Media and Material Practices

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The MMP graduate focal area engages past, present, and emerging media, exploring how scholarly paradigms designed for print, performance, and digital cultures can inform the study of both new and old media. Faculty and graduate students in MMP work on a broad range of periods and genres, from medieval performance and illuminated manuscripts to contemporary children's popular music and digital technologies.

Graduate students in the area benefit from

  • Rich resources for digital production and multimodal composition
  • Excellent rare book collections, including a collection about the History of the Book and Printing
  • Opportunities to develop substantial expertise in supporting fields and disciplines through the departments of Communication, History of Art and Architecture, and Theatre Arts and the School of Information Sciences
  • Digital Humanities at Pitt (DHRX), a cross-campus research network fostering scholarship in the digital humanities. 

Faculty 

To learn more about which members of the graduate faculty work in MMP and related areas, see the Graduate Faculty Areas page.

Upcoming and Ongoing Programming 

  • Digital Media Reading group. 
  • Media and Material Practices Round Table discussions. Questions? Suggestions for future round tables? Please email MMP coordinator Jen Waldron (jwaldron@pitt.edu).

Recent Events

  • English Graduate Mini-Conference Night: "The Body Now + Gender, Technics and Media" (December 2016). Sponsored by Prof. Julian Gill-Peterson and Prof. Jen Waldron, students from two fall graduate courses and seven different departments presented on four panels: “Non/Inhuman Bodies and Parts,” “Publics,” “Global Circuits in Queer Studies,” and “Racialization, Women’s Bodies and the State.” 
  • Round table discussion on SOUND. This round table invited participants to come and listen to colleagues from across the department and an informal discussion on their work on sound! Featured were:

Tyler Bickford on children’s mp3 players as material culture

Laura Feibush on listening, gesture, and pedagogy

Neepa Majumdar on 1930s audio technologies and sound cinema in India

Imani Owens on music and poetics in black interwar literature

  • Digital Reading group meetings, such as February's discussion of "The Rhetoric of Error in Digital Media," by Matt Bellinger (Computational Culture, 2016), and "WR1T1NG (D1RT?) NEW MED1? / GL1TCH C0MP0S1TI0N," by Steven Hammer, as well as April's gathering that featured discussions on selections from Nicole Starosielski's The Undersea Network.
  • Media & Material Practices Focal Area Event, an MLA Lightning Round Table (January 2016), with: 

Jean Ferguson Carr,* on the question of the monograph, from the panel “The Future of Publishing in Composition”

Jinying Li,* on walls, from the panel on “Objects of Global Media”

Annette Vee,* on writing, from “What We Talk About When We Talk About DH”

Jen Waldron,* on technical temporal objects in Shakespeare, from the panel “Matters of Renaissance Fiction”

*Please click on the name of the presenter(s) for whom you wish to access the digital version of the 2016 MLA conference program and their respective panel information.