Kurt Fendt, Executive Director
James Paradis – Participating Faculty
James Paradis is Robert M. Metcalfe Professor, Comparative Media Studies/Writing, at MIT. He is a cultural historian, who works on the rise of professionalism and the spread of popular culture, the history of media and technology, and digital humanities. These interests are highlighted in his various books, articles, and edited collections, including T. H. Huxley: Man’s Place in Nature (1978); Victorian Science and Victorian Values (with T. Postlewait, 1984); Evolution and Ethics (with G. Williams, 1989); Textual Dynamics of the Professions (with C. Bazerman, 1991); Samuel Butler: Victorian against the Grain (2007); and Victorian Science as Cultural Authority (wit S. Anger, 2012). He is currently one of the project PIs (with Director Kurt Fendt) for the Annotation Studio web application, funded by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Jeffrey S. Ravel – Participating Faculty
Jeffrey S. Ravel studies the history of French and European political culture from the mid-seventeenth through the mid-nineteenth centuries. He is the author of The Would-Be Commoner: A Tale of Deception, Murder, and Justice in Seventeenth Century France (Houghton Mifflin, 2008); and The Contested Parterre: Public Theater and French Political Culture, 1680-1791 (Cornell University Press, 1999). He was a Co-Founder of CÉSAR, a web site devoted to the study of seventeenth and eighteenth-century French theater. Currently he directs the Comédie-Française Registers Project, a collaborative venture with the Bibiliothèque-musée of the Comédie Française theater troupe, MIT’s HyperStudio, and several French universities. This project has received significant funding from the French government’s Agence national de recherche and the Florence Gould Foundation. In 2010, he co-curated an exhibit on technology and the Encyclopédie of Diderot and d’Alembert for the MIT Libraries.
Wyn Kelley – Participating Faculty
Wyn Kelley, a member of the Literature Faculty at MIT since 1985, has taught courses on American literature, literary genres (comedy, melodrama), women writers, and writing about literature, among others. She is author of Melville’s City: Literary and Urban Form in Nineteenth-Century New York (1996) and has published in a number of journals and collections, including Melville and Hawthorne, Ungraspable Phantom: Essays on Moby-Dick, Melville and Women, “Whole Oceans Away”: Melville in the Pacific, and the Cambridge Companion to Herman Melville. Formerly President of the Melville Society and Associate Editor of the Melville Society’s journal Leviathan, she is now Associate Director of the Melville Electronic Library (MEL), an interactive archive of Melville’s works, sources, and adaptations. She has worked with Hyperstudio for many years developing teaching tools, the latest of which, Annotation Studio, uses innovative annotation features to make literary texts come alive.
John Tirman – Participating Faculty
John Tirman is the Executive Director and a Principal Research Scientist at MIT’s Center for International Studies. Tirman is author, or coauthor and editor, of twelve books on international affairs, including, most recently, The Deaths of Others: The Fate of Civilians in America’s Wars (Oxford University Press, 2011). Earlier work includes The Fallacy of Star Wars (1984), the first important critique of strategic defense, and Spoils of War: The Human Cost of America’s Arms Trade (1997). In addition, he has published more than 100 articles in periodicals such as the The Nation, Boston Globe, New York Times, Washington Post, Esquire, Wall Street Journal, and Boston Review. (For a list and archive of articles and CV, see www.johntirman.com.) Before coming to MIT in 2004, he was program director of the Social Science Research Council. For the past few years he has been collaborating with MIT’s HyperStudio – Digital Humanities – on the US-Iran Relations online resource. The project is a collaboration between MIT’s Center for International Studies, the National Security Archive at George Washington University, the Balsillie School of International Affairs at the University of Waterloo, Canada, and HyperStudio.
Jamie Folsom, Web Applications Developer
Jamie Folsom is lead web applications developer at MIT Hyperstudio, where he builds tools to support teaching and research in the humanities.
He participates in all aspects of the lab’s work, from consulting with faculty and collaborating with partners, to creating and deploying web apps and services. He has extensive experience teaching with and about technology, managing technology projects, and building web sites and applications.
He holds an AB in French from Vassar College and a Master’s Degree in Technology in Education from Harvard University, and has been a teacher, a technology trainer and manager, and a web applications developer for 20 years. He is from Boston, Massachusetts.
Rachel N. Schnepper, Communications Officer
As Annotation Studio’s communications officer, Rachel brings over ten years of higher education experience with her to HyperStudio. Prior to working at HyperStudio, Rachel taught at Rutgers University, Princeton University, DePaul University, and Washington and Lee University. Accordingly, Rachel is intimately familiar with the needs of faculty and is committed to helping them integrate digital humanities tools into their research and teaching.
