Assistant Professor Finn Brunton's appointment at MCC is a return of sorts—Brunton was a postdoctoral fellow here in 2009 working with Professor Helen Nissenbaum. His research examines relationships between society, culture and information technology—how technological decisions are made, and the consequences of those decisions. In particular, the adoption, adaptation, modification and misuse of digital media and hardware; privacy and information security; network subcultures; and obsolete and experimental media platforms.
MIT Press published Brunton's first book this past March. Spam: A Shadow History of the Internet met with high praise from many quarters, including the Wall Street Journal, LA Review of Books, and The Millions. Brunton's interview about the work on NPR's All Tech Considered can be listened to here.
Brunton earned a BA from UC Berkeley, an MA from the European Graduate School in Switzerland, and a doctorate at the Centre for Modern Thought at the University of Aberdeen, Scotland. He comes to the Department from the University of Michigan's School of Information, where he was an Assistant Professor.
Clinical Assistant Professor Jamie Skye Bianco will help spearhead the Department's digital literacy initiatives and curriculum development. She offers the New Media Research Studio this fall, a project-based, research-intensive course that explores emerging practices and trends in new media with particular emphasis on interactive and immersive environments, such as social networking sites, multi-player online environments, the blogosphere, the open source movement, social activist groups, and internet-based art.
Bianco was most recently Assistant Professor of Digital Media, Composition, Rhetoric, Pedagogy, and Literacy at the University of Pittsburgh. Her research interests include digital and tactical media, creative critical compositionism, new materialisms, performative, affective, ethological, multimodal and computational knowledge production in affinity with pedagogy, DIY making and learning, social justice, queer, feminist, and sustainability practices. Recent publications include, This Digital Humanities That Is Not One in the collection, Debates in Digital Humanities. Her video series, AffectEyes (Machining Affect: Seeing More than [Human] Eyes Can See, was chosen for inclusion in the 2013 Carnegie International exhibition and catalogue at the Carnegie Museum of Art.
Bianco serves as the Design Editor and Lead Developer for Lateral: a Journal of the Cultural Studies Association, an online, multimodal and experimental venue for cultural media knowledge production, designed and developed in collaboration with contributors from the Cultural Studies Association.
Visiting Assistant Professor Shawn VanCour received his PhD in 2008 from the Department of Communication Arts at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, completing a dissertation on the aesthetics of sound in the history of radio, specifically in the 1920s. This work earned him the Broadcast Education Association's Kenneth Harwood Award for Outstanding Ph.D. Dissertation in broadcasting and electronic media. VanCour's research engages with fields ranging from industry studies and aesthetic theory, to sound studies, cultural studies, history of technology, and new media theory. He joins MCC from the Film and Media Studies department at the University of South Carolina, where he was a postdoctoral scholar and lecturer.
One of the VanCour's fall courses is the MCC senior media seminar, Sound in Screen Media. It examines sound’s role in shaping meanings and experiences of popular screen media, from film and television to games and mobile media.