Publishing@SFU Announcements

Playful Generative Art: Computer-Mediated Creativity and Ephemeral Expressions

WEDNESDAY, February 8, 2017
7:00 pm – 8:30 pm
Room 1800 (SFU Harbour Centre)
Fee: Free (to reserve a seat, please email pubworks@sfu.ca)

“Generative art” is a blanket term for any creative work produced in part through programmatic or algorithmic means. “Playful generative art” makes use of highly technical disciplines—computer programming, statistics, graphic design, and artificial intelligence—to produce chat bots, digital poetry, visual art, and even computer-generated “novels.” These pieces may be motivated by serious social or political issues, but the expressions are decidedly unserious, often short-lived or quickly composed. Creators working in this medium are rarely artists first—as programmers, designers, game developers, and linguists, they use the tools of their trade in unexpected and delightful ways. Generative art also has much to teach us about issues at the intersection of ethics and technology: what is the role of the artist in a human/machine collaboration; what is our responsibility when we design programs that talk with real people; how do we curate and study ephemeral digital works? Digital artists, writers, technologists, and anyone interested in media studies are invited to attend.

Guest Speaker:


lizadalyLiza Daly
is a software engineer and occasional corporate executive who lives in Boston. She is currently focusing on providing technical assistance to non-profits that work to uphold civil rights and protect vulnerable populations. Her personal projects revolve around digital art, interactive narrative, and digital publishing. Formerly she was CTO at Safari and prior to that, founded a digital publishing company called Threepress, which Safari acquired. Her new company is World Writable. She has been quoted about “Digital Detox” and the effects of the iPad on reading (NYT, 2010), ebooks in the cloud (Wired, 2011), and on strategies to help introverts network (FastCompany, 2015). Liza has presented about great engineering teams and digital publishing. She wrote a short book on Next-Generation Web Frameworks in Python (O’Reilly, 2007), which, she says, is “out of date so please don’t read it”.





Attend a free Digital Publishing Workshop at SFU Vancouver Open House

SFU Vancouver is hosting an Open House on October 12, 2016.

In addition to learning about undergraduate, graduate and professional and continuing education programs offered, there will also be a variety of free workshops, informational sessions and campus tours. The free workshops are hosted by leading SFU professionals, so you can get a sneak peek at learning opportunities at our campus, including our very own Suzanne Norman:

Digital Publishing: Best Practices in Our Online World
Suzanne Norman | Room 1510 | 6:00–6:50 pm

Arguably, everyone is a publisher today. In this 40 minute workshop SFU Publishing will walk you through best practices as you develop your online self, a process that is taught in our minor in print and digital media. We hope to walk through some hands on practices in Twitter and Facebook, and we will also look at the range of career options in this ever expanding profession.

Workshop is free to attend, but registration is recommended.

 


Research is Also for Non-Scholars—Public Lecture by Juan Alperin

The Publishing Program at SFU is pleased to present the following public lecture, by Dr. Juan Alperin. The lecture will be held on Tuesday, August 30 at 3:00pm at SFU Vancouver’s Harbour Centre campus in room 1530.

Research is Also for Non-Scholars: Capturing Impact Outside the Academy

It is commonly understood that scholarly research is created as a public good to facilitate inquiry and knowledge creation. Traditionally, to fulfill this mission, scholarly communication has been focused on making research available and discoverable among scholars, or among a specialized subsection of the population who has been charged with such duties. However, the extensive adoption of open access models of publishing, which provide free access to the peer-reviewed literature, creates an enormous opportunity for increased public engagement with the primary research literature. This presentation uses the unique circumstance in the Latin American context, along with an equally unique set of data, to explore the nature and extent of the of the public impact of research and scholarship. In doing so, it will discuss the new era of audience analysis that is made possible by increasingly digital and open scholarly publishing landscape.

Juan Pablo Alperin is an Assistant Professor in the Publishing Program and a Research Associate with the Public Knowledge Project at Simon Fraser University. Dr. Alperin is best known as a leading voice on issues of developing regions to the scholarly community through a combination of published research, presentations, and membership in the scientific advisory board of major Latin American open access initiatives. In his most recent work, Dr. Alperin has focused on studying the public reach and impact of Latin American research, having shown the diverse non-academic public that reads and engages with open access resources.

Twitter: @juancommander
Web: http://alperin.ca


Meet the Newest Professor in Publishing: Hannah McGregor!

“Only nerds would want more episodes about print culture” tweets the scholarly duo behind the podcast Witch, Please.

Hannah McGregor (Ph.D., Literary/Theatre Studies, University of Guelph) is one half of that duo, and Publishing’s newest Assistant Professor.

Blending public scholarship and cultural phenomena is the magic that makes the fortnightly podcast so beloved by its 3500 listeners. To Hannah’s surprise, it also proved to be an asset in the job market, particularly with the publishing program at SFU.

Marcelle [Kosman] (Hannah’s partner in the podcast) and I were aware, when we started the podcast, that it was a potentially risky move. We’re proud of the work we do, but it also doesn’t always look or sound ‘professional.’ We get drunk, we make dirty jokes, we cry about an owl dying. We knew that certain kinds of university departments would look at Witch, Please and dismiss us as serious academics. But we also came to the decision that those kinds of institutions would probably not be the best fits for us, anyway. The Publishing program values the things I value: experimenting with new forms, building things, public engagement, and of course pushing against the limitations of what constitutes scholarly production.”

Pulling examples from the Harry Potter series, the podcast explores issues such as print culture and propaganda (through the evolution of simplistic narrative into the emergence of critical thinking). By following, for example, the texts Hermione chooses to read and her realization of the ways words can be used to advance the ends of particular political forces in the wizarding world, the listener becomes more aware of the critical thinking process.