Rachel earned her PhD in early modern European history in 2010 from Rutgers University. The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the North American Conference on British Studies have supported her research, which focuses on media transformations in the seventeenth century English Atlantic.
Gabriella Horvath, Administrator
Belinda Yung, Technology Support Specialist
Belinda Yung has been centrally involved in all aspects of digital Shakespeare at MIT since 1994, working with the Shakespeare Project and the Literature Section. Currently, she is the manager and technical director of the Shakespeare Project and webmaster of LIT@MIT. Prior to working for Literature, Belinda worked as a programmer on the Paradoja Project (Paradox of Women in Developing Countries) for Foreign Languages and Literatures. She also coordinates various educational media projects developed in the HyperStudio. Her work focuses on helping faculty to integrate digital media and technology in the classroom, supporting researchers and scholars at partner institutions, and exploring new ways for active learning.
Liam Andrew, Research Assistant
Liam Andrew graduated from Yale University in 2008, where he studied the advent of sound recording and its influence on modern language, literature and music. After stints as a book indexer, French-to-English translator, archivist, and English teacher abroad, he dove into programming and emerged as a software engineer for Delve, a newsreader and aggregator that helps organizations find and share important reads. As a graduate student in MIT’s Comparative Media Studies program, his research interests lie at the intersection of sound and text on one hand, and classification and recommendation systems on the other. He is also a sound designer for theater and multi-instrumentalist in Dinowalrus.
Desi Gonzalez, Research Assistant
Desi Gonzalez graduated from Emory University in 2010, concentrating on contemporary art and linguistics. After her undergraduate studies she spent two years at the Whitney Museum of American Art, where she managed and wrote art historical content for the Whitney Kids website. Her tenure at the Whitney ignited an interest in studying the relationship between new technologies and the art learning experience, both onsite and online. She recently completed a yearlong fellowship at the Museum of Modern Art developing exhibition texts, audio tours, games, interactive learning spaces, and online curricula. Born in Puerto Rico and raised in Maryland, Desi also writes art criticism for various publications and occasionally on her blog.
Christopher York, Research Affiliate
Christopher York is Digital Library consultant for HyperStudio and a MIT Research Affiliate. His work focuses on the development of digital research tools that apply techniques from information science to problems in the humanities and social sciences. Past research focused on the extraction of dates and locations from digitized archival materials (for example, city directories and archival maps), and visualization of the resulting data using timelines and GIS mapping. His current research is on tools to support the Comédie Française Registers project: faceted browsing of archival evidence and visualisation of historical data.
Whitney Anne Trettien, Research Affiliate
Whitney Anne Trettien is a second-year graduate student in Comparative Media Studies, currently writing her thesis on the relationship between early modern rotary text generators and digital poetry. Before coming to HyperStudio, she translated Latin and Old English source texts on a project led by Professor Martin Foys to develop a digital edition of the Cotton Map, an eleventh-century Anglo-Saxon mappamundi. At HyperStudio, she has pursued her interest in the digital humanities as project lead on a collaboration with Old North Church, and in her work on the Serial Experience Project, the Comédie-Française Registers Project, and US-Iran Relations. Outside of MIT, Whitney can be found blogging about baroque oddities, collecting dictionaries, and promoting her book Cost of Freedom, an anthology of stories, poems, photography, and artwork from the American peace movement.
Whitney’s own website is at http://www.whitneyannetrettien.com/
Brett Barros, HyperStudio Alum
Brett Barros designs and develops the front-end of HyperStudio applications, examining use-case scenarios and applying carefully selected design patterns. He is also a web stats analyst, perhaps best known for his SEM News site which aggregates web marketing news. Brett graduated Magna Cum Laude from Boston University’s Advertising program and accordingly applies a customer-driven focus to all of his work.
Dave Della Costa, HyperStudio Alum
Katie Edgerton, HyperStudio Alum
Katie Edgerton studies the future of the film and television industry, and emerging forms of digital storytelling. Her forthcoming thesis focuses on television writing and new technology. Katie is a founding member of Social TV, an interest group in Comparative Media Studies. Prior to MIT, Katie was an Assistant Curator for Exhibitions at the National 9/11 Memorial Museum at the World Trade Center. She helped develop the Museum’s exhibit narrative, and scripted the 9/11 Timeline, a Webby Award honoree. Katie is a graduate of Williams College. A freelance writer and narrative developer, she blogs about film, new media, and storytelling at opendoclab.mit.edu.
