Scholars, New Media, and the World

Charli Carpenter’s presentation at the International Studies Association meetings is not only a marvel in terms of its usage of new media for presentational purposes but also in terms of its analysis on how new media has changed the relationship of scholars to the outside world. The focus is on international relations but it is relevant for all social scientists.  Go watch the whole thing.

6 Responses to Scholars, New Media, and the World

  1. Sebastian April 10, 2012 at 2:32 pm #

    awesome presentation – but why, oh why the terrible soundtrack???

  2. Adam G. Hughes April 10, 2012 at 4:10 pm #

    While I wholeheartedly support the use of film, video, and visual evidence in political science, I think this style of video editing is a bad choice for developing a nuanced argument. When you constantly force viewers to look at images and words that are conveying related but distinct information from the narration, the two could become muddled. Are we supposed to think that the images illustrate your claims? If so, what should we believe about an image that we see for three seconds, with no supporting context? This approach to visual representation suffers from attention deficit disorder: it might be more fun to watch, but ultimately it lacks the precision and detail that a convincing argument must include. And video can be precise – when the audience is told what they are going to see, what it means, and why they should look closely at it.

    Some aesthetic choices in this video contribute to the problem: the illustrative imagery (for instance, the sequences beginning at 3:23 and 8:00) are generic and include no identifying information. What are they meant to convey? Are they just visual filler to save us from looking at nothing for a few seconds? Some of the best poets I’ve heard live use ellipses or dead space to heighten affect – maybe the same strategy would work visually. And I’d argue the music makes the video feel like an advertisement or piece of entertainment – can’t we trust the audience to pay attention without it? Finally, the decision to appropriate footage and illustrations without any kind of permission strikes me as somewhat shady, even if it falls under fair use guidelines… consider moving the disclaimer to the beginning of the piece.

    Maybe the visual style used here is meant to match your subject matter – if it is, then I think the piece succeeds to an extent. But to claim that this kind of visual representation is “a marvel in terms of its usage of new media for presentational purposes” seems premature.

  3. The Dude April 10, 2012 at 7:29 pm #

    Wow, I got dizzy just watching this. Waaaayyy too many frames per second to convey useful information. And what a terrible soundtrack.

    I’m a member of the “twitterrati”, a citizen of facebook, and I’m all for video in presentations, but this is an awkward attempt at best. To be fair, this shit’s really hard to pull off.

  4. Fr. April 11, 2012 at 6:14 am #

    The spirit of the demoscene is alive!

  5. ken April 11, 2012 at 11:31 am #

    doesn’t work for me, I couldn’t make it through the whole presentation. I found it to be unbearable.

  6. lisa April 12, 2012 at 4:01 pm #

    I’m not an academic in this field, but I managed to sit through the whole presentation- perhaps because I’m less familiar with the topic. However, I’m the person who doodles during lectures- it helps me absorbs what the person is saying. The music was the most distracting part for me. This is interesting stuff though!