Does that mean students can expect a new course on Harry Potter? Maybe.

“There’s been some talk of a possible podcasting course — I would love to (re) introduce students to the medium of podcasting through the framework of media studies, while also teaching them how to produce their own podcasts. I wonder what a Harry Potter publishing course would look like… perhaps an analysis of the book’s publication and circulation history, alongside engagement with its vibrant fan production community (since, as we all know, fan production is itself a kind of publishing). Oh, and a whole unit studying the rise and fall of Pottermore and what that can teach us about authors attempting to seize control over fan communities.”

Hannah is also quite aware of, and involved with, the power of the public space; the enormous power of social platforms for sometimes unheard voices, as well as the virtual power of anonymity.

“On a historical scale, the digital space is still a very new kind of public space, and I think we’re all (users, creators, scholars) trying to figure out how to navigate it. And one of the most troubling dimensions of digital space has been the enormous amount of abuse and violence that women, trans people, queer people, people of colour, and other minoritized groups have faced when trying to carve out a chunk of that space for themselves. At the same time, digital publishing platforms and social media have turned into radical tools of community organization and alternative storytelling. I’m interested in how women navigate this space — both its risks and rewards — and how we might teach students to interact with digital tools and platforms in more conscious and critical ways.”

Most recently, Hannah was a full time instructor in English and Film Studies at the University of Alberta, but knew, that with her background in Canadian Literature and the digital humanities, coupled with her drive to explore digital publics, there were likely many more academic niches to explore.

“I’ve always fit uneasily into a certain version of English studies. I’ve always been drawn to the kinds of academic work that raise eyebrows — that’s what got me interested in digital humanities, and it’s what drew me to making an academic(ish) podcast. Publishing, with its fundamental interdisciplinarity and interests in print culture, the publishing industry, book design, and alternative methods of scholarly communication, to name a few, feels a little bit like the academic home I never knew I was missing.”

Her belief that theory and practice are essential pedagogical partners aligns perfectly with Publishing’s unwritten mandate that courses be a blend of hands-on practical and academic theory.

Courses such as PUB 101, in which students critically assess and explore digital publics, while building their own online identities exemplify Hannah’s pedagogical underpinnings.

“From my perspective, the most urgent task of postsecondary education in this new digital landscape of publishing is not only to teach students to use the tools and technologies and platforms, but to engage with them critically. It’s one thing to learn how to make a podcast — to study examples, experiment with different audio editors, learn how to layer music and voice and sound effects — and it’s another thing to historicize podcasts within several centuries of serial media, to ask how their entry into today’s media ecology is impacting other media like radio and audio books, to politicize the question of who produces and consumes this new medium and why. If you want to be someone who can not only work in but also meaningfully impact these emergent digital publics, you need to marry theoretical and practical understandings of how they work.

“The most important part of teaching for me is conversation: the classroom is a space where students are actively engaged in conversation with me, with each other, with the things we’re studying. Prioritizing conversation can also help students to become more comfortable with collaborating, first with each other but ideally with people outside the classroom as well. In the past I’ve incorporate community service-learning into my courses, through which students learn that what we’re doing in the class is actually relevant to the rest of the world. Another major tenet of my teaching philosophy is creation. The essay has its place, but I much prefer to incorporate non-traditional forms of research-creation into my classes; I’ve had students build websites, write and print choose-your-own adventure books, design interactive fictions, and create online exhibits. Next up: podcasts, which beautifully incorporate all three of these tenets—conversation, collaboration, and creation!”

A natural collaborator, as her work as Director of the Modern Magazines Project Canada demonstrates, Hannah is eager to build collaborative relationships — with colleagues, across departments and faculties, and with communities outside the university.

When not immersed in her love of teaching and research, Hannah sings women’s barbershop and already has her eye on a new chorus in town.

And while students may not be engaging in much singing, they should expect “a lot of jokes, a lot of Harry Potter references, and a valiant ongoing attempt to teach critical theory through memes. (Ahem: http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-t0tbC95sUH4/UJGn4eAdP6I/AAAAAAAAAC4/dQ9MpoTheY4/s1600/althusser.jpg). They should also expect someone who is really, really excited about their ideas and their passions, who is committed to making the classroom a safe and inclusive space for everyone, and who likes to list things in threes.”

 

 

 


SFU Publishing Workshops Underway – Still Time to Register!

Publishing may evoke the sights and smells of books, but it is much, much broader and in the digital age, publishers and publishing come in all shapes and forms.

Bloggers, copyeditors, community news content creators, and academic writers and editors are all part of publishing. This summer we have workshops in everything from grammar and copyediting to analytics to creating ebooks. Our instructors are drawn from the top publishing and technology professionals in Canada and work closely with SFU to create the most relevant curriculum possible.

As part of our university’s 50th anniversary celebrations, registrants can receive 20% off most workshops – use code PUB2016 at checkout.

In addition, APSA members can now access their tuition funds to cover costs of non-credit workshops and courses!

Register today and take advantage of two great opportunities!

Suzanne Norman

SFU Publishing. 

http://publishing.sfu.ca/



Research gets Social: Juan Alperin and the Social Impact of Academic Publications

Our Faculty’s FCAT blog has a new showcase of Dr Juan Alperin (@juancommander), who has just been awarded a three-year SSHRC Insight Grant for “Understanding the Societal Impact of Research Through Social Media.” The proposed project seeks to create an empirical and methodological basis for the systematic analysis of the societal impact of research through the engagement with scholarly documents on social media.

Read the full post from the FCAT Blog: Research gets Social: New study uses social media to explore public applications of academic knowledge.