Madeleine Elish, HyperStudio Alum
Madeleine Clare Elish worked in the fields of contemporary art practices, anthropology of technology and critical theory as an undergraduate at Columbia University (BA 2006). Beyond her coursework, she directed and acted in theater productions, curated art shows and taught in an after-school arts program. An internship during college turned into a job at the Whitney Museum of American Art where she wrote essays and curriculum guides based on the museum’s art collection for publication on the Whitney’s website. Since graduating, Elish has also worked for the contemporary art gallery Gavin Brown’s enterprise, NPR’s On the Media. Most recently, she worked as an editor for various websites published by Rodale. At CMS, her research revolves around the intersection of vision, perception, aesthetics and ethics, centering around the ways that new media alter the way we see the world.
Ayse Gursoy, HyperStudio Alum
Ayse Gursoy joins HS after having completed her A.B. at Princeton in the English department. She is interested in looking at games critically and developing a working vocabulary for game criticism that takes into account the emergent properties of games, as well as the historical context. For her spring independent work in junior year, she wrote about Oblivion (TES IV), taking into account its debts to hypertext and tabletop RPGs, as well as the affordances made available by the programming and by the means of interacting with the game. For instance, the game actively encourages modding and gives players easy access to the console; what does this imply for the act of playing? She is also interested in the possibilities of gaming for representing and embodying new identities, and hopes that in developing a critical language for games, will be able to investigate the unique nuances of this question.
Jason Lipshin, HyperStudio Alum
Jason Lipshin is a graduate student in MIT’s Comparative Media Studies program, where he is focusing primarily on material histories of computation. Working at the intersections of software studies, science and technology studies, and media archeology, he generally tries to place technical understanding in dialogue with political and cultural theory, opening up “black boxes” while at the same time placing materiality in historical and cultural context.
Suzana Lisanti, HyperStudio Alum
With extensive experience in web communications, Suzana provides web communications strategy for MIT projects such as the Global Shakespeare Performance Video Archive, the Edgerton Digital Collections, the upcoming MIT Museum’s Holography and Spatial Imaging collection, and the Arts at MIT portal.
Nicholas Seaver, HyperStudio Alum
Nick Seaver graduated with a BA in interdisciplinary literature from Yale (2007). As an undergraduate, his interest in sonic media led him to research the relationship between the technology of sound reproduction and social conceptions of “noise.” At CMS, he is studying indeterminacy and control in sound transmission, the role of “skill” in aesthetic judgments, and the history of automatic musical instruments. His academic work is supplemented by experiments in computer-aided composition that combine experimental music processes with pop music materials. In addition to his work in sonic media, Nick has a longstanding interest in the history of the book, which led him to spend a year training full-time as a hand bookbinder at Boston’s North Bennet Street School. Nick blogs about sound at noiseforairports.com.
Anna van Someren, HyperStudio Alum
- As HyperStudio’s project manager, Anna van Someren combines a background in curriculum design and education with her experiences researching new media and participatory culture. Prior to working at the HyperStudio, Anna worked at the Center for Future Civic Media to conduct research on the ways in which participatory culture environments support the kinds of social deliberation, debate, and advocacy practices that allow entry into a shared public discourse. She formerly worked as Creative Manager for project New Media Literacies (NML) at MIT’s Comparative Media Studies (CMS, leading the production and development of innovative educational materials informed by a deep understanding of the ways youth interact with and produce media. She is a current board member of the Regional Youth Media Arts Education Consortium (RYMAEC) at the Institute for Contemporary Art in Boston.
- Prior to working at MIT, Anna developed new media curriculum and taught multimedia production at after school programs and at the college level. An independent video artist, Anna has shown her experimental shorts in festivals internationally. She received her B.A. magna cum laude in Art & Art History from Colgate University, and her MFA in Film & Video from Massachusetts College of Art.
Jia Zhang, HyperStudio Alum
Jia Zhang is a native of Beijing China. She received her BFA in Industrial Design from RISD and MFA in Design and Technology from Parsons where she was a data visualization fellow for the International Budget Project. Most recently she has served as design director for the artist Xu Bing’s studio and project manager for artist Natalie Jeremijenko’s Environmental Health Clinic at NYU. Her research interests are qualitative visualizations of systems, their historic role in the experimental sciences, and their unique narrative qualities. She would like to experiment with building visualizations that contribute to media and platform awareness and literacy in the daily consumption of information.