyzes the potential contributions of social networking tools to the documentation of personal moments in film history, and proposes an alternative, networked mode of film historiography. This experimental multimediated exploration aims to stimulate critical reflection on the complexities of documenting shared events and of conveying highly subjective cinematic experiences. The convergence of multiple means of capturing and remediating the ephemera of cinematic experiences provides new and innovative ideas on what it means to archive in the age of digital communications and social media.