Friday, January 25, 2013

FROM NOW ON!! Meet at 3:30 at Woods Hall 1130

From now on we will meet 30 MINUTES LATER! 
WE HAVE A NEW ROOM! Woods Hall 1130. 

For Today Thursday be sure to have read as much of Johnson as possible (minimum Part I), and this essay on Google Docs. Print out the essay and bring it with you to class. 

Premediation? Grusin, R. A. (2010). Premediation: Affect and mediality after 9/11. Basingstoke; New York: Palgrave Macmillan.


Minority Report Trailer 2 - YouTube

youtube.comMar 5, 2006 - 2 min - Uploaded by rubioisland
Minority Report Trailer 2. rubioisland·6 videos. Subscribe Subscribed Unsubscribe 17. 421,354. Like 274 ...


The Future is Now.  Kirby, D. (2010). “The Future is Now: Diegetic Prototypes and the Role of Popular Films in Generating Real-world Technological Development.” Social Studies of Science 40(1), 41-70.

“Production designer Alex McDowell and prop master Jerry Moss noticed Underkoffler’s dissertation work on interactive technologies during a pre-production tour of MIT’s Media Lab where he had just completed a PhD. They were impressed enough with his work and his knowledge ofmovies to hire him as the primary science consultant on Minority Report a few months later. Although Underkoffler was responsible for helping design all of the technologies in Minority Report, his chief concern was the gesture-based computer-interface technology that protagonist John Anderton uses to manipulate computer data with his hands (see Fig. 2). Minority Report was a golden opportunity for John Underkoffler to demonstrate to the public, and potential funders, that not only would his gestural interface technology work, but also that the technology would appear as if it were ‘natural’ and intuitive for users. The important factor was that Underkoffler conscientiously treated this cinematic representation as an actual prototype, ‘We worked so hard to make the gestural interface in the film real. I really did approach the project as if it were an R&D [research and development] thing.’”

“These approaches led to the funds he needed to start the company Oblong Industries and to turn his diegetic prototype into a physical prototype. This real world prototype in turn led to a development contract with defence giant Raytheon to produce gestural interface technology for the US military.7 From Underkoffler’s perspective, his work as science consultant on Minority Report was not simply a minor component in this story; his well-worked out diegetic prototype was the crucial element in the development process.” (Kirby 2010: 50 & 53)


John Underkoffler: Pointing to the future of UI | Video...

ted.comMay 31, 2010 - 15 min
TED Talks Minority Report science adviser and inventor John Underkoffler demos g-speak -- the real-life ...

Anticipation work: Adams, V., Murphy, M., & Clarke, A. E. (2009). “Anticipation: Technoscience, life, affect, temporality.” Subjectivity 28, 246–265. 

247: “Crucially, predictable uncertainty leads to anticipation as an affective state, an excited forward looking subjective condition characterized as much by nervous anxiety as a continual refreshing of yearning, of ‘needing to know.’ Anticipation is the palpable effect of the speculative future on the present. The anticipatory excitement of the cliff hanger as a narrative mode is as familiar as terror-inducing apocalyptic visions. As an affective state, anticipation is not just a reaction, but a way of actively orienting oneself temporally. Anticipation is a regime of being in time, in which one inhabits time out of place as the future. Temporality has always had a politic, long capitalized and colonized in the name of the ‘present’ of particular locations, situations and actors. Within this longer history, anticipation now names a particular self-evident ‘futurism’ in which our ‘presents’ are necessarily understood as contingent upon an ever-changing astral future that may or may not be known for certain,  but still must be acted on nonetheless.”


That's the first floor (not basement) of Woods Hall, where Women's Studies is located too. I will share boxes of SF books as well!

If we can all meet every TTh from 3:30 to 5 instead of from 3-4:30, then we can stay in that room, or the room next door. 

Otherwise we probably have to return to the room in the Armory. 


And we will at least get to go over the boxes of books without my having to lug them down to the Armory anyway!

As soon as I know I will email you about where we will meet for Thursday. Assume it is at the Armory 0121 unless you hear otherwise, but check both email and this website before coming to class.

For Thursday be sure to have read as much of Johnson as possible (minimum Part I), and this essay on Google Docs. Print out the essay and bring it with you to class. 

Kirby2010 Prototypes


What is transmedia storytelling? how about media ecologies? digital ecosystem?

Johnson p. 157: "That model is a complex. layered one. The forces driving the Sleeper Curve straddle three different realms of experience: the economic, the technological, and the neurological."


Thursday, January 24, 2013

Beginning with media ecologies....

For the next class Tuesday 29 January, catch up on what we did for today, click links and explore our website, and read as much as you can of Johnson's book: what assumptions are violated here? Bring in a list!

Johnson. 2006. Everything Bad is Good for YouRiverhead. 978-1594481949. Also available on the Kindle, as a Google eBook, and as an audiobook.
"The heart of Johnson's argument is something called the Sleeper Curve--a universe of popular entertainment that trends, intellectually speaking, ever upward, so that today's pop-culture consumer has to do more "cognitive work"--making snap decisions and coming up with long-term strategies in role-playing video games, for example, or mastering new virtual environments on the Internet-- than ever before. Johnson makes a compelling case that even today's least nutritional TV junk food–the Joe Millionaires and Survivors so commonly derided as evidence of America's cultural decline--is more complex and stimulating, in terms of plot complexity and the amount of external information viewers need to understand them, than the Love Boats and I Love Lucys that preceded it. When it comes to television, even (perhaps especially) crappy television, Johnson argues, "the content is less interesting than the cognitive work the show elicits from your mind." Johnson's work has been controversial, as befits a writer willing to challenge wisdom so conventional it has ossified into accepted truth. But even the most skeptical readers should be captivated by the intriguing questions Johnson raises, whether or not they choose to accept his answers. --Erica C. Barnett"






Just in case you were wondering: campus is open today and everything is on time.

As you get to school or to class, take care, stay safe, be careful! See you soon! 

Our campus weather info link:    


Saturday, January 12, 2013

A first story to contemplate....

Welcome to our course website under construction! In the next week or so the syllabus will come to live here, and the first of our class presentations will too. Bookmark the site because we will be using it for every class this term. 

I just came across a story we can use to open up discussion on the first day. I have posted a screen shot to the site where you can read it. (Lots of graphics posted here will also be links as this one is. Be sure to check to see.) 

How does this story fit into your ideas of SF? Does it violate any of your assumptions about SF? If so, which ones? Is it a feminist story? How can you tell?  ???   

Looking forward to meeting you all! 


Thursday 24 January – Sharing as constitutive of SF worldings 

How many forms of “sharing” are possible, necessary, created in sf feminisms? Has anything you have read so far surprised you? If so, what and why? We will go through boxes of books and stuff, trading stories and more. Layers of Worlds, layers of writings, layers of companionships: entering sf as speculative fiction, speculative feminisms, feminist fabulations, as well as science fictions or knowledge fictions offers many openings to worlding! We begin our class with folk taxonomies, fen and filk creativities, transmedia storytellings, and transdisciplinary feminisms! Jump on! We are off!