Communication Speaks! presents Henry Adam Svec and Jennifer Roberts-SmithExport this event to calendar

Wednesday, March 4, 2020 — 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM EST

The Department of Communication Arts invites faculty, staff, and students to the Winter Communication Speaks! colloquium, featuring professors Henry Adam Svec and Jennifer Roberts-Smith.

Henry Adam Svec 

Entangling the Archive: String Figures as Imaginary Media

String figures are representational performances involving the hands and a long, looped piece of string (the well-known game of Cat's Cradle, for example, involves the passing back and forth of various string figures). The larger research project here explores ways in which string figures have offered critical theorists, amateur anthropologists, and artists alike a means of reimagining both the meaning and function of media, from film in the early twentieth century to digital networks in the present. In this presentation, I will begin by sketching out the utility of media archeology to a disparate set of texts and documents. I will then introduce two case studies: the work of filmmaker and folklorist Harry E. Smith, and the Museum of Jurassic Technology in Los Angeles. We will see that the contours of string figure fascination have mutated from the modern into the postmodern epoch, but the form's relationships to enchantment, alchemy, and embodiment are through-lines.

Jennifer Roberts-Smith et al

Digital Oral Histories for Reconciliation (DOHR): Relational Design Principles for Virtual Learning Environments in Restorative Pedagogy

Our talk describes the approach to virtual learning environment (VLE) design that we have developed over the course of a three-year project in relational pedagogy. Digital Oral Histories for Reconciliation (DOHR) is a community-driven research project whose objective is to teach youth about the historical harms experienced by former residents of the Nova Scotia Home for Coloured Children as a way of moving towards more just relations between African Nova Scotians and non-African Nova Scotians. DOHR's mandate has required us to expand a core concept of virtual reality design ("presence"), and to argue for mixed-reality, rather than entirely virtual, learning environments as media for restorative pedagogy. We illustrate with screencapture examples from the DOHR VLE that show how we have leveraged an aesthetic approach grounded in theatrical scenography, to achieve an experience we refer to as "relational presence". Interested department members can experience the VLE in VR after the talk.

DOHR team: Justin Carpenter, Paul Cegys, William Chesney, Arda Kizilkay, Colin Labadie, Jennifer Llewellyn (Dalhousie), Kristina Llewellyn (Renison), Lennart Nacke, Robert Plowman, and Gerald Voorhees. Stories by: Tracy Dorrington-Skinner, Gerald Morrison, and Tony Smith. With Kai Butterfield, Jessica Bertrand, Joanna Cleary, Cassidy Hilts, Mahir Hoque, Samantha Mercury, May Nemat-Allah, Joseph Tu, and Rina Wehbe.

Location 
DWE - Douglas Wright Engineering Building
Room 3518
200 University Avenue West

Waterloo, ON N2L 3G1
Canada

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