English Professors Present at Toronto Conference

By John Nelson

DSU English professors John Nelson, Stacey Berry, and Shreelina Ghosh presented a panel session in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, on April 26 titled “Visualizing the New Media Dance Floor: English on the Horizon at DSU.” The conference, held on April 25-29, is presented by HASTAC, a group dedicated to research and study in humanities, arts, science, and technology and how they are growing increasingly interrelated. Sessions were held at York University near Toronto.

The conference featured respected presenters from all over the globe, including Kia Ng, the founder and director of the Interdisciplinary Centre for Scientific Research in Music, Joseph Tabbi, author of books on the relationship between technology and American fiction, and Paola Antonelli, Director of Research and Development and Senior Curator of Architecture and Design at the Museum of Modern Art, New York.

The Humanities, Arts, Science, Technology Advanced Collaboratory (HASTAC – “haystack”hastac.org), is an organization that focuses on digital innovation and research. Its interest is in digital learning, inspired by the possibilities of the digital era in learning of all kinds, especial those that connect humanism and technology. It has more than 8000 members worldwide.

Stacey Berry is an Assistant Professor of English for New Media. Her research areas include digital humanities, specializing in text editing and analysis, and post-1945 American fiction, especially violence in the novel. Her panel topic was using computational analysis tools to encourage students to look at texts in new ways.

Shreelina Ghosh is an Assistant Professor of Professional and Technical Communications. Her research is at the intersection of cultural and digital rhetoric, cultural identities and resistances, subaltern studies, human computer interaction, information design, accessible website design, and usability techniques. Dr. Ghosh discussed a method of employing user-centered design technology and persona profiling in her Professional Writing and English for New Media courses.

John Nelson has been teaching and working with computers since 1982, especially with emerging technologies. His other research interests include digital games, especially their depiction of Native Americans. He teaches American literature and courses fusing English and new media. His focus in the panel was on the work of students in the English for New Media program at DSU– visualizing texts and translating conventional poems, stories, and critical work into technologically enhanced performances of the text.

The English for New Media program at DSU is a unique program fusing traditional study in English—literature, writing, and language study—with emerging technologies such as social media, text analysis tools, and other methods and implements. It replaces a former program in English for Information Systems and was implemented in 2011.

Featured photo of Dr. Stacey Berry (left) and Dr. John Nelson (right) provided by Dr. John Nelson