Given the rising importance of the cloud for the future of networked computing, it is difficult to imagine a more propitious time to spark a critical discussion about its role in our society. A spate of recent events such as the Edward Snowden disclosures about NSA domestic electronic surveillance and the FCC’s reconsideration of net neutrality rules, among others, has directed public attention on the future of computing and the dangers of our reliance on an increasingly centralized corporate computing infrastructure. As more and more personal data are stored, shared, and transported via cloud-based services, the need to understand and critically evaluate these interconnected systems has become acute.
“State of the Art(s)”—conceived, shot and edited by HYPE teens—explores the state of arts education in Allentown public schools and raises awareness about the value of arts for individual learners and communities.
Dr. Amy Corbin, assistant professor of Media & Communication and Film Studies, published an article in Continuum: “Travelling through cinema space: the film spectator as tourist”. Here is
the article's abstract:
This paper develops the notion of cinema spectatorship as a travel experience. Drawing on well-known and lesser-known works on spectatorship theory and cinematic space, it argues that part of the pleasure of spectatorship is imagining one is inhabiting a virtual space, distinct from the real space of viewing. Cinematic space is thus fundamentally ‘other’ but it is a contained otherness that allows the spectator both the thrill of experiencing something distinct from one's norm and the comfort of protection from this difference. The dynamic of contained otherness is most akin to the travel experience of tourism. While these qualities are inherent in the medium of fictional moving images, film form also plays a role in accepting a touristic gaze or questioning it.
The department is proud to announce that Dr. John Sullivan has been promoted as full professor of Media & Communication. Dr. Sullivan’s promotion affirms his achievements as a dedicated teacher-scholar and highlights the many contributions he has made as a faculty member to the Muhlenberg community, and to the field. We look forward to welcoming Dr. Sullivan back from a yearlong sabbatical this coming fall. During sabbatical, Dr. Sullivan is working on a new book, Netmedia: The Rise of Online Cultural Industries.
MC2 Alumni Week is just around the corner, and Professor Jansen and Professor Pooley have assembled a diverse array of panels, presentations, workshops and class visits. Please see the full schedule here. The department looks forward to welcoming back so many alumni representing an impressive range of fields, practices, and professions. Alumni Week is open to all and we encourage majors to attend as many events as possible. In previous years, students overwhelmingly agree that meeting alumni and learning about their experiences in the media and communication fields helps broaden their view of the possibilities post graduation.
While these revelations about domestic digital wiretapping without court orders have caused a stir in the American and global press, the privacy dangers associated with this type of data surveillance are not new to the scholarly community. Exactly 20 years ago, communication scholar Oscar H Gandy Jr (1993) meticulously outlined the growing threat to individual privacy posed by the cooperation between corporate and government data gathering in a book called The Panoptic Sort. At a time when the internet was in its infancy, when desktop computer processing was a fraction of what it is today, and five years before the founding of Google, Gandy warned that organizations like Equifax, TRW, and the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) were amassing huge repositories of consumer data that were gathered passively whenever individuals made purchases via credit cards. When these data are combined with sophisticated matching algorithms and sorted against huge government databases like the census, he argued, they enabled precise tracking of individuals’ behaviors, political views, and other sensitive private information. The precision of such discrimination transforms the routine sorting of personal data into a powerful form of institutional power. Building upon Foucault’s (1995) seminal analysis of disciplinary systems in society, Gandy argued that the scale of the data collection and analysis performed by government and corporate institutions created a panopticon wherein citizen actions would eventually become circumscribed within an ever-widening net of personal data surveillance. The end result, he observed, is “an antidemocratic system of control that cannot be transformed because it can serve no purpose other than that for which it was designed—the rationalization and control of human existence” (Gandy, 1993: 227).
This chapter examines the propaganda of the Great War and its aftermath, which created the template for government- and corporate-mediated propaganda that is still with us today, albeit in much more technologically advanced forms. Yet, what CPI historians James Mock and Cedric Larson wrote in 1939, as America was facing the prospect of another world war, is as true today as it was then: 'if another war should come to this country, no American would need to read the story of the CPI. He would be living it